New Alternative to the 28-Year Fix Launched

With time running preciously short, speed is now the rule in getting systems converted and back online. A number of tools on the market now enable AS/400 sites to set dates used by applications back 28 years, and bridge these dates to a Year 2000 format at the user interface -- a technique far quicker than field expansion or 100-year windowing.

However, Into 2000, developer and distributor of AS/400 RPG and COBOL Year 2000 tools, says it has found an even better way. The latest release of Into2000 (version 5.4) makes use of an OS/400 feature called ALTSEQ (alternate collating sequencing), a utility that resequences dates falling before and after the century mark.

The new tool "leverages a facility already available in the AS/400 for Year 2000 work," says Lee Mulder, president of Into 2000 (Jasper, Ga.). "The problem with dealing with a number of date situations is not necessarily the date formats, but the way dates are sequenced."

Using ALTSEQ, the date windowing process "is faster because it doesn't change anything," Mulder continues. "It doesn't change any logic, the order of anything, nor any date fields." However, this technique does not handle internally described files, nor modifications to vendor-supplied applications converted by the date-expansion method. Into 2000 estimates that libraries can be completed within one to three weeks.

To help AS/400 sites double-check remediated code, The latest version of Into2000 incorporates auditing capabilities. A new rebuild function creates text files that list all lines which reference dates.

Into2000 works on PCs running Windows 3.1/95/NT through standard connectivity tools such as IBM's Client Access.