Another legacy Rev based system modernises

More and more people running old ARev and early OpenInsight based systems are seeing the benefits and needs of modernising their systems.  Not only does this future proof these systems going forward, but it often enables developers to better and more easily integrate with more modern hardware.  This reduces the risk of trying to find replacement units or parts for obsolete equipment or sourcing unsupported hardware and software.

SRP Computer Solutions have recently helped one of their clients to modernise by embracing thin client technologies, with USB wedge barcode scanners and one of their connection controls.

Click here to read the full article that SRP have recently published on the project.

XP Support (to clarify my earlier posting)

Ahh – A hornet’s nest I see before me!!   Let’s give it a poke <g>.

This posting is in response to the valid comments posted to my blog posting entitled “Windows XP Support” and to clarify the reasons for that posting a little more.


Guys, you are of course correct and I knew that posting this direct from the official Revelation newsletter would provoke some clarification, and for that I am grateful.  However, the key question in this posting was whether your clients are aware of the issues?  At the risk of offending anyone, that point appears to have been missed by those of you commenting thus far.

This blog is read by both developers and users alike.  I think that all Revelation developers know the issues, risks and workarounds for ARev running on modern operating systems but the same is not necessarily true for end users.  Those organisations that have Revelation professionals on staff are relatively OK – so long as those Revelation professionals take control of the IT decision making process and actively avoid the potential issues befalling a lot of ARev systems right now.  I assume that you have put your necks on the block and taken ownership of your systems in such a way.

For those of you who do not wish to fall on your swords –

  1. How have you protected your clients against the potential and growing issues of running RevG and ARev on modern operating systems?
  2. How have you legislated against the Managing Director or another key decision maker deciding to purchase a wiz bang new 64-bit workstation?  Does he or she, really want to mess around with virtual machines, dual operating systems and the like – I don’t.
  3. How do you plan to support your ARev system for a sales team whose manager invests in the latest piece of technology to revolutionise his department, which demands 64-bit processing power and on which they blow next year’s budget on 64-bit machines.
  4. I could go on all day….

We cannot always take full control of our customers and demand what they will or will not use.  Often, sticking with legacy technologies will result in a loss of business because the legacy DOS system will be seen as the odd one out and the one causing the issue.

Could your business afford to lose your ARev system or your biggest client?  The Managing Director is never going to admit that buying a new 64-bit machine was his mistake.  The inevitable conversation is going to result in the ARev developer having made the mistake in not preparing for the inevitable move to a more modern technology.  Likewise for that sales manager who has big plans to modernise his sales team.

Failure to keep up with the times in IT often displays a lack of interest in the technology that has been written, a potential lack of interest in the developer’s client or their business in general and a perceived lack of willingness to keep up with the times and to invest in the future.  I know that this is not necessarily true and that many people love their old ARev systems and “if it isn’t not broke, don’t fix it”, but you can’t get away from the fact that things are only going to get harder.

Personally, I’m quite happy for people to carry on with their ARev systems.  It means that we can take each conversion project as they come along in dribs and drabs, rather than all at once.  As a salesman, it is also nice to have clients panicking (actually, I’m in two minds on that one) and opening cheque books with blank cheques because they are forced into doing something today because they need to work tomorrow.

This is a personal blog that consists of my views only and not necessarily those of Revelation Software.  However, I make no apology for using the official wording.  If I can encourage just one end user to think about the future of their ARev based system and to make a calculated decision in their own time, rather than a hurried, panicked and rushed decision, then my work is done and I will personally sleep more soundly.

I have tried to, and I believe that I have, given people good advice over the last 17 years.  My advice on this subject is to heed the warnings, modernise and make provision for your legacy RevG and ARev systems today.  Leaving it until tomorrow is inevitably going to result in a loss of business in one shape or another.  Maybe it’ll just be that next new sale as you are not GUI or can’t interface to something seamlessly, maybe it will be the loss of a key client to a competitor, or maybe (just maybe) it could sound the death bell for your business and your retirement fund.

Please, please , please if you are still using ARev please look beyond the technology and what you can ‘manage’ to make it run on – Think ahead of tomorrow and put a proper plan in place for your clients to safeguard their future and your own.  FWIW, we are seeing another increase in the number of conversions to ARev32, so more and more people are realising the growing risks and making provision for the future.

Please note that these are my personal comments and that they do not officially represent those of Revelation Software USA, Revelation Software UK or any other official Revelation channel.

Windows XP Support

I am sure that you will not have failed to notice that Microsoft will be ending support for XP from April 8th, 2014.  However, do your clients know and have they made provision for their ARev systems? 

For those of you who have been working too hard to pick up this small snippet of news, the keys details are:

After April 8, 2014, technical assistance for Windows XP will no longer be available, including automatic updates that help protect your PC.  If you continue to use Windows XP, your computer might become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses.

An unsupported version of Windows will no longer receive software updates from Windows Update.  These include security updates that can help protect your PC from harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software, which can steal your personal information.  Windows Update also installs the latest software updates to improve the reliability of Windows—new drivers for your hardware and more.

Advanced Revelation will not run on workstations installed with Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8.  If you are running an application built with Advanced Revelation we strongly suggest that you consider upgrading to OpenInsight using Arev32.

Running ARev – Don’t get get caught short on time!!!

With Microsoft having now withdrawn support for Windows XP and more and more workstations being purchased with windows 7, we are seeing ARev users frantically trying to make the next move to keep their systems running on these new operating systems.  Whilst some people fight to find workarounds, others are hastily looking at shortened ARev32 conversion projects.

Don’t get caught out and find yourself explaining why you have not made the move to ARev32 or made alternative provision for the future.  Give me a call or drop me an email to discuss the future of your ARev system before time is against you.

OpenInsight 9.3.1 Coming ‘VERY’ soon!

Revelation Software are now very close to releasing OpenInsight 9.3.1 and please watch this blog for further news about the release over the next few days.

Although this is a point release that follows the main recent 9.3 release, this new version features the usual enhancements and fixes and a brand new data connector that will enable MultiValue developers to interface OpenInsight with Ladybridge’s QM database.  Already well tested during the beta cycle, this new connector will feature in a new commercial solution from Stage7 – watch out for more news on that right here and as it breaks.

As well as the QM connector, this new release sees 8 customer lead enhancements to the Banded Report Writer, 15 enhancements to O4W including support for ad hoc reporting, rss maintenance, mobile features (including a separate graphing library, run report function for mobile reports, etc) and much more.  The release also sees some fixes for ARev32, OpenInsight’s .NET functionality, fixes requested by you through the suggestions and bug tracker on and work on the BFS / Connectors.

Those of you who are WORKS members will be able to download, review the full readme detailing the changes and take advantage of this new release very soon.  Please contact me if you are not a WORKS member and I will gladly email you a copy of the readme file so that you can see what you are missing out on and learn more about the new features that will no doubt be helpful and enhance your OpenInsight applications.

OI 9.3 Beta – ARev32

And finally we reach day nine and the last of my postings taking a look at the OpenInsight 9.3 beta release highlights.  Today we will take a look at what the new release has in store for our ARev clients that are making (or planning on making) the move to ARev32.  The readme includes five modifications and they include:

  1. Case options now work correctly on selects.
  2. Environment ini files have been enhanced to allow for user environments.
  3. Selecting with parentheses in the selection criteria no longer causes the select to cancel.
  4. ARev32 and CTO configuration records have been enhanced to conform to the CFG_XXX format.
  5. An additional AREV32/CTO configuration option has been included.  Setting field 6 to “<<NONE>>” will suppress the auto-start of ARev32 in AREV32_xxx_FORM (for graphical debugging.
  6. V23 (AREV32 RUN) has also been updated to save the stack when running in graphical debugging mode.

The 9.3 beta readme includes more details about the above items and the remaining items that I have not noted above.  In addition, it also includes many of the new features, enhancements and fixes throughout the 9.x releases.  Please drop
me a line
if you would like to receive a copy of the full 9.3 beta readme file.

From the desk of Bill Caisley

There are a few instances reported that if utilising ARev tables in OI ‘I have to maintain my indexes in ARev, OI does not work!’

If you are using/attaching legacy tables from ARev in OI and there is a Quickdex.mfs on the DICT. you are unable to create a Btree on any of the fields. It will appear to have worked but the index will not exist and it will not work. If you attempt to re-add the index you will receive a message that the ‘index already exists’. What has happened is that the DICT. now has a one (1) in field six which indicates the existence of a Btree on that field.

Revelation are going to produce a meaningful error message in a future release to warn you of this problem.

To successfully maintain indexes from OI you must first remove the Quickdex.mfs from the DICT. by means of a SET_MFS. You should also edit the row in the Dict and remove the one (1) in field 6 if you previously attempted to create an index.

Please also note that Sprezzatura have begun a blog thread regarding ‘Indexing in OpenInsight – Part 1 –What is indexing?