BRIDGE THE DATA TRANSFER GAP!

Export Bridge Art Work

FROM PICK TO OTHER OPERATING SYSTEMS

FROM REVELATION TO OTHER MS-DOS APPLICATIONS

With Kingsgate Enterprises, Inc.'s

EXPORT Processor

The EXPORT Processor


Kingsgate Enterprises, Inc.'s EXPORT processor is a powerful and capable data exporting tool. EXPORT allows more flexibility for your computer environment. Now LOTUS123, DBASE ˙II/III, Paradox, Rbase System V/5000, Word Star, Word Perfect and many other applications can use your PICK or Revelation data.

EXPORT transforms PICK multivalued items into individual records, providing a bridge for transferring data to most popular Personal Computers using MS-DOS, CPM, UNIX, OS÷9 and other operating systems. First, single valued attributes are paired with multivalued attributes to form separate data records. Second, they are converted into ASCII delimited or ASCII fixed length records. They can even be changed into EBCDIC records (on the PICK version, only).

The EXPORT processor can do more than transform multivalued data. It's upload and down load capabilities can be used to transfer text files, dictionaries, or raw data between the PICK host and an attached PC. The EXPORT processor can even be used to reformat your current multi-valued items to PICK applications that require single valued items.

How it works

Data can be transferred to another computer by serial communication or by tape. Serial communication is the same link that all terminals and modems use. A personal computer (PC) with a serial port and a terminal emulation program can be attached to the PICK host computer as a terminal. Anything that is displayed on the PC can be captured and written to a PC data file. This data can be imported into many applications on the PC. Almost any computer that can be attached to the PICK host as a terminal can capture data. If it can't be attached, data may still be transmitted to it by tape or by using a PC as an intermediate link.

Data is EXPORTED from the PICK environment based on a data definition. The data definition is maintained in the Export definition (XP) file. The XP file ITEM ID is the name of the file whose data will be exported and an image number. Up to 999 image numbers may be used for any file. Each image provides a consistent view of the data for an importing application.

Items are read from the PICK data file and at least one ASCII text line is created for each item. Each exported text line will become an individual record in the importing application. If multi-valued data is being exported an additional text line will be created for each multi-value. Single valued attributes and smaller multi-valued attributes may be repeated or left blank on the additional text lines.

Conversions can be applied to each attribute as needed. Any conversion supported in the PICK host computers version of BASIC can be used. "F" correlatives and file translate correlatives are also supported. Each text line can be scanned and excluded from exporting if it matches pre-selected criteria based on one or more fields. This allows exporting a specific sub-set of related multi-valued records.

Data Definition Maintenance

The XP.MAINT module maintains the Export (XP) image file. It can be used by itself or as part of the EXPORT process. It maintains these fields:

The "F" Correlative sequence for each image. (The order of processing division, subtraction, etc. is in the reverse order in some implementations of PICK.)

The ASCII data format that is for the exported text lines; delimited or fixed length.

The field separators and delimiters used in ASCII delimited format text lines.

An option to delimit all fields or only text fields in ASCII delimited format.

The zero (0) fill option. This determines whether a blank numeric field will be exported as a null or a zero. Some applications will not take a null for a numeric field.

The ASCII delimited or fixed format text lines will be built in the order that the XP file definitions are stored. For each attribute being exported, or each special conversion the following information is maintained:

Data Field Name. This can be optionally exported as the first record.

PICK File Item Attribute Number. Use 0 (zero) for "F" correlatives and special conversions.

Input Correlatives. This defines any PICK BASIC input correlatives for the attribute. These can be any supported conversion (OCONV) or "F" correlatives and file translate correlatives.

Output Conversions. This defines any PICK BASIC output conversions for the attribute. These can be any supported conversion (OCONV) or "F" correlatives and file translate correlatives.

Repeat Code. This defines whether a field should be null or should be repeated when there are no more corresponding values for an item.

Text Field Flag. This defines which attributes are text fields for ASCII delimited format records.

Justification. This defines whether an attribute will be Left or Right justified for ASCII fixed length records.

Length. This defines the field length for ASCII fixed length format records.

Fields can be modified, inserted or deleted. There is no maximum on the number of fields that can be used for an image. The fields can be real attributes or virtual attributes. Virtual attributes can be either "F" correlatives or file translates.

Exporting the Data

The EXPORT module uses the data in the XP file to build individual ASCII delimited or ASCII fixed length data records. The EXPORT module prompts for File name and Image number. The file name and image number must be defined on the XP file and the file must be available to the user. If a valid file/image combination is entered, the export process proceeds.

The EXPORT module prompts for several options. These are:

Schema export. The schema or data definition can be exported by itself. This is useful in setting up data definitions for databases. The schema is always exported in ASCII delimited format.

Field Name export. The field names may be exported as the first record. This is useful for some spreadsheets and other applications.

Export Line Numbers. The line number for each record can be exported as the first field in each record.

Prompt for Select Statement. A select statement can be prompted for in the EXPORT module. This select statement can be either a SELECT, SSELECT or a GET-LIST statement. If a statement is not entered then all records on the file will be selected. The select is done using a PERFORM statement on most PICK implementations. For those that do not support the PERFORM statement, it is simulated by a subroutine and a PROC.

Modify the Schema. Prior to exporting the data, the XP.MAINT module can be run. This is useful for last minute changes and for changing ASCII output format. This feature can be disabled by modifying the PROC to automatically answer NO to this prompt.

Route to Tape. This is available on the PICK version, only. It is not prompted for on the Revelation version.

EBCDIC Conversion. The data can be converted to EBCDIC. This, along with output to tape and ASCII fixed length format, can prepare data for use on EBCDIC computers. This is available on the PICK version, only, it is not supported on the Revelation version.

Route to System File or Screen. The data records can be sent to a file on the PICK host or to the terminal emulator screen. File exporting can be used to reformat records from multi-valued to single valued records on the PICK host. It can be useful if exact, multiple copies of the same exported data are needed. When the data is sent to the screen, it can be captured on the PC workstation. On the Revelation version, there is an option to export the data directly to an MS-DOS file.

The XP.MAINT module is run if it was requested, then the Select Statement is performed.

When the conversion is ready to begin the message "ENTER <CR> TO START THE CONVERSION" is displayed. The data capture must be started on the PC before the carriage return is entered. The terminal emulator or modem program should send the carriage return to the EXPORT module.

Down Loading ASCII Data With No Conversion

The Down Load module transfers ASCII data without any conversions to other computers. Down Load sends data to the screen, which can be captured in the same way as EXPORTed data. The module prompts for the File Name and the Item Name. If DICT is specified before the file name, then the dictionary section of the file is down loaded. A portion of each item (starting through ending attribute numbers) can be specified. This module is useful for transferring text, programs and dictionaries.

If a SELECT or GET-LIST has been used, an asterisk (*) can be entered for the item name. This down loads multiple items with the ITEM ID as the first field and ends each item with a delimiter line. The delimiter line can be used by the upload module to divide the file back into individual items. This is useful for transferring dictionary items and data with no conversion between PICK computers, via a PC. The Revelation version will down load data to an MS-DOS file.

Text lines may be too long to use in other applications. If there is a maximum limit to line lengths, the lines can be broken into smaller segments. An item in the XP file dictionary defines the maximum allowable length.

Up Loading ASCII Data

The Up Load module receives data via the serial port from the attached workstation. The module prompts for the File Name and the Item Name. If DICT is specified before the file name, then the dictionary section of the file is up loaded.

Closing brackets "}" and vertical double dashes "|" can be converted to value marks and secondary value marks. This is necessary on some computers because they disregard the high bit of value and secondary value marks. (There are eight data bits in ASCII data. For example, MS-DOS uses the eighth or high bit for special characters. When characters are transmitted, they are converted into standard characters and the high bit is lost. Value marks become closing brackets and secondary value marks change to vertical double dashes.)

Multiple items can be created during the up load in two different ways. The first method is to separate a file based on the method used to separate multiple items in the Down Load module. The item name is the first field and the ending delimiter is the last field in each individual item.

The second method is to up load each line in a file as a separate item. Each item has an Item ID that is made up of an item name, an asterisk and a sequential number. A verification check is made to see if an item with the first number already exists. If it does, the option is given to clear out the old data, append to it after the last sequential number, or use a different name.

The Up Load module expects to receive data as if an operator was entering it. This is the way that most terminal and modem programs transmit data. The module prompts for the next line with a plus (+) sign and ends waits for a carriage return at the end of each line. This convention is used because it is a function of BASIC, it is compatible with most terminal emulators and it even works for computers that do not support any handshaking (X-ON/X-OFF).

Long lines can present a problem; the limit is 140 characters on most PICK implementations. If the lines are longer, a carriage return will be substituted for the 141st character and that character will be lost. This can be prevented by using the same line continuation character that is used by the Down Load module. This is not a special character and can be entered at the end of a line through the keyboard. The continuation character can be used consecutively; lines of up to 31 thousand character length can be built.

If an item exceeds 32K characters (64K in Revelation) in length, it cannot be written to a PICK data file and the module will abort. To prevent this, items are broken into separate items just before they reach this limit (at 31000 characters).

PICK Compatible Terminal Emulators

A PICK compatible terminal emulator is provided for use on MS-DOS compatible computers at no additional cost. It provides ADDS Viewpoint compatible cursor positioning and simple up loading and down loading. It does not have automatic modem dialing or any other special features. There are several commercial, PICK compatible terminal emulators that provide many extras. The one that we have had the most success with is SOFTERM PC from Softronics. Softronics also has an APPLE IIE compatible terminal emulator. There are terminal emulators for Apple MacIntosh, Unix, OS-9 and most other single and small multi user computer operating systems.

EXPORT, The Best of Both Worlds

With it's many features, the EXPORT processor is a valuable tool for computers using the PICK operating system or for MS-DOS computers using Revelation. Solid network type systems can be constructed using a PICK host and PC's with terminal emulators for work stations. Word processing, spreadsheets and many more applications run better and faster on single user computers. Multi-user data base operations perform better on Pick operating system (or other multi-user) computers. Data can be EXPORTed to the work station computers and manipulated without affecting data on the PICK host. Letters, memos and documents can be written and edited on the PC's and uploaded to the PICK host for distribution. Many functions not available on the PICK host can be accessed from the PC's, but the power of the PICK database is still available. The need for both PC's and terminals is eliminated. The EXPORT processor helps provide the best features of multi-user computers with the performance of single user computers.

Availability

The EXPORT processor run time version for Revelation is $250; the complete package for PICK is $500. Both are available from:

Kingsgate Enterprises, Inc.

NOTE:  This page is information for historical reference.  We still have the product but it has not been marketed since 1986.  If you are interested, please email us at:  export@kingsgate-enterprises.com

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