Browse Prior Art Database

User Maintained Software

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000061136D
Original Publication Date: 1986-May-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-09
Document File: 1 page(s) / 12K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Feeney, JW: AUTHOR

Abstract

A computer program that allows user flexibility for changes yet prevents the user from inducing program failure caused by incorrectly entered changes is accomplished by writing a program such that the portions under the user's control are driven by tables which are maintained with an editor, text processor, or spreadsheet program. The program uses these tables at execution time to control the input, processing, and output required of the program. In this manner, the user can make minor changes to the program's operation without the need to modify the program. The following is an example of how this invention is implemented. The application is a job tracking system that collects information and calculates quantities for each operation performed on a job.

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User Maintained Software

A computer program that allows user flexibility for changes yet prevents the user from inducing program failure caused by incorrectly entered changes is accomplished by writing a program such that the portions under the user's control are driven by tables which are maintained with an editor, text processor, or spreadsheet program. The program uses these tables at execution time to control the input, processing, and output required of the program. In this manner, the user can make minor changes to the program's operation without the need to modify the program. The following is an example of how this invention is implemented. The application is a job tracking system that collects information and calculates quantities for each operation performed on a job. The program must read operation and operator data from barcode readers, calculate the quantity associated with the operation, and store the quantity and operation data so that a spreadsheet can be used to analyze it.

The requirement to change the program occurs when operators, operations, barcode reader locations, or quantity calculations vary over time. Therefore, the program was written so that these factors are described by tables that the user maintains using the same spreadsheet program that is used to analyze the data. When the user changes a table, a program is run that generates executable code from the tables. Included in this code are error t that will report any error encountere...