GEN-CODE is an easy to use COBOL code generator that quickly produces Add, Change, Inquire and Delete programs to your specifications.

     You provide the File Description and screen format, then fill in the information that GEN-CODE asks for about each field on the screen and then put GEN-CODE to work. In a matter of minutes you will have fully functional source code you can compile and run. Included is a model program for generating reports. The programs generated are standard, structured COBOL that are easy to maintain and modify.

By test of a massive cargo tracking system used in the Port of Los Angeles, this tool reduced development time by 40-60%.

Available for MicroFocus and ACUCOBOL

GEN-CODE was developed during a major system design for a cargo tracking system that contains over 300 programs. As is the case with so many systems, a large portion of the system was to be maintenance modules that allowed records to be Added to, Changed, Inquired upon or Deleted from files.

     In addition it was not hard to see that many programs consisted only of the Change, Inquire or Delete modes of a standard maintenance program. For example the module used to enter cargo clearance information was really a maintenance module in Change mode only.

     The project was under an enormous time crunch and in order to cut down on coding time, a code generator was designed that produced a generic Add, Change, Inquire and Delete modes maintenance module.

     The modules could be used as generated, or with some judicious surgery, could handle many of the other tasks needed for the complete system.

     Testing this on trained COBOL coders the timing results were significant. With the design work already done, the coding times were checked for three methods of developing maintenance modules. Method 1, writing the module from scratch and testing took 6 to 8 hours depending on the number of fields on the screen. Method 2, cloning code from an already working maintenance module, or boiler plate, coding changes and testing took 3 to 4 hours depending on the number of fields to appear on the screen. Method 3, creating the module with GEN-CODE and testing took 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the number of fields appearing on the screen. Needless to say, the project was finished using GEN-CODE.

How it Works:
     The programmer is required to produce two things for GENCODE. First the copy libraries for file which include the SELECT, FD, WORKING-STORAGE and DECLARATIVES. In the second enclosed sample code, the highlighted blocks are the code written by the programmer. Secondly GEN-CODE requires a screen layout created with the screen layout utility included within the package.

     When GEN-CODE is run, the programmer specifies the file copy libraries and the EZFORMAT screen to GENCODE. Each field on the screen is displayed, and the user is asked to answer various questions about the field, such as the name of the field in the FD with which this screen is to be associated, whether the field is a required entry field, whether the field is part of the key to the file, and whether to perform date and time type validation on the entered data.

     When all the questions are answered, GEN-CODE obtains source code files from it's own library, and generates code patches suited to the screen and file field specifications and merges these two into a source code file for a maintenance module that can immediately be compiled.

Aside from the code patches that are directly related to the file and screen of the maintenance module, all the remaining source code for a maintenance module is extracted from the GEN-CODE source library. Source code in the GEN-CODE library is standard COBOL code, that can be modified causing the personality of the maintenance module to be modified.

The GEN-CODE Package:
The code generator is licensed for single CPU use (not by number of users) but the code that you create with the package is yours to do with as you please.

The entire system contains:

The GEN-CODE Source Library.
Copy libraries for screen IO, cursor positioning, time and date formatting and validation, online help, menus and other utilities.
The base maintenance module described above.
The GEN-CODE programs.


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