VISIT REPORT L. Burnard

ICL Computer House

12 April 79

ICL/DMUG End User Facilities Sub Group (79) 3rd Meeting

Brief presentations on the conceptual views supported by some existing front ends to IDMS systems. R.Haydock (Plessey) described the structure supported by their homegrown interface to 1900 IDMS; Ed Dee (ERCC) summarised work done by M.Kay on a relational subschema and two speakers from ICL gave short accounts of the FAME ('hierarchic') interface and of the FORAL ('binary') interface respectively. The MOD (OPCON) spec for a query language mentioned at the last meeting was distributed and I have a copy if anyone is interested. C.Chang of ICL also spoke on GPLAN, a simple interface to IDMS which however makes some unwarranted assumptions about the structures represented. Of these presentations, only that on the relational view seemed to me to be of much use, the others being somewhat perfunctory and ad hoc. The Plessey product was also of interest in that it had evolved q

uite naturally from software originally written to support their conventional flatfiles during their changeover to IDMS. Dataskil were ^elieved to be marketing a similar product.

There was some (fairly murderous) criticism of the draft section-headings for the final report proposed by J.West (Oxfordshire CC); much of this was re-worded and re-ordered. Various people were nominated to write sections describing the conceptual views discussed at the meeting: I got stuck with the binary view, as a prize for having read the article in question more recently than the ICL speaker.