[Robelle] [SmugBook] [Index] [Prev] [Next]

Suprtool is a High-Speed Sort/Scan Tool

Suprtool is a Robelle product that works on MPE and HP-UX systems. On both systems, Suprtool uses block reads and a proprietary sorting algorithm to provide extremely fast, sorted extracts from files. Fields and records can be selected, rearranged, sorted, transformed, converted to/from EBCDIC, computed, totalled, and written to a number of output formats, including PRN format (used by PC databases and spreadsheets), PowerHouse subfiles, and SD-Link format (Self-Describing format, an HP file format adopted by Robelle).

In addition, on MPE, Suprtool also uses NOBUF/MR access, plus superefficient coding to deliver extremely fast serial access to files and IMAGE datasets. It also offers the traditional and convenient, but not necessarily faster, keyed access.

Suprtool includes the Suprlink program to link records from up to seven input files into a single composite output record (based on a common key value); the Sdunix program to transform a self-describing file into a portable format that can be FTP'd to HP-UX; and the STExport program (new!) to edit self-describing files into a format suitable for import into Oracle and other tools.

How to Get Help

The Suprtool user manual are available online.

As well, Robelle has regular two-day Suprtool courses near Vancouver, B.C., or we can hold one at your site. Or, if you prefer, you can download all the training materials.

Robelle's web site also contains an area for Suprtool Support.

PowerHouse Subfiles

You can front-end a PowerHouse Quiz report with Suprtool by using Quiz to create a subfile, populate it with records using Suprtool, then read the subfile with Quiz to make the report.

For more help with using Suprtool with PowerHouse modules, download Hans Hendriks' tutorial from Robelle's web site.

Using Suprtool to Report Missing Records

Let's say you have your customer data in a file called customers, and customer addresses in a separate file called addresses. You may need to check which customers have no address record.

There is a fast way to do this that uses Suprtool Tables. First, create a file of customer numbers from the addresses file:

    input   addresses ,reclen 200, nolf
    define  customer-no,21,6,display
    extract customer-no
    output  addrfile

Then read all the customer records and list any that are not in the address table.

    input   customers, reclen 160, nolf
    define  customer-no,1,6,display
    define  customer-name,7,30,byte
    table   addr-table,customer-no,file,addrfile
    if      not $lookup (addr-table,customer-no)
    extract customer-no, customer-name
    sort    customer-no
    list    standard title "Customers Without Addresses"

This method involves two passes, but because of Suprtool's efficient reads, it is generally much faster than regular programs. For more tips on using Tables in Suprtool, download the tutorial on the topic from Robelle's web site.

Using Suprlink to Combine Data Files

When most data tools combine information from several files or tables, they use indices built-up for specific key fields. If you want to do this in Suprtool, you can use high-speed serial scans plus sorts, then link the fields with Suprlink.

The best way to understand Suprlink is to examine the process of writing a report. Eventually, your report program will be written in COBOL, RPG, PowerHouse or some other language. But before you can generate a report, the individual records must be collected. Imagine that instead of hunting all over the database for individual related records using random keyed access, you only have to read a sorted disc file with a big record containing all the required data fields.

If you want this file to produce a sales report, it should contain records of sales transactions plus customer information. It would be sorted by customer number and by date. Then your report program would read the records, check for level breaks, and finally format and print the records.

Sound simple? Want to learn more? Robelle has a tutorial, "Using Suprlink to Combine Data Files Without Keys," which you can download to your PC as a self-extracting archive.

Suprtool as a Database Integrity Tool

Financial transactions are often processed in batches. What with tasks aborting, program bugs, and less-than-careful data fixes by MIS staff, these batches get out-of-balance. The solution? The Total command can quickly verify that all transactions net to zero.

Do the debits equal the credits?

    >input     transactions, reclen 180, nolf
    >define    trans-amt,64,4,packed
    >output    $null
    >total     trans-amt

    Totals (THU, NOV 21, 1996,  2:56 PM):
    TRANS-AMT                      81451+

Up to 15 fields can be totalled in each pass. For more ideas on using Suprtool to validate data integrity, download Paul Gobes tutorial on this topic from Robelle's web site.

Oracle, Allbase and Suprtool

Here's a handy table to compare the commands and syntax used in these three programs.

Click here for a text version of Oracle, Allbase, and Suprtool.


Program/usr/oracle/bin/sqlplus /usr/bin/isql (HP-UX)
and isql.pub.sys (MPE)
Open Auto-connect upon entry or
CONNECT [user/password]
CONNECT TO 'DBEnv'; Open Oracle User Password or
Open Allbase DBEnv Owner
subsequent OPEN command
DB location Variables ORACLE_SID
and ORACLE_HOME pointing to init.ora file
fully-qualified name
in CONNECT statement
fully-qualified name
in OPEN statement
Security user/password on
CONNECT or login name
login name login name
Default owner user name (owner aka schema) login name login name On OPEN, User with Oracle or
Owner with Allbase
Change default owner must re-connect SET OWNER owner; must re-open
DBA SYSTEM user DBEnv creator
Data Definition Language
auto-commit active
transaction then commit DDL immediately
Commit Work auto-commit on exit must COMMIT or ROLLBACK
Confirm on exit
System info USERS_, DBA_, ALL
tables and views
Views with SYSTEM or
Table/view layout DESCRIBE INFO FORM
Command file names if no extension,
defaults to ".sql"
no convention no convention
Execute command file START filename or
START filename; USE filename
Execute previous command / DO DO
Modify previous command CHANGE REDO (MPE-style, will execute) REDO (MPE-style), or
BEFORE(will execute)
List previous command(s) LIST LIST HISTORY @; LISTREDO
Exit program EXIT or QUIT EXIT or END EXIT

Suprtool is a trademark of Robelle Solutions Technology Inc.

[Robelle] [SmugBook] [Index] [MISC] [Prev] [NEXT]