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3rd Annual Conference by Mr. Craig M. Bobchin

The 3rd Annual Revelation Technologies User Conference New Orleans, LA -

Mr. Craig M. Bobchin$!SH!$

Ahhh New Orleans, home of Dixieland Jazz, Cajun Food, the French Quarter, Bourbon St and the 1993 Revelation Developers conference.

The past year has seen many changes in the Revelation world, the sale of the HR-1 product line to Ceridian, the release of Advanced Revelation 3.0, and the introduction of Open Insight. This year's conference, RTI's third, promised to be the biggest and best yet.

Held at the Riverside Hilton in New Orleans from Feb. 28th 1993 to Mar. 3 1993, the conference was host to over 500 users and developers of AREV, HR applications and Open Insight. To satisfy all of these varying and sometimes overlapping interests, The Conference was broken up into 5 separate tracks or focuses. In brief they were: Applications Developer, Advanced Developer, Windows & Client-Server, HRMS for Practitioners and HRMS hands-on.

The conference opened with a presentation by Revelation Technologies CEO Jim Acquaviva. During his talk he discussed such topics as what changes were happening in the company and what effects that would have on the AREV community. He also spoke about the sale of the HR product division and the move to the East Coast from the Northwest.

Ceridian gave a presentation on what will be in HR-1 ver 5.5 which is currently in beta test. HR-1 ver 5.5 will feature several enhancements First and foremost will be to upgrade HR-1 to AREV ver 3.02: This will make HR-1 be on virtually the same AREV release as is the most current version of AREV. I'd expect a slight upgrade to AREV ver 3.03 not to far along. RTI and Ceridian both would like to see HR-1 and AREV have simultaneous upgrades.

With so many tracks and breakout sessions it was impossible to get to them all. Some of the highlights were noted AREV developer Andrew McAuley's presentation on the new AREV system subroutines. In AREV 3.x RTI has started to change many of the existing TCL commands to be callable subroutines from RBASIC programs.

Another session focused on what it will take to port existing AREV applications to AREV 3.x. With the release of 3.0 RTI's upgrade became a complex and time consuming ordeal for some users. This session discussed the two types of upgrades available, TRADEUP and UPGRADE, and reasons for choosing one over the other. It also went into detail why RTI made some of the changes it did in the initial 3.0 release. One of the high points of the discussion was the announcement that in ver 3.03 due out at the end of March , the use of dots in table and field names will be supported again. RTI came under fire when they dropped support for this in ver 3.0. AREV ver 3.1 is slated for mid summer release and will feature a band oriented report writer.

The real darling of the conference was the debut of Open Insight 2.0. While it was still in alpha test at the conference it was a fairly stable system and allowed people to see what RTI has in store to meet the onslaught of Windows databases. These were always the most crowded sessions and some were repeated to try and fill the demand. For those seeking to move to Open Insight from AREV, there was a session on what it will take to post your applications from AREV to OI. OI will be able to use Advanced Revelation's LH file system so it is possible to have both OI and AREV applications hitting against the same data.

OI will use a repository style to hold all of the entities for an application. It will support development by more than one person through the use of a check-in / check-out procedure. If a developer is working on a screen they must first check it out of the repository. This puts a lock on it so no one else can make changes to it until it is returned to the repository. With the size of systems and development teams growing this is a welcome feature. Based on a brief hands-on and the looks that were given at the RTI booth, Open insight will be a very popular and hot product in the next few years.

Revelation Technologies took some time to explain to conference attendees exactly what directions they intended to take over the next year or two. The se included marketing strategies as well as technical enhancements to the product. Some of the juicier tidbits revealed were:

  Banded report writer     First demonstrated last year and expected in AREV
                           3.0 it will be released as part of AREV 3.1 in
                           mid summer. This report writer will allow users
                           to paint a report on the screen and then send it
                           to the printer, screen, file or any combination
                           of the three. It looked easy to use and even
                           created RBASIC source code.

  CPH                      A possible replacement file structure was touched
                           upon as well. Called Composite Perfect Hashing it
                           is supposed to be a replacement for LH files. It
                           will be faster, easier to use and still retain
                           many of the advantages of LH files.

  OS/2                     A version of AREV 3.1 for OS/2 at the same time
                           AREV 3.1 for DOS is released. They have a
                           commitment to GUI's Client Server technology,
                           Object orientation and repository development.
                           There was no discussion about an OI product for
                           OS/2, and just passing mention made of Windows

The Conference also had an area where over thirty vendors gathered to show their products and services. There were a few stand outs here. Among them were:

 Search Technologies were showing their indexing replacement Spindex 2.0.
                     Spindex is much quicker than Advanced Revelation's
                     native indexing and allows for multiple work stations
                     to update indexes simultaneously. They have also
                     released a BFS replacement called Spinfile. Spinfile
                     is claimed to be 2-3 times faster than native AREV. It
                     also eliminates Group Format Errors (GFEs).

   Lester Associates were showing their band oriented report writer R3. This
                     program will allow users to layout complex reports in a
                     visual manner, with lines, shading, and font control.
                     It will work in any version of AREV from 1.1 to 3.x. It
                     features WYSIWYG layout, and can pull data from
                     multiple files.

      Synpro Systems were showing a host of AREV tools. Including a report
                     writer, and several developer utilities. Perhaps the
                     most interesting product was the ICB (Intelligent Code
                     Builder). The ICB allows you to store frequently used
                     code segments and subroutines and include them in any
                     program at the touch of a key. It also includes a
                     subroutine builder and syntax checker.

  Atkin & Associates were demonstrating their PopupBtree 2.0 utility.
                     PopupBtree is a utility which allows you to build &
                     instantly display sorted popups without performing a
                     SELECT. It also supports multiple popups and filters on

Mr. Craig M. Bobchin, 12103 S. Brookhurst st. E-221 Garden Grove CA, 92640-2852 (714) 220-2090 Mr. Craig M. Bobchin 570-59-7428

(Volume 4, Issue 8, Pages 8-10)
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