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  1. Technology
November 7, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

Texas Instruments Inc, which helps to cover the cost of its internal software development work by marketing the MS-DOS-IBM MVS/TSO tools it has developed as Information Engineering Facility – through James Martin Associates Plc of Ashford, Middlesex here in Europe – has come out wit a new release. Release 3.2 of the computer-aided software engineering system is claimed to offer a major increase in programmer productivity compared with the current release. The new release adds the capability for a system developed using the Information Engineering Facility to be debugged at the diagram level: taking the concept pioneered by Micro Focus Plc with its Cobol Animator one step further, the action diagrams that were used to create the application are animated as the generated programs run, enabling the programmer to watch the effect of the execution and modify the data. Release 3.2 also supports evolutionary prototyping so that a component of the system, once generated, can execute immediately in the IBM TSO environment, without the need for the complex installation steps needed to install such transactions under IBM’s CICS or IMS Data Communications. Texas claims that further productivity and cost savings are achieved in the new release using a technique it calls stereotyping, which automatically generates many of the statements in the Process and Procedure Action Diagrams. There are also claimed to be improvements in the areas of application generation and workstation-to-mainframe communications, and – perhaps most important of all, Texas claims that the performance of the generated applications has improved dramatically. The Information Engineering Facility consists of five integrated toolsets. The Planning, Analysis and Design Toolsets run on the micro and the Code and Database Generators reside on the mainframe, all five being linked via the IEF Encyclopedia grandiose name for the data dictionary, which IBM reportedly intends to call the Repository with DB2. Texas also likes the word repository, describing the Encyclopedia as the repository for business and systems information, from which application systems are automatically generated. Texas started marketing the Information Engineering Facility last year and says that over 120 companies in the US, Canada and Europe are now using the product to improve programmer productivity and increase the quality of mainframe software systems.

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