Post Office DPE , London

ICL.IDMS User Group Meeting

21 April 1980

ICL gave a presentation of the next release (DD250) of Data Display which is due for release this summer. This product now presents a very user-friendly interface to an IDMS database. There are a few new features (in particular the ability to constrain selection by boolean expressions of arbitrary complexity using dummy characters) this they somewhat grandiosley call "fuzzy-matching"} and an extensive 'HELP' command) but most of the changes from DD2DO are essentially mopping up and extending what was half done already. The full facilities now available for user-defined macros in particular give DD considerable power and it should prove very useful in simplifying use of IDMS databases by 'non-programmers'. ICL were also due to give a presentation on the probable contents of IDMS 300 (the next

major release of the base product) but were unable to do do because of

internal bickerings. I discovered that there might be problems making any

new facilities in the base product automatically available from Fortran, and complained accordingly, hopefully to some effect. Over a lengthy liquid lunch I discussed my ideas for an algol68 interface with delegates from ERCC and QMC , among other things. After lunch the group discussed ICL's response to the shortfalls paper, which was bye and large satisfactory, if non-committal.