What's New in Suprtool?

Suprtool is constantly being improved and enhanced. Here are just 3 of the many recent new features:

$Edit for COBOL-Type Formatting
Accept Free-form Numerics
Splitting Byte Fields

"Using Suprtool is a lot quicker than writing a COBOL program. There's no compile time, no testing, and no errors to fix. At the Foundation, I was a one-man shop so there was no time for writing or maintaining custom programs."

Art Bahrs
Denkor Dental Mmgt Group

"The hours, if not weeks and months, Suprtool has saved me over the years makes it a real bargain in my book. I have found Suprtool beneficial for quick reports, file repairs, data manipulation, etc. I only wish I could instantly communicate to the uniniated everything you can do with it. If everyone knew what it could do for them they'd all but demand that it be on all their machines."

Dave Kalb
Total Bank Technology Solution, Inc.

Alliant Foodservice uses Suprtool on both HP-UX and MPE (see case study): "It is really a great help to have Suprtool on all the machines I interface with again! I have also been able to convert most of the staff to using Suprtool as a tool of first choice over Query or a custom program. I am afraid I will have to change jobs again to generate a lot more sales for Robelle. I dread the thought of going into another established site that doesn't have Qedit and Suprtool."

Alan Wyman
Programming Manager

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User Manual

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What's New


Suprtool Tips

About AMXW

About Eloquence

Migration Resources

Also: Suprtool for MPE with the same commands.

Message from Bob Green, Robelle Founder:

"Although Suprtool is over 20 years old, it continues to evolve and grow, because Robelle responds quickly to change. We had the fastest data extract tool on the HP 3000, but we didn't stop. We wrote our own proprietary sort routines to make Suprtool the fastest sort engine too. Then customers complained that although they loved Suprtool for single file extracts, they really missed it when linking multiple data sources. This led to Suprlink - our unique and high performance method of merging many data sources into one. With the PC revolution, customers needed to disperse their data to Excel, Access, etc. Robelle heard them and added STExport to Suprtool for exporting data with precise import specifications."

"Now, the move is toward migration. On the day after HP's obsolescence notice, Robelle identified the Eloquence database as a valuable option for HP 3000 sites moving to HP-UX. In a few short weeks we produced a new Eloquence version of Suprtool and had it in user hands for testing. By March 2002 the product was tested, documented, packaged and released into production. But we didn't stop for a rest. We immediately started working with Marxmeier, the firm in charge of Eloquence, on producing an even better Suprtool for an even better Eloquence, with virtually complete TurboIMAGE compatibility. Hand in hand, each new R&D version of Eloquence is carefully integrated into Suprtool and tested, allowing us to give Marxmeier instant feedback on where they fine-tune the database software. "

"It isn't as if we have forgotten our TurboIMAGE and Oracle users - we also added XML output to Suprtool for everyone and the ability to load and extract data from custom tables that are built with Suprtool. With these constant improvements, Robelle remains on the cutting edge to meet customers current needs."

Suprtool for AMXW

SUPRTOOL for AMXW, also known as SUPRAMXW, is now available for download from Robelle's web site.

SUPRAMXW is not just an amalgam of super-acronyms-it's the newest migration solution available for SUPRTOOL customers. Developed between Speedware and Robelle, SUPRAMXW resolves migration obstacles for HP e3000 companies that have SUPRTOOL.

The challenges

Hundreds of sites have already migrated their Suprtool tasks from MPE to HP-UX, but there are hundreds more that need help.

Suprtool for HP-UX has the same commands as Suprtool for MPE, but an MPE job stream is more than just Suprtool commands - it is also MPE :File commands and :Build commands and :IF-Endif JCL logic. In fact, to migrate an MPE task to HP-UX may require you to find an HP-UX equivalent for any of hundreds of MPE commands and functions.

For customers who have made extensive use of MPE features, or who are short of qualified staff resources and/or time, this conversion can be a major challenge.

The solution

Robelle concluded that the solution was to link SUPRTOOL for HP-UX with Speedware AMXW, renowned MPE-enabling migration software for non-MPE platforms. SUPRAMXW, is a unique hybrid MPE/HP-UX version of the SUPRTOOL software. Speedware and Robelle agreed to work collaboratively to solve this migration challenge for HP e3000 customers.

The strength of SUPRAMXW is that much of the SUPRTOOL code or intrinsics found in application environments can remain untouched and continue to rely on MPE concepts and access MPE files on Unix/Windows. Less code to change translates into less risk, quicker start-up time, increased productivity and significant cost savings!

Two technologies combined

From a migration point of view, a SUPRTOOL customer requires two components installed: AMXW for HP-UX and SUPRTOOL for AMXW. AMXW will easily migrate 3GL applications and SUPRAMXW can be used as the new SUPRTOOL on HP-UX that will support the existing SUPRTOOL code.

MPE-enabling on non-MPE platforms

The real power of AMXW comes from its outstanding ability to keep MPE functionality on non-MPE platforms while maintaining a high-performance. Since most of the application code, MPE commands and MPE file types does not need to be modified to be usable on other platforms, this reduces the time and cost of migrations.

SUPRTOOL on HP-UX supports MPE concepts

SUPRAMXW is a hybrid product, which runs on HP-UX and calls "MPE" intrinsics, the "MPE" being a reference to the intrinsics provided by AMXW. Essentially, it is a special version of the SUPRTOOL for HP-UX product linked with AMXW libraries.

With SUPRAMXW, "MPE"-isms are re-integrated back into portions of Suprtool for HP-UX allowing concepts such as record size, foptions, aoptions, device class and the like, so that Suprtool would be able to read, write and understand all of the MPE attributes of MPE files. This is possible because SUPRTOOL for HP-UX now has calls to MPE intrinsics like FOPEN, FREAD, FWRITE, FGETINFO and FCLOSE courtesy of AMXW.

JCL migration: Sustain your MPE and SUPRTOOL code

MPE scripts containing a mixture of SUPRTOOL commands and MPE commands such as JCL batch jobs, command files, etc. can remain untouched on HP-UX. In addition, SUPRTOOL can now support any of the MPE commands supported by AMXW. This is possible because SUPRAMXW simply calls AMXW's HPCICOMMAND intrinsic in the case where the command is not a Suprtool command and/or it is preceded by a colon.

Suprtool for AMXW, also knows when it is being run from inside AMXW's MPE shell (nlsh) for various internal reasons and startup command processing. As such, MPE concepts like file equations, session variables can remain in the code and continue to be used in a SUPRTOOL environment.

Key features:

Embedded MPE commands within SUPRTOOL remain; MPE-type files can be shared between 3GLs and SUPRTOOL; JCL and command files can be quickly migrated using AMXW; SUPRTOOL intrinsics remain untouched.

Key benefits: Less risk, effort and cost

Since the JCL, command file, MPE or SUPRTOOL code or intrinsics don't have to change, risk and implementation time is minimal which translates into cost savings.

Suprtool Plus Eloquence

Robelle is proud to be the leader in successfully integrating Eloquence into its product, opening up migration options for TurboIMAGE users. We are committed to staying current with the latest version of HP Eloquence and keeping Suprtool for HP-UX the leader in Eloquence data access.

Eloquence is a TurboIMAGE lookalike for HP-UX (see below for details) With Suprtool and Eloquence combined, you will have the same Suprtool commands that you are familiar with on MPE now working on HP-UX.

As far as IMAGE/SQL alternatives go for customers who would benefit from keeping their “Image-calls” and do a “one-step at-a-time” approach, he said that he is committed to promoting Eloquence to fill that need. He said that it’s “likely the best approach,” and that “the product is very solid and very strong …”

Features: Eloquence

Eloquence is an IMAGE-like database that runs on HP-UX. It is developed by Marmeier Software AG and has been in use for over 10 years. The 3000 News Wire's January 2002 issue referred to Eloquence as "the most IMAGE-compatible database for non-3000 platforms."

Eloquence has fully integrated indexing capabilities, using indexed sequential instead of hashing. So there are no "migrating secondaries" and set locking is not required in order to add or delete an entry from a master set. Capacity is not relevant, since the database grows dynamically when required (including master data sets).

Locking capabilities: Also available are new locking capabilities, new database utilities, and multi-platform support (HP-UX, Windows NT/2000, Linux). Eloquence supports dynamic, nested transactions, transaction isolation (uncommitted changes are not visible to other processes), deadlock detection and recovery, on-line backup, and a new, more flexible security subsystem.

Version 7 of Eloquence also comes with a TurboIMAGE interface library that provides virtually complete compatibility with the HP 3000 database. Marxmeier released Version 7 in November 2002, with Suprtool version 4.6.02 to support it released at the same time.

Eloquence is a product of Marxmeier Software.

Step By Step Migration

With Suprtool running on both your MPE and HP-UX servers, you have new options to reduce the pressure and risk of your eventual migration. While the primary data resides on MPE, use Suprtool to quickly distribute it to the HP-UX servers on a regular basis. When part of the data does move to HP-UX, again Suprtool can quickly return a copy of it back to MPE.

The key to this ease of data transfer is Suprtool's Self Describing File format which maintains the field names, data-types and formating options along with the data. You don't have to do the entire migration at once: phase it in gradually, giving yourself time to test each part thoroughly and reduce your risk of a catastrophic, career-ending mistake.


Robelle offers a clear path for companies migrating data from MPE to HP-UX. We converted our Suprtool products to work on HP-UX over 10 years ago and our team has built up significant expertise and experience in supporting the platform. Suprtool for HP-UX supports access to Eloquence, Oracle, Allbase, and regular flat files, and includes the same components as Suprtool for MPE: Suprlink for combining data from several sources in a flexible and lightning fast manner and STExport for exporting data into whatever format the importing program requires.

Click the link above to visit the Robelle migration web resource.

Three Tools In One

You can use Suprtool as a daily general purpose utility program to copy, select, and sort data quickly and conveniently. Suprtool also includes the handy Suprlink and STExport modules.

STExport Transforms Your Data

Suprtool's STExport function provides an easy solution to exporting your HP-UX data. By controlling comma separators, quote or tab delimiters, leading zeros, and other parameters, you can use STExport to prepare your data so it can be used by other databases, such as MS Access or Oracle on other platforms. Suprtool can even format your data into HTML tables which can be included on your web pages.

Suprlink Links Multiple Files

Suprlink, one of the modules of Suprtool, merges multiple files and links records together based on a common data field. The following example adds product descriptions to a list of sales orders that contain only the product number.
     input order_details
     link product_master_info
     output orders_with_descriptions

Save Yourself Some Time

Suprtool will save you time by eliminating the need to write and maintain a multitude of custom programs. With Suprtool's set of simple yet powerful commands, you can often write a five- to ten-line Suprtool task that can replace hundreds of lines of repetitive and error-prone COBOL code. For example, let's clean up a database by archiving invoices that are more than one year old. With Suprtool, it takes only a few commands.
     open oracle mike mypass
     select * from customer_table
     if state_code='CA'
     sort zip_code
     output customers_california

Flat File Processing

Suprtool gives you great flexibility in prepping non-database files by offering a wide range of output options. These are some of the situations in which Suprtool can help you:

Direct Interface with Oracle or Allbase Tables

With the purchase of Suprtool options, you can also read data from Oracle and Allbase tables and views, as well as add rows to Oracle tables. The same Suprtool commands such as Extract and IF apply to the SQL tables as they do to the Eloquence datasets and disk files. Suprtool enables you to integrate Oracle or Allbase into your overall application. For example, you can take data from your HP 3000 and load it into an Oracle database on your HP 9000. Then after subsequent processing, extract data from the Oracle database and load it back into TurboIMAGE on your HP 3000.

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