IBM Maps Out New Y2K Bypass

When first released in early 1997, IBM's Bypass2000 for AS/400 conversion tool made systems Year 2000-ready by expanding dates to eight-digit fields. However, with the deadline now looming, most IS managers no longer have the time to begin field expansions.

That's why the latest version of Bypass2000 -- which began shipping in September -- can also now convert code through windowing. While the tool sets the year 50 as a default, users may specify their own 100-year window, which is incorporated into application logic.

In addition, Bypass2000 also will expand year fields to three digits -- adding a one-digit century flag. In many applications, the value "0" generally signifies a date in the 1900s, while "1" is a date in the 2000s.

Other enhancements to Bypass2000 include additional support for System/36-style programs, such as more support for multi-format files, enhanced date seeding, and support for file overrides. The latest version also includes a "browser" that can traverse date usage. Bypass2000 also now enables users to customize their generated date routines, and will automatically generate corresponding DDS source files from RPG, COBOL or ILE COPY sources that define file layouts. The solution also generates a code marker to identify remediated code.

IBM also announced that it is offering up to 20 hours of telephone support in the first two months following installation, provided by both IBM and HAL S.p.A. (Milan, Italy), the original developer of Bypass2000.

Bypass2000 was part of a combination of tools recently used to bring the Music Merchandising division of Circuit City stores into Year 2000-readiness. Bypass2000 corrected "85 percent of the necessary date fields automatically," says Nancy Ingalls, senior programmer/analyst with Circuit City.

IBM also has been shipping a new release of its date impact analysis tool, Search2000 for AS/400, which includes additional capabilities to identify date-sensitive RPG and COBOL source code. Search2000 was first announced last March, and generates a file that is accessed by Bypass2000, which is sold separately.