Once You Window, There's No Turning Back

As the Year 2000 bears down on companies, many are opting for the quickest type of fix to applications -- building windowing approaches into application logic, so that two-digit years within a certain range are treated as 20th or 21st century dates. However, this will mean constant follow-up work and testing to maintain the applications in the post-2000 years.

"Once you do windowing, you continue to have a similar problem going forward," says David Wong, president of Ricomm Systems Inc. (Marlton, N.J.). "Every time you make changes to your code, you've got to carry that baggage forward." As applications are altered, AS/400 sites will still need to generate test data with dates aged forward to ensure that Year 2000 bugs remain fixed.

That's why Ricomm's toolset, Beyond 2000, is targeted at sites that are adopting windowing as a solution. Beyond 2000 IntelliTools supports OS/400 V3R1 and above, along with RPG and COBOL. The tool checks source code, as well as DDS and CL files, says Wong. The toolset includes data aging, test data generation and system date simulation modules.

Beyond 2000 Inventory -- based on artificial intelligence technology -- identifies, locates, and verifies production inventory, based on usage, to confirm if all date-deficient code has been remediated. A related product, Beyond 2000 IV&V (for Independent Verification and Validation), can uncover obscure or deeply ingrained defects in code which may have been missed by routine testing, Wong explains.

Packaged as a combined product and service, code inspection can be performed at Ricomm's site or at the customer's site on a Linux-based workstation. The product also generates summary reports for management.