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New string features coming with Synergy/DE 11

By Jerry Fawcett, Posted on August 19, 2019 at 8:58 am

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Synergy/DE 11 is bringing many new features, and among those additions are some exciting new abilities within the String class. All of these powerful new features are available in both traditional and Synergy .NET.

When dealing with strings, keep in mind that a string is immutable (fancy word for unchangeable), so any time a string variable is changed, a new string variable is created.

First, let me list the new methods added, along with existing methods that include new overloads to the String class: 

String.IsNullorEmpty(@string) , boolean
  • Parameter: String to interrogate for null or empty value
  • Return value: Boolean value indicating whether the string is null or empty
String.IsNullorWhitespace(@string) , boolean
  • Parameter: String to interrogate for null or white-space characters
  • Return value: Boolean value indicating whether the string contains null or white-space characters

New overloads to give precise control on how a string is trimmed:

String.Trim() ,string			(exists prior to version 11)
  • Parameter: None
  • Return value: String with leading and trailing white-space characters removed
String.Trim(@string) ,string 
  • Parameter: Character(s) to be removed from the string’s beginning and end
  • Return value: Returned string with passed-in character(s) removed from the beginning and end
String.TrimStart(@string) ,string
String.TrimEnd(@string) ,string
  • Parameter: Character(s) to remove from either the string’s start or end
  • Return value: String with all instances of character(s) removed from start or end

New methods to control how characters are removed or inserted into a string:

String.Remove(N) ,string
  • Parameter: Starting position in the string to remove all characters until its end
  • Return value: String with all characters from passed starting position to end removed
String.Remove(N) ,string
  • Parameter: Starting position in the string to remove all characters until its end
  • Return value: String with all characters from passed starting position to end removed
String.Insert(N, @string) ,string
  • Parameters:
    1. Starting position to insert string passed as parameter 2
    2. String to be inserted
  • Return value: Returned string with sting passed in parameter 2 inserted

New overloads to give more control on concatenating strings together:

String.Concat(@string, @string) ,string	(exists prior to version 11)
String.Concat(@string, @string, @string) ,string
String.Concat(@string, @string, @string, @string) ,string
String.Concat([#]@string) ,string
  • Parameters:
    1. Two strings to concatenate together
    2. Three strings to concatenate together
    3. Four strings to concatenate together
    4. Dynamic string array to concatenate all elements together
  • Return value: Returned string after concatenation operation

New overloads to locate the position of a substring in a string:

String.IndexOf(A1) ,int			(exists prior to version 11)
String.IndexOf(A1, N) ,int
String.IndexOf(A1, N, N) ,int		(exists prior to version 11)
  • Parameters:
    1. Character(s) to find in string
    2. Character(s) to find in string starting at position specified in parameter 2
    3. Character(s) to find in string starting at position specified in parameter 2 for the length of parameter 3
  • Return value: Integer value with first position of passed character(s)

New overloads to find the last occurrence of a substring in a string:

String.LastIndexOf(A1) ,int		(exists prior to version 11)
String.LastIndexOf(A1,N) ,int
String.LastIndexOf(A1,N,N) ,int		(exists prior to version 11)

Parameters:

  • Parameters
    1. Numeric value of the starting position to begin returning the substring
    2. Numeric value of the length of the substring to return
  • Return value: Returned substring with value from the specified starting and length values

New methods to create an array from a delimited string:

String.Split(A1) ,[#]string
String.Split(A1, StringSplitOptions) ,[#]string (see below for the StringSplitOptions enumeration)
  • Parameters:
    1. Character(s) to use a delimiter
    2. Enumeration StringSplitOptions to control if empty elements are created
    3. Return value: Dynamic string array to be populated with the contents of the passed string

New overload to use the replace method on alphas:

String.Replace(A, A) ,string
  • Parameters:
    1. Alpha value to be replaced by parameter 2
    2. Alpha value to replace all occurrences of parameter 1 in string
  • Return value: Returned string with all occurrences of parameter 1 replaced by parameter 2
String.Replace(@string, @string) ,string 	(exists prior to version 11)
  • Parameters
    1. String value to be replaced by parameter 2
    2. String value to replace all occurrences of parameter 1 in string
  • Return value: Returned string with all occurrences of parameter 1 replaced by parameter 2

And finally, the enumeration StringSplitOptions, which is used with the Split method to control if empty elements are created when creating the string array:

public enum StringSplitOptions
    None		,0
    RemoveEmptyEntries	,1

You can find details on all String members in the System.String topic in the Synergy/DE documentation.

As I mentioned earlier, some of the above are brand new methods (Insert, IsNullorWhitespace, Remove, Split, TrimEnd, TrimStart) added to the System.String class, while others are new overload methods added to existing methods to provide additional functionality. Interestingly, the runtime itself will make use of the String.Concat method when strings are added together (e.g., string1 + string), as it is efficient and generates fewer temporary variables.

Now let’s take a look at one of the new methods. Using the new Split method, we can populate a dynamic array from a delimited string. Say we have a string containing the following:

mystring = “Bob, Mary, Joe, Jack,,,, Fred, Henry, Tom”

We’d like for the values between the commas to be elements in an array, but we don’t want the commas without values between them to become empty elements in the array. This can easily be accomplished with the String.Split method using the syntax below:

stringarray = mystring.split(“,” , StringSplitOptions.RemoveEmptyEntries)

Passing the quoted comma as the first parameter tells the Split method that a comma is the delimiter to look for in the string. Also, for even more control, the delimiter can consist of any number of characters.  There is no need to instantiate the dynamic array, as the dynamic array will automatically be instantiated by the Split method. The result of the above operation will be that the dynamic array stringarray will contain elements with the names that are separated by commas in the string mystring and no empty elements (due to passing StringSplitOptions.RemoveEmptyEntries as the second parameter) for the commas with no values between them:

stringarray[1] = “Bob”
stringarray[2] = “Mary”
stringarray[3] = “Joe”
stringarray[4] = “Jack”
stringarray[5] = “Fred”
stringarray[6] = “Henry”
stringarray[7] = “Tom”

As you can see, the enhancements to the String class are more than enough reason to upgrade to Synergy/DE 11 when it’s released. If you can’t wait and want to try these new capabilities now, the version 11 beta is available in the Resource Center for download. Don’t forget to set your Synergy/DE documentation to the “Beta” version in the version drop-down near the top of the screen.

And wait, there’s more! Now that you’re aware of the new and powerful methods added to the String class, be sure to also check out the new StringBuilder class added to version 11.


Are you protecting yourself and your customers from upcoming security threats?

By Roger Andrews, Posted on August 1, 2019 at 10:07 am

Roger Andrews

Thanks to those of you who joined us last week for our security webinar. We talked about some of the big security threats we all face today, such as ransomware/malware, endpoint attacks, and phishing, and how to protect ourselves from them. Keeping current with security updates is one important step, and this includes operating systems, applications, firewalls, and other components. Also, if you’re using HTTPS or SSL communication, you may need to encrypt your data between computers and when writing to disk (as well as when transferring externally).

Security webinar, July 24, 2019

If you use Windows, make sure you have a plan to upgrade any Windows 7 or Server 2008R2 systems. Microsoft is ending support for these at the end of this year (and for some of their other products soon). This means there will be no more security patches, which will increase the likelihood that your systems will be compromised with ransomware. Also, if you’re using OpenSSL on Windows, you’ll need to upgrade to Synergy/DE 11 (scheduled for release later this year) as it supports the new OpenSSL requirements. Synergy/DE 11 has other security updates, including the ability for services to be configured to run as a user other than system/root.

Here’s an article from our last Synergy-e-News for additional security information. And our Synergy/DE 11 beta page has for more information about our upcoming release. We’ll continue to provide you with information about these security topics and others. In the meantime, please contact us if you have questions or if you would like more information.


CodeGen 5.4.0 Released

By Steve Ives, Posted on July 3, 2019 at 9:59 am

Steve Ives

It’s been a while since a GodeGen release was announced on this BLOG, but rest assured they have been coming thick and fast; in fact there have been 9 interim releases since we last announced here.

So why all the frenetic activity in CodeGen land? Well the primary driving force for so many releases and so many new features is to provide support for the ever evolving Harmony Core RESTful Web Services framework. If you’re not familiar with Harmony Core then you should check it out. More and more Synergy developers are starting to take advantage of it as a way to expose their applications data and business logic in whole new ways and to support a myriad of use cases.

So what’s new in CodeGen 5.4.0? Well the answer to that question is … a LOT! I won’t list all the new features here but if you want to check out the specifics then you can head over to the CodeGen Releases page where you’ll find a detailed change log for this and previous versions. And if you need more information than that then check out the CodeGen Documentation.

We recommend that all developers who are using CodeGen upgrade to this latest version, but particularly if you’re developing with Harmony Core.

Happy 4th Everyone!


An open letter to Synergy developer hiring managers

By Jacklin Garcia, Posted on May 2, 2019 at 12:58 pm

Jacklin Garcia

Dear Hiring Manager,

Congrats on your new Synergy developer hire! Recruiting isn’t easy, but now that you’ve found the right person for the job, the real hard work begins. The onboarding period should be used for training your new hire and setting their expectations about the job. This time is crucial, not only to ensure a smooth transition for your team, but also to make your new employee feel welcome. So where do you start?

Tell your Synergex account executive about your new hire

New Synergy developers in the DevPartner program are entitled to a welcome box full of goodies. This box contains educational materials like laminated cheat sheets as well as some fun Synergex-branded items. Don’t forget to mention the new hire’s T-shirt size when you reach out.

Download and modify the suggested 90-day plan

At Synergex, we use 90-day plans for all of our new hires. They are a key part of our onboarding strategy. We’ve created a template plan for you to download and modify from our education library. At the very least, we suggest grabbing the link for the new hire onboarding playlist on YouTube that is referenced in the plan and reviewing the other materials available in library.

Send your new hire to a Synergy DBL Language Essentials class

The best way to learn Synergy DBL is to take this class. Many developers prefer hands-on learning, and in this class, students will build a simple application in Synergy. You can either send developers to our headquarters for the standard five-day training or request a custom class at your location. If a class at HQ isn’t being advertised when you need one, that’s ok! Reach out to classes@synergex.com and we’ll see what we can do.

Have your new hire subscribe, join, or follow us on various platforms

We don’t like to bombard our customers with emails, so connecting with us on sites like YouTube and GitHub is the best way to stay in the know about new educational content. The Synergex Community is also the place for Synergy developers to get advice from their peers and make suggestions for Synergy/DE enhancements.  Bookmarking our online documentation is also a great idea!

Call support early and often

Our support team is incredible, and their services are free with your Synergy DevPartner subscription. Encourage new hires to call in (toll-free from the US and Canada 800.366.3472 or +1.916.635.7300 for all other countries) or email (support@synergex.com) with any Synergy-related problems they may encounter. Our support team is made up of engineers who are more than capable of troubleshooting issues and helping you track down bugs in your codebase. They are also happy to report any product bugs you may encounter directly to our development team. 

Attend a Synergy DevPartner conference

Our conferences provide a dedicated time to learn and immerse yourself in the latest and greatest in the Synergy/DE ecosystem. It’s free for DevPartner subscribers, and it’s a unique opportunity for your new developers to get face-to-face interaction with their Synergy developer peers and the Synergex team.

If you need help identifying any additional educational materials, please reach out to us! Congratulations again on your new Synergy developer, and best of luck with the onboarding process.

Sincerely,

The Synergex Education Team


Highlights from the 2018 Synergy DevPartner Conference

By Synergex, Posted on January 14, 2019 at 3:26 pm

Synergex

As we head into 2019, we reflect back on one of our favorite events of the year: the 2018 Synergy DevPartner Conference in New Orleans.

 

Packed with sessions on topics ranging from modern and agile development practices to RESTful web services to QA and learning culture, not to mention an engaging and illuminating keynote presentation from Microsoft’s Donovan Brown, the conference offered a plethora of info, ideas, tips, tricks, and plans for the future. Case studies and customer demos provided insight into practical implementations of technical concepts, and we were jazzed to introduce our new open source RESTful web services project, Harmony Core. Bourbon Street wasn’t too bad either! The legendary food, music, and culture of one of America’s most historic cities provided a great backdrop to a fun and productive week.

Here are some key takeaways from the conference:

  • Improve your productivity and practices by adopting more efficient development methodologies.
  • Enhance years of Synergy data and code with new technologies, including enabling connectivity through RESTful web services.
  • Security and disaster recovery are important for compliance—stay up to date with Synergy SSL and operating system security patches.
  • Use traditional Synergy in Visual Studio (it’s not as hard as it seems!) to significantly boost productivity, lower the barrier to continuous code integration, and improve your processes and software quality.
  • Move to the cloud. Developing and running your Synergy application in the cloud is relatively easy and provides a convenient path to expand your infrastructure to meet demands.
  • Education in the workplace is important—create an onboarding program that includes presentations, videos, and discussion.

The Synergex team came back to the office energized and ready to implement big plans for Synergy in the new year. We look forward to seeing you at the 2020 conference!

You can check out videos and slides of conference sessions Synergy DevPartner Conference Website.

(more…)


Using the Power of PowerShell with Synergy

By Jerry Fawcett, Posted on November 30, 2018 at 1:56 pm

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Like it or not, change is inevitable. Now that you’ve mastered the command prompt, it’s slowly but surely being replaced by PowerShell. Actually, this process was started by Microsoft way back in 2002, which is how PowerShell came about in the first place.

Starting with Windows 10, the PowerShell command prompt has replaced the Command Prompt as the default. (To control this, toggle the Taskbar setting “Replace Command Prompt with Windows PowerShell in the menu when I right-click the start button or press Widows Key+X.”)

Comparing Command Prompt and Windows PowerShell

PowerShell Up

So you opened a PowerShell window and now everything you try results in copious output in ominous red text? Luckily for those of us who are learning PowerShell from the ground up, PowerShell comes with very complete and verbose help. Just type

get-help cmdlet

For example, you’d use “get-help where” to learn about the powerful where object. However, if you’re familiar with any OO language you’ll probably find PowerShell quite natural.

One would think PowerShell is a Windows-only tool, but surprisingly, Microsoft has made it open source, and it’s also available on macOS, CentOS, and Ubuntu.

You can use PowerShell together with Synergy in many ways, and I’d like to share some of what I’ve learned. Using the power (pun intended) of PowerShell can be helpful in getting information on Synergy products from a machine. Getting this information without PowerShell would be difficult—especially for a non-technical person—and potentially error prone.

By preceding a PowerShell command with “powershell” you can actually run it from a DOS command line without opening a PowerShell console, as the command is passed to the PowerShell processor as a parameter. However, by doing this, you’ll lose the awesome power of tab completion available in the PowerShell console. Try it: Open a DOS command window and type “powershell /?”.

A demo of get-help cmdlet

The PowerShell is Yours!

(At this point, I feel I must tell you that Synergy tools are currently not supported in a PowerShell environment. Ideas post, anyone?)
To list all Synergy products:

Get-WmiObject -ComputerName COMPUTERNAME -Class Win32_Product | sort-object Name | Select-Object Name |where{$_.name -like "*Synergy*"}
Output –
Name
----
Synergy DBL Integration for Visual Studio 10.3.3f
Synergy/DE (X64) 10.3.3f
Synergy/DE 10.3.3f
Synergy/DE Online Manuals 10.3.3
Synergy/DE xfNetLink .NET Edition (X64) 10.3.3f

To list all Windows updates on a machine:

(New-Object -ComObject "Microsoft.Update.Session").CreateUpdateSearcher().QueryHistory(0,(New-Object -ComObject "Microsoft.Update.Session").CreateUpdateSearcher().GetTotalHistoryCount()) | Select-Object Title, Description, Date

If you need to retrieve all events from the Windows Event viewer that deal with the runtime, simply have the end user double-click on a batch file containing the command below and send you the file it creates (C:\temp\SynEventViewerEntries.txt).

powershell Get-EventLog -logname application -source dbr^|Format-List MachineName, Message, TimeGenerated ^|out-file C:\temp\SynEventViewerEntries.txt

To list all installed software on a machine,

Get-WmiObject -ComputerName FAWCETT -Class Win32_Product|Sort-Object name| Select-Object Name, Version

Just so you’re aware, when you get started, you may find no script will successfully run, because script execution is disabled by default. You can enable it as follows:

First, to verify the PowerShell’s execution policy, type

Get-ExecutionPolicy

You’ll probably see

Default is Restricted

To enable execution, you must open the PowerShell command prompt as an Administrator and type

Set-ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted –Force

And just for fun, if— like me—you miss the Windows Experience score that was first introduced with Windows Vista but is now removed, you can use PowerShell to get your machine’s Windows Experience score. The Windows Experience score is a benchmark that measures your PC’s performance in five categories: processor, memory, graphics, gaming graphics, and hard disk performance. The score is the lowest of these benchmarks. To get your machine’s score, run

Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_WinSAT

If you want to learn more, you can search online. Every PowerShell topic I searched for resulted in a wealth of information.

More Power(Shell) to you!

Some good resources:

Microsoft Official PowerShell documentation

Getting Started with Windows PowerShell

PowerShell: The smart person’s guide


CodeGen 5.3.6 Released

By Steve Ives, Posted on September 23, 2018 at 4:43 pm

Steve Ives

Just a quick note to announce that CodeGen 5.3.6 has been released and is available for immediate use. This latest version represents the culmination of a series of recent releases which together have added significant new features across the entire product, including the ability to generate code based on metadata found in the xfServerPlus Synergy Method Catalog.

Many of the new features were added specifically to support code generation for the new Harmony Core RESTful web services framework that we are excited to be introducing at the upcoming DevPartner Conference in New Orleans next month.

If you are joining us for the post-conference Harmony Core workshop then you will need to have this new version of CodeGen installed on your development system; you can download it here. And even if you’re not intending to use the new Harmony Core framework, there are many new features that may be useful to all CodeGen users; we recommend this release for general use.

We’re looking forward to seeing you all in New Orleans between October 8th and 12th. If you haven’t signed up yet, it’s not too late! You can still sign up here.


Performance troubleshooting

By Phil Bratt, Posted on May 14, 2018 at 10:22 am

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In the 1984 movie classic Ghostbusters, we are introduced to Bill Murray’s character Dr. Peter Venkman, a professor of paranormal studies, testing subjects for the gift of clairvoyance—the ability to gain information about an object, person, location, or event through extrasensory perception. While it is clear Dr. Venkman does not take such things very seriously, we can see the advantage of such an ability, particularly for developers.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: “We upgraded X and now Y is happening.” In this case, Y is usually associated with a negative behavior like slow performance, a slew of errors, or a bad user experience. Events like these may induce weariness, nausea, dry mouth, and other various side effects that are usually listed in American pharmaceutical commercials. In summary, they’re unpleasant. If only there were some means to predict these events and avoid them in the future…

Unfortunately, most developers are not gifted with the power of clairvoyance to anticipate problems with upgrades before they happen. But maybe instead of a crystal ball, there are tools that can help us avoid upgrade failure. Let’s look at some things that can help anticipate and/or prevent such issues from happening.

A relatively recent addition to the Synergy documentation is the Configuring for performance and resiliency topic in the Installation Configuration Guide. This topic discusses things that one should take into consideration when running Synergy on any system, and it’s based on years of experience from the Synergex Development staff and the results of their testing. If you haven’t read this section yet, I highly recommend doing so. If you’ve already read it, I recommend a quick refresher the next time you’re looking at major system or software changes.

In Support, we often see issues when developers virtualize systems that run Synergy or when data is migrated and then accessed across a network rather than being stored locally. Both scenarios are discussed in this topic. And as part of Synergy’s web-based documentation set, it’s updated regularly with the latest information. Make sure you take a look before any major upgrade in case there are changes.

Other useful tools for avoiding problems are the Synergex Blog, the Synergy migration guides, KnowledgeBase articles like Guideline for debugging performance issues, and the release notes that come with each version of Synergy. Remember that even if you are just changing the operating system and/or hardware and not your version of Synergy, you should re-review these materials. Some of the considerations they outline may now be relevant, even if they didn’t affect you previously. Also, when testing, remember to take load testing or a process running over time into account. We commonly see pitfalls  when developers neglect these two factors in testing.

Taking Action

Now let’s say that despite your excellent planning, you do see a performance issue. What can you do? Here are some steps I’ve found helpful that might get overlooked. Most have to do with simply eliminating factors that affect performance.

  • Establish a baseline

If you’re going to diagnose a problem in performance, the first thing to do is isolate code or create a piece of code that demonstrates the problem. Make this your baseline test for all of the various configurations you’re going to test. This will make your tests consistent as well as eliminate code changes as a factor.

  • Use a metric

Establish a program you’re going to use to measure the difference in performance. If you’re using a traditional Synergy program as your baseline, you can use the Synergy DBL Profiler, which will count CPU time for you. Just make sure you pick the same metric for your testing—CPU time is not the same as real time. This step will enable you to get measurable results to test what is actually making a difference.

  • One by one, test all the things

I’ve found that the easiest way to plan and visualize testing is to make a tree. Each layer is one aspect you’re testing that continues to branch with every different aspect. For example, I had a situation where a production machine migrated Synergy version, operating system, and hardware and virtualized the OS, all in one move. We picked one thing to change (the virtualization of the OS) and tested it.

Virtualized Non-Virtualized

 

By doing this, we established that virtualization was a factor, because a virtualized environment was slower than a non-virtualized one. We then compared those to the old and new Windows versions, but continued with virtualized and non-virtualized environments using the same virtualization software.

Windows 8 Windows 10
Virtualized Non-Virtualized Virtualized Non-Virtualized
In previous table In previous table

 

On average, this produced the same result. (It was I/O processing, so we did an average of 10-20 runs based on how volatile the results could be.) Next, we compared the Synergy 10 runtime with the Synergy 9 one.

Windows 8 Windows 10
Virtualized Non-Virtualized Virtualized Non-Virtualized
Syn 9 Syn 10 Syn9 Syn 10 Syn 9 Syn10 Syn 9 Syn 10
In previous In previous In previous In previous

 

The tree continued growing until all of the factors were considered and tested.

Closing Thoughts

It can be tedious to test one change at a time, but without that kind of granularity, you can’t establish which change affected performance and by how much. In the example I mentioned above, we established that virtualizing the hardware was causing a problem because of the way the virtual machine software emulated separate cores. We never would have come to such a conclusion without carefully eliminating the many different changes one at a time.

After you’re able to establish exactly which changes caused the performance issue(s) and by how much, you can work on a fix or provide a solid case to whichever software support representative you need to contact to get a fix.

You might know most of this already. You might even know of some methods, tips, etc., for performance issues that I didn’t discuss. Maybe you are clairvoyant and you already knew the contents of this post before I did. Either way, I hope you find this information helpful when you look at performance in the future, in both preventative measures and problem diagnosis.


Big Code

By Richard Morris, Posted on April 13, 2018 at 7:13 am

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If you have large (and I mean LARGE) blocks of code in single source files – and by large I mean 20k lines plus – then you may be having compiler issue with “SEGBIG” errors: “Segment too big”. This issue arises because your code segment is just too big for the compiler to handle and is usually the result of many man years of development to a single routine that has just grown over time.

If you encounter SEGBIG issues, as a customer I have recently worked with did, then this quick blog will give you some practical ideas of how to manage the issue and modify the code to allow for future development and expansion, without having to rewrite the world.

First off, it’s not the physical number of lines of code in the source file that’s the issue, it’s the lines of code and data definitions within each routine block: subroutine or function. Developers have encountered the problem for many years and the resolution has previously been to chop out a section of code, make it into a subroutine or function, and somehow pass all the appropriate data to it – usually by large numbers of arguments or common/global data blocks.

The “today” way is not too dissimilar but is a little more refined: turn the code block into a class. The first major advantage is class-based data. This removes the need to create subroutines or functions that accept large numbers of arguments, or to create large common or global data blocks. As an example:

subroutine BigRoutine

endparams

.include ‘AppCommonData.inc’

record localData

localRoutineData      ,a10

endrecord

proc

call doSomeLogic

call doOtherLogic

xreturn

doSomeLogic,

return

doOtherLogic,

return

end

Obviously this code will not give us a SEGBIG issue, but its an example of the structure of the code. The routine has a common data include and private data. In the routine body we make multiple local label calls. When there is too much data and too many lines of code added we will encounter a SEGBIG error.

So to address this, in the same source file, we can create a class with class-level data (the routine level data) and methods for the local call labels. So, for example:

namespace CompanyName

public class BigRoutineClass

private record localData

localRoutineData      ,a10

endrecord

public method Execute, void

endparams

proc

doSomeLogic()

doOtherLogic()

mreturn

endmethod

method doSomeLogic, void

.include ‘AppCommonData.inc’

proc

mreturn

endmethod

method doOtherLogic, void

.include ‘AppCommonData.inc’

proc

mreturn

endmethod

endclass

endnamespace

In this code, the Execute method becomes the entry point. All the existing code that made the label calls is moved into this routine and the calls changed to method invocations;

doSomeLogic()

doOtherLogic()

Then we can change the existing BigRoutine code;

subroutine BigRoutine

endparams

record

routineInstance       ,@CompanyName.BigRoutineClass

endrecord

proc

routineInstance = new BigRoutineClass()

routineInstance.Execute()

xreturn

end

Simple!

Although the code changes I’ve described here sound monumental, if you use Visual Studio to develop your Traditional Synergy code the process is actually quite simple. Once you have created the scaffolding routine and defined the base class with class level data (which really is a case of cutting and pasting the data definition code), there are a few simple regex commands we can use that will basically do the work for us.

To change all the call references to class method invocations you can use:

Find: ([\t ]+)(call )([\w\d]+)

Replace: $1$3()

 

To change the actual labels into class methods, simply use the following regex:

Find: ^([\t ]+)([a-zA-z0-9_]+)[,]

Replace: $1endmethod\n$1method $2, void\n$1proc

 

And to change the return statements to method returns, use:

Find: \breturn

Replace: mreturn

 

These simple steps will allow you to take your large code routines and make manageable classes from them which can be extended as required.

If you have any questions or would like assistance in addressing your SEGBIG issues, please let me know.


Synergy/DE Documentation Reimagined

By Matt Linder, Posted on April 9, 2018 at 11:01 am

Matt Linder

If you’re a Porsche enthusiast, you probably know about the Nürburgring record set a few months back by a 911 GT2 RS, the latest iteration of the Porsche 911 (see the Wikipedia article). Like many, I find it interesting that the best* production sports car in the world isn’t a new design, but the result of continuous improvement and development since its introduction over 50 years ago. One company, Singer Vehicle Design, takes old 911s and resurrects them as carbon fiber kinetic sculptures in the aesthetic of the older 911s, but with performance that matches some of the fastest new 911s from the factory. They describe these as “Reimagined,” and you can see a video about a Singer 911 or visit the Singer website for more information.

Here in the Documentation department at Synergex, we’ve been doing some reimagining of our own. The Synergy/DE documentation has been continually improved over the years, but since 10.3.3c, we’ve published the Synergy/DE documentation with a new format, a new look, and a new set of underlying technologies and practices. The goal: documentation that is quickly updated to reflect product changes and user input, that is increasingly optimized for online viewing, and that is increasingly integrated with other Synergy/DE content. (And soon it will be better integrated with Visual Studio as well; see a recent Ideas post for details.) You can access the doc just about anywhere (even without internet access), it offers better viewing on a range of screen sizes, and it’s poised for further improvements. If you haven’t seen our new “reimagined” doc, check it out at synergex.com/docs.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • A better, more responsive UI for an improved experience when viewing documentation from a desktop system, a laptop, or a tablet.
  • Technologies that facilitate more frequent updates and allow us to increasingly optimize content for online use.
  • Improved navigation features. The Contents tab and search field adapt to small screens, the UI includes buttons that enable you to browse through topics, and a Synergy Errors tab makes it easy to locate error documentation.
  • Quick access to URLs for subheadings. To get the URL for a topic or subheading (so you can share it or save it for later), just right-click the chain-link icon next to a heading and copy the link address.
  • The ability to print the current topic (without printing the Contents tab, search field, etc.) and to remove highlighting that’s added to topics when you use the search feature.
  • Local (offline) access. If you’re going somewhere where internet access is limited, download and install the Local Synergy/DE Product Documentation, which is available on the Windows downloads page for 10.3.3.

See the Quick Tips YouTube video for a brief visual tour of the documentation, and let us know what you think. In the footer for every documentation topic, there is a “Comment on this page” link you can use to send us your input. We look forward to hearing from you!

*Just an opinion!


A Winning Formula

By Richard Morris, Posted on February 15, 2018 at 3:28 am

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For a recent project I’ve worked with a customer who wished to provide their users with an engaging desktop application that would allow management of product formulations.  They had a Synergy UI Toolkit version and also elements of the required application in a third-party system. However, neither met the needs of the users.  After a review and discussions about their requirements we agreed on a Synergy .NET Windows Presentation Foundation based application using Infragistics tooling for the User Experience.

The basic requirements of the application where to allow the creation and maintenance of formulations.  A formulation contains the components required to make a finished product.  For this customer the final product is an aerosol. 

Let’s take a look

The basic interface is built using the Infragistics control to handle navigation (Ribbon menu control), listing and selection of data (powerful DataGrid), hierarchical representation of the formulation components (TreeView) and management of finished product details (Property Grid);

Of course, using the Infragistics DockManager allows the user to drag and reposition all the available windows to their liking.

There are powerful searching facilities, or QBE (Query By Example) controls.  These allow the user to provide snippets of information and the application will query the Synergy DBMS database using Symphony Harmony and the Synergex.SynergyDE.Select class;

The top line of the QBE controls allow the user to enter the data in the columns they wish to search for and so only select the data they require and not have to filter through a list of thousands of formulations.

Because the application is written in Synergy, the existing printing capabilities from the original UI Toolkit application have been retained without change;

The whole application is written in Synergy .NET and utilises the Symphony Framework for controlling the data access and presentation.  If you would like more details, or would like to know how you can build modern applications with Synergy .NET please drop me an email.


What a Cracking Idea

By Richard Morris, Posted on February 9, 2018 at 5:52 am

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The Synergex Resource Center Community site has a number of great features including the Answers and Ideas portals. Ideas is the place to post your ideas for improving Synergy and related products. You can vote for ideas and provide comment and feedback to help the whole community be more successful. The Synergex community site had an idea posted recently:

You can read the full idea at the Synergex Resource Center.

Synergy DBMS Manager

The Synergy DBMS Manager allows you to query and manage data in your Synergy data files using Symphony Data Objects.

Code generating Symphony Data Objects for your files is a simple process.  Ensure you have your Synergy Repository configured. You need to define the structure and associated file definition for each file you wish to be able to manage using the utility.  There are full instructions at the Symphony Framework page which walk you through the few simple steps to building your data object assembly in Synergy .Net.  Not sure how to build Synergy .NET assemblies – then send me your repository and I’ll do it for you!

To query data you simply issue the required select command and define the response data object;

Simple, and you can scroll through the results.  The idea posted was to be able to then export the selected data to Microsoft Excel so that further review and analysis can be performed.

A new toolbar button has been added and the GemBox Spread assembly used to easily create the Excel document.  Now you can export all the selected rows to an Excel document:

If you’d like more details, please visit the Symphony Framework page or contact me directly.

 

 

 


Protecting Data

By Richard Morris, Posted on February 7, 2018 at 5:06 am

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Whenever I work with customers code there is almost always a need to “run” their applications.  That means I need data.  To ensure that Synergex protects our customers data and that we conform to the various data security requirements of todays world there is usually a need to cleanse the data before I get access to it.  This cleansing process is like redacting words or phrases in a document – to prevent the consumer (in this case me) from seeing the real data.

With Synergy today there are basically two ways to do this;  write a program to clear or set the data fields within the records in the file to a specific value or configure Synergy xfODBC and use a database management tool.  If you don’t want to write code, or license and configure xfODBC you can use the Synergy DBMS Manager.

The Synergy DBMS Manager is a simple utility that can be used to redact data in your Synergy DBMS files.  Your can download and install the Synergy DBMS Manager utility by visiting the downloads page.  The utility uses Symphony Data Objects to describe the data in your files – these are easy to code generate.

Code generating Symphony Data Objects for your files is a simple process.  Ensure you have your Synergy Repository configured. You need to define the structure and associated file definition for each file you wish to be able to manage using the utility.  There are full instructions which walk you through the few simple steps to building your data object assembly in Synergy .Net.  Not sure how to build Synergy .Net assemblies – then send me your repository and I’ll do it for you!

Synergy DBMS Manager

Once you have the data object library built, you simple run the utility:

You’ll need to locate the “Data object assembly” that you have just built, and following that select the “Table mapping method”.  Enter the password and you’ll be in the utility and ready to manage your Synergy DBMS data.

You can perform simple queries to locate and review the data in a file;

Now you can easily redact the data in the file – remember you are affecting the ACTUAL data in the file, so make sure this is a copy of the data file and NOT your LIVE data, there is no rollback functionality!

Simply issue an update command;

Notice the result count () at the bottom of the screen.  Because we didn’t specify a where clause then all records in the file were affected by the requested update.  Now you can perform a simple query and see the results;

This data is now cleaned.  If you need to send data to Synergex Support to assist then to resolve an issue you have, this is a great way to redact and protect that data before sending it.

If you’d like more details, please visit the Symphony Framework page or contact me directly.


CodeGen 5.2.3 Released

By Steve Ives, Posted on December 1, 2017 at 11:18 pm

Steve Ives

We are pleased to announce the release of CodeGen version 5.2.3. The new release includes new features, addresses some issues found with previous releases, and also paves the way for once again being able to use CodeGen on non-Windows platforms through experimental support for the .NET Core environment.

As always, you can download the latest version of CodeGen from here.

CodeGen Version 5.2.3 Release Notes

  • Added a new experimental utility to the distribution. The Code Converter utility can be used to automate bulk searches within and bulk edits to an applications code. This utility is in a usable form. However, it is still a work in progress and is likely to undergo substantial changes as it evolves.
  • Added two new utility routines (IsDate.dbl and IsTime.dbl) that are referenced by some of the supplied sample template files.
  • Corrected a regression that was introduced in the previous release which caused the field loop expansion token <FIELD_SQL_ALTNAME> not to default to using the actual field name if no alternate name was present.
  • Performed an extensive code review and cleanup, updating the code in several areas to take advantage of new features available in the Synergy compiler, and also improving efficiency.
  • Fixed an issue that was causing the CreateFile utility -r (replace file) option to fail, an existing file would not be replaced even if the -r option was specified.
  • Fixed an issue in the CreateFile utility that would result in an unhanded exception in the event that invalid key information was passed to XCALL ISAMC.
  • Made some minor code changes to allow CodeGen to be built in a .NET Core environment and we hope to be able to leverage .NET Core to once again support the use of CodeGen on non-Windows systems (starting with Linux) in the near future.
  • This version of CodeGen was built with Synergy/DE 10.3.3d and requires a minimum Synergy version of 10.1.1 to operate.

Symphony Framework Components

  • We no longer ship the Symphony Framework sample templates with CodeGen. You can obtain the latest Symphony Framework templates from the Symphony Framework web site (http://www.symphonyframework.net).
  • There were no Symphony Orchestrator changes in this release.
  • There were no Symphony Framework CodeGen Extensions changes in this release.

CodeGen 5.2.2 Released

By Steve Ives, Posted on October 25, 2017 at 3:00 pm

Steve Ives

We are delighted to announce the availability of the CodeGen version 5.2.2 release that includes the following enhancements and changes:

CodeGen Version 5.2.2 Release Notes

  • Added a new field loop expansion token <FIELD_FORMATSTRING> which can be used to access a fields format string value.
  • Added a new command-line option -utpp which instructs CodeGen to treat user-defined tokens as pre-processor tokens. This means that user-defined tokens are expanded much earlier during the initial tokenization phase, which in turn means that other expansion tokens may be embedded within the values of user-defined tokens.
  • Removed the RpsBrowser utility from the distribution; it was an experimental project that was never completed.

This version of CodeGen was built with Synergy/DE 10.3.3d and requires a minimum Synergy version of 10.1.1 in order to operate.


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