ADS – Automatisierte Entwicklung für COBOL und PL/I
Plattformunabhängige Entwicklung für zukunftssichere Back-End-Anwendungen.
Life starts at 40 something: Delta ADS turns 45 this year
Developing software is looking to the future, but sometimes it is good to turn around and look back. As we did, we discovered that the foundations of our products were made almost half a century ago.
The Beginning - 1972 The first Idea
In 1972 Professor Reinhold Thurner, Zürich University, published ‘Entscheidungstabellen: Aufbau, Anwendungen, Programmierung’. He founded the Sodecon AG that implemented his ideas in DETAB/GT (Decision Tables/Generator).
In the beginning, DETAB/GT was able to produce COBOL, PL/I and Fortran and not much later also Assembler.
The Evolution - 1976 ADS was released
Resolving decision tables was only a first step. The idea of generating (slightly) different variants (targets) of programming code from one single source proved a fruitful idea. Over the next years the generator system Delta was developed and released in 1976. The foundation for this development tool is that an application contains a lot of functionality that are just slightly different implementations of each other (File I/O, Screen I/O, Printfiles, reports etc). The generators in Delta contain the abstraction of this implementation with the result that the developer only has to specify the parameters of this specific implementation to be able to get needed functionality.
Besides an increase in productivity (up to three times compared to traditional hand coding, according to some publications) one of the other main advantages is portability. It is that portability that enables software developing companies to sell their products on a number of different platforms without the full developing efforts. It also enables companies to migrate from one platform to another without having to rewrite their applications.
“I am pleased that after almost 50 years, Delta ADS is still being used successfully for the development and migration of large and complex applications.”
Dr. Reinhold Thurner
The concept was very successful: by 1982 there were already 130 installations worldwide and was available for 12 different platforms.
Till today, the majority of installations are found in banking and insurance, governmental institutions and software solution sellers.
Like Delta DETAB, Delta ADS for COBOL and PL/I (as it is officially named today) remains a part of our product portfolio. Over the years an estimated 2+ billion unique lines of code have been generated with our generator system, a number that is still growing each year. Initially, DETAB and Delta ADS were only available for the platforms for which they generated code. Today they are also integrated into modern development environments such as Eclipse or Visual Studio and can generate cross-platform.
As the advantages of this generative approach to software development is still valued by our customers we remain committed to supporting them with our tools. The current release 6 of Delta ADS will certainly not be the last as we will continue to find solutions for the challenges our customers experience in their software development process.
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Life starts at 40 something: Delta ADS turns 45 this year
Developing software is looking to the future, but sometimes it is good to turn around and look back. As we did, we discovered that the foundations of our products were made almost half a century ago.Read more
Delta DETAB helps software developers to specify complex issues in an easily understandable way and to efficiently implement the decision logic. The use of Delta DETAB simplifies the communication with the business departments and reduces development and maintenance costs.
Decision Tables for a Clear Presentation of Complex Issues
Decision tables are an excellent method to clearly and understandably specify complex issues, processes and system of rules. They are used to present complex dependencies between several conditions and the individual actions to be performed in a clear, complete and consistent manner.
Decision tables are much easier to understand and validate than code, so they are often used for the specification of complex systems. As they are language-neutral as well, they simplify the communication and coordination between the technical departments and the software development. In addition, decision tables facilitate the development of test cases and the business rule management.
Delta DETAB for the Automatic Conversion into Error-free Code
Delta DETAB supports the decision-table technology in the analysis and programming. The automated, generative implementation of decision tables into target-platform-specific, optimized source code using DETAB accelerates and simplifies the software development:
- Strong reduction of the testing and maintenance effort:
Comprehensive examination of the decision tables for completeness, consistency and contradictions, redundancies, overlaps, ambiguities, and many more.
- Efficient implementation:
The corresponding error-free, optimized source code for the desired target platform is automatically generated in COBOL or PL/I.
- Test aids
simplify the troubleshooting and documentation of tests.
- Exact and clear documentation
Our customers successfully use Delta DETAB to easily specify complex decision logic, simplify the communication with the business departments and to reduce the development and maintenance costs.
As with Delta ADS, we distinguish between the development platform where the development is performed and the runtime platform the applications are generated for and run productively.
The platform support of Delta DETAB is continuously extended. If your platform is not listed below, please contact our sales representatives to discuss your specific requirements.
Development Platforms for Delta DETAB
Delta DETAB can be used for the development on different platforms – stand-alone as well as an integrated part of the development system Delta ADS.
Input for standalone usage is a COBOL or PL/I program that includes decision tables. Delta DETAB is then used as a pre-processor that translates the decision tables into the appropriate COBOL or PL/I code for the desired target platform.
NEW: As a component of Delta ADS, DETAB is already available for the development on Eclipse for some time. Now we also provide DETAB standalone for the integrated development on Eclipse. Thus, the advantages of the modern development environment can now also be used for DETAB stand-alone, and the development of decision tables with DETAB can seamlessly be integrated into current processes.
- PC systems:
Microsoft Windows - optional integrated in Eclipse or Microsoft Visual Studio
- Unix / Linux – different manufacturers
HP NonStop, Guardian
Target Platforms for Delta DETAB
With Delta DETAB, source code for COBOL and PL/I applications can be generated for all target platforms that are also supported with Delta ADS.
- Bull DPS7, Bull DPS8
- Fujitsu BS2000/OSD
- HP NonStop, Guardian
- HP OpenVMS
- IBM AIX
- IBM VSE/ESA
- IBM z/OS
- Microsoft Windows
- Unisys OS/2200
- Unix / Linux – different manufacturers
Get to know Delta DETAB
We would like to introduce you to Delta DETAB or Delta DETAB on Eclipse. Get in touch with us and benefit from the advantages of the decision table technology.
ADS is Delta's proven solution for the generative development of operational back-end applications in COBOL and PL/I. ADS enables you to develop, maintain and support your online and batch programs independent of platform specific considerations such as operating system, database management system and TP monitor.
ADS is one of the most successful IT application development systems ever released in the enterprise market. A sophisticated and comprehensive generator technology enables the tool-based creation of platform independent online applications and batch applications in COBOL and PL/I. In order to facilitate the object-based database integration, ADS also contains extensive support for generating Data Access Servers.
The developer creates ADS programs with easily maintainable, logical language elements. Powerful generators connect the system neutral descriptions of the applications with the specific code for the selected target platform, including operating system, compiler, database system and TP monitor.
ADS generates high performance applications in the native COBOL or PL/I code of the selected target platform. The generated code is compiled and linked in exactly the same way as a traditionally developed program. Once the code has been generated ADS is no longer involved – there is no interpretive runtime or such approaches with ADS. Thanks to our native code technology all system management, debugging, testing, audit, security control and other system tools can be used with ADS applications.
This process of program assembly is reproducible anytime. Maintenance and further development of the applications is performed at the logical level that is input to the generator. It is never necessary to modify any of the generated code.
"The Delta products bring a tremendous boost to productivity in development and maintenance. We know that based on more than 20 years of experience. This is real added value."
Rainer Neuhaus, Development Manager, Kanton Aargau, Switzerland
Our customers have implemented extremely large applications by using Delta ADS: including billions of generated LOC and hundreds of thousands of programs. According to statements of our customers, only a few developers are needed to maintain and further develop thousands of programs. The development with ADS is stable, reliable and very efficient.
The New ADS 6 for Even More Productivity in Application Development
provides the functions that help you to better understand your Delta ADS applications. The new functions and language extensions improve the readability and maintainability of the applications. With the new release of ADS the development and maintenance gets even more efficient.
"I am pleased that after almost 50 years, Delta ADS
is still being used successfully for the development
and migration of large and complex applications.",
says Dr. Reinhold Thurner, the „father of Delta ADS“.
We have summarized for you how Delta ADS has evolved over the past 45 years, why it has been and still is so successfull.
Find out what advantages Delta ADS offers you for your future application development.