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|Year 2000 help in threes:
Do the TimeWarp, again
|Solution supplies unique feature,
for MPE/iX date/time simulations
TimeWarp/3000 was developed by Shawn M. Gordon,
the 3000 NewsWires Inside
TimeWarp/3000 competes with Time
Machine (see our TestD
rive in the September 1997 issue) and Hourglass 2000 (see our TestD
rive in the November 1997 issue). Even though these products are
I found one unique feature in
TimeWarp/3000 which I detail below.
Simply stated, TimeWarp/3000 can be used to change the date and time so you can test your software executing with that date/time even though the rest of your systems are using the current date/time. This gives you the ability to test your software as if it was operating in any future or previous year without having to change the system clock. Using TimeWarp/3000 you can:
Change the date/time
(absolute or relative) for any MPE or POSIX
application that retrieves the
TimeWarp/3000 is first enabled using the supplied UDC command WARP ENABLE (you must have SM or OP capability). TimeWarp/3000 stays enabled until you disable it (WARP DISABLE) or the system is rebooted. Once enabled, all automatic rules are honored for logons (jobs/sessions) and you can use the UDC command WARP TURNON to set a virtual date/time locally.
WARP TURNON overrides any logon rule that might have been established, and you can use WARP TURNOFF to cancel any local date/time setting. Once your environment is controlled by TimeWarp/3000, all calls to system date/time routines are trapped and the virtual date/time is returned instead of the current system date/time.
Any jobs you stream will inherit the current TimeWarp/3000 virtual date/time, and session/job banners displayed on $STDLIST contain information advising you that you are operating under a TimeWarp/3000 virtual date/time.
Any files you update will be date/time stamped with the system date/time, regardless of your TimeWarp/3000 settings. This is a design choice which invokes two issues. First, it allows you to test your software without mucking up file labels, which can help in preserving backups, for example. However, if your application is dependent on date/time stamps in files, you cant correctly simulate the date and time. If this is important to you, you might want to investigate Hourglass 2000 from Allegro Consulting. Note that SHOWJOB will show the current system date/time and not your virtual date/time when using TimeWarp.
I verified that TimeWarp
correctly simulates dates with MPE/Posix
date and variables. For example,
SHOWVAR HPDAT@ and ECHO $HPDATEF
will return your virtual date/time.
The TimeWarp/3000 virtual date and time can be set the following ways:
1. Absolute date and time constant. The date/time value you specify will always be returned. For example, if you specify an absolute date/time of 2000/01/01 10:00 the system will return this date/time for the entire duration of your job/session.
2. Relative date and time value. The date/time is relative to the real system clock. For example, if you specify a relative date/time of +1 YEARS then the date will always be 1 year more than the current system date and the time will be current system time.
A TimeWarp/3000 virtual date/time can be set up for a job or session using these three methods:
1. Issuing the WARP TURNON command with a specified virtual date/time. The job/session will operate under this virtual date/time until logoff, another WARP TURNON command or the WARP TURNOFF command is issued.
2. A configured rule exists for the matching job/session. When the job/session logs on it will be assigned the configured virtual date/time. The configured rule matches on job/session type, job/session name, user and account names. Wild cards are permitted. You can also set up a rule that excludes users from being assigned a virtual date/time.
3. A job created from a job/session that has a virtual date/time in operation inherits the virtual date/time from the originating job/session. If you have an online system that launches background jobs (for reporting or other tasks) you will find this feature very helpful. I found it incredibly useful in testing our very complex online application system. It worked so well that we have made it a requirement for any Year 2000 tool we use.
TimeWarp/3000 can trace any calls to date/time related routines. These are the options you can set:
TRACE sends output to $STDLIST
TimeWarp/3000 includes MANAGER, which is a character-based program with pull-down windows used to perform the following tasks:
Shows all users operating
under a TimeWarp/3000 virtual date/time.
I received my TimeWarp/3000 installation as an e-mail attachment (approximately 400K) which included command files for uploading to my HP 3000 using either Reflection or MS 92. Installing TimeWarp/3000 this way requires the freeware program LZW from Telamon (available by FTP from ftp.telamon.com/dist/ or indirectly from other HP 3000 Web sites such as 3k Associates).
You can also use the tried and true method of tape (DAT/Reel) by calling OmniSolutions or submitting a request from their Web site. I did not find a way to download a demo copy from their Web site. Hopefully they will add this capability in the future.
The installation went smoothly
(it installs into the TIMEWARP
account), and can be done without
disrupting your existing users.
A systemwide UDC is added to make
the TimeWarp/3000 commands available
systemwide. I found the
documentation complete, thorough and clear
in describing the features of the
product. A nice touch is a complete
list of all the date/time related
accesses intercepted by TimeWarp/3000
for virtual date/time support, as
well as a complete list of installed
files and their purpose.
I have a short list of simple criteria for recommending any software product for the HP 3000:
It must work as
advertised, provide a useful function, and contain
features that I would find helpful
when using the product.
On all counts TimeWarp/3000 met
or exceeded my requirements. Couple
this with a pricing scheme that is
affordable for shops of varying
sizes and you have a product that I
would not hesitate to recommend
for doing Year 2000 testing and