Browse Prior Art Database

Automatic System Customizer Configurator

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000080368D
Original Publication Date: 1973-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-27
Document File: 4 page(s) / 48K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Miller, IM: AUTHOR

Abstract

An interactive hierarchical programming scheme is described for enabling customized programs in a variety of fields to be produced, by personnel having relatively little programming experience or background. The procedure is as follows:

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Automatic System Customizer Configurator

An interactive hierarchical programming scheme is described for enabling customized programs in a variety of fields to be produced, by personnel having relatively little programming experience or background. The procedure is as follows:

1. The ultimate user or one familiar with the problem or task to be performed reviews the problem with a questionnaire organizer, who articulates an appropriate list of questions. These are entered into the computer via an interactive typing terminal, controlled by a basic custom configurator program system for application program assembly. The computer replays the questions (typically at another terminal) to a program developer under control of the BOP (basic operating program). The program developer seeks to interact with the computer, on a skilled level, to establish an efficient sequence of presentation of the questions (to the ultimate user), as a selective junction of responses to preceding questions. When the order of question presentation has been thus defined the program developer interacts further to enter correlation information into the computer, which correlates the questions to various branch points in the questionnaire.

2. In the next step the developer enters a list of data names and as these are replayed he defines suggested characteristics (length, decimal point position, sign, etc.). He then enters information to correlate these to specific questions. Thus, if a question is unanswered, the associated data name will not be presented to the ultimate user.

3. Finally, the developer interacts with the accumulated data to group the data names together, to form input/output formats for the ultimate application program.

4. When the customer or ultimate user receives the program packaged by the foregoing process, his first action is to interact with the program at a terminal to have the questions presented to him in selective sequence, dependent upon his responses. His responses are also selectively ordered in the computer memory. Upon answering all of the selected questions, he is asked to accept or redefine the appropriate data characteristics and to specify the data format in the various records. The program is then usable for processing the users business or scientific data, in batch or time shared mode, and to produce as output the desired information (e.g., hard copy, printout, punched card, etc.).

Due to the correlation provided by the developer, the user program may be modified or redeveloped with little effort at any stage of its applicational use. The correlation and further refinements of the program remain transparent to the ultimate user.

Fig. 1 diagrams the various functions of the system and the switch settings (stored translation table) provided for function retrieval. Thus, SW1 represents switch 1 and 1-2 represents option two of switch 1.

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Assume for instance that the contemplated application is to provide a program...