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SCHEMA PLUS  Application Overview


What is it?

Schema Plus is a collection of two programs that run on Windows 95/98/NT computers:

Who needs it?

Schema Plus is the ultimate IDMS companion product.  It is a fully Windows compliant application that quickly and easily performs the following functions.


Database (Bachman) diagrams can be created with simple drag-and-drop.  Records are dragged from a list and dropped onto a "canvas".  All sets are connected automatically, and all text for records and sets is automatically generated.  Once on the canvas, records, set lines, and set text can be dragged to any desired position on the canvas.  Diagrams can consist of any number of images, comprising a "diagram set".  Schema sets can span multiple diagrams within the diagram set.  With DB Draw, this difficult task (which normally requires many days and is error-prone) is reduced to a simple operation that requires mere minutes per diagram image, and there are no typos!  This feature alone offers a very fast payback on the cost of Schema Plus.  But there is much more...


Help files are automatically generated.  These help files contain area, record, and set information for the schema, all fully cross-referenced with links to each other.  Optionally, space information can be included in the help file. With this information, developers and analysts can determine the best navigation path through the database, and DBAs can easily monitor area utilization and optimize area sizing.  Also optionally, program and work record information can be included in the help file.  Programs are fully linked with work records, and also with areas (ready usage mode), records and sets (activity).  With this information, DBAs, architects, analysts and developers can determine the impact of database or work record changes quickly and easily.  The development cycle is significantly reduced by this ability, resulting in further savings.


HTML files have the same basic format and all of the functionality of the help files, but in an HTML format.  These files can be deployed onto the company intranet for greater availability.  All entities are fully cross-referenced, as in the help files, greatly enhancing the analysis, design and development effort.  Standard HTML 3.0 is used, so these files can be browsed with any version of Netscape Navigator or Internet Explorer.



Installation is simple. You will need the following:

Database Diagram, Help File and/or HTML File Creation

Getting started is simple. Follow these steps:

It's that simple. There are some optional extras...


Optional Extras

Optionally, you can run one or many space reports and include space information in help / HTML files.  Space reports can reflect space usage in different environments (i.e. Development, Production), or they can monitor a single environment with snapshots over time (i.e. monthly views of Production).  You can combine multiple environments and multiple snapshots as well.  Run the space report output into a dataset and download it the same way as the schema report.  You can put many space reports in a single dataset, or can download multiple datasets.  In DB Draw, you can open one or many space report files, each containing one or many reports.


Optionally, you can also generate program and work record information. To do this, you will need to compile two very small Cobol programs and tailor a job supplied in the install.  See the related DB Draw help topic for complete information.


Deploying Database Diagrams

You can deploy database diagrams onto the LAN easily, to be accessed by architects, analysts, developers and other DBAs.  These diagrams are stored in a "diagram set" file - one set of diagrams per schema. Simply do the following:


That's it.  Send an e-mail message to the user community telling them to (1) create a shortcut on their PCs to program SHDBVIEW.EXE; and (2), when they are prompted for a file name, they should select your diagram set file (myschema.shp).  The help file is automatically assigned if it has the same name (i.e. myschema.hlp) when they open the diagram set. Users can click on any record in the diagrams to browse complete record information in the help file.  They can use the "Record List" to list records alphabetically or by area, and can click on any record in this list to display the diagram the record is on.


Deploying HTML files

To deploy generated schema HTML files to your intranet, simply copy the generated file (myschema.htm) to an intranet directory, along with all .JPG files in the c:\shplus\work directory (these are area.jpg, record.jpg, set.jpg, program.jpg, workrec.jpg, and up.jpg).  Create a link on your intranet to the myschema.htm file.


When You Change the Schema

When you change the schema (i.e. perform a database change), you will not need to redraw the database diagrams. Simply download a new schema report and open an existing diagram set.  The changes will be automatically reflected.  You will need to do the following:


A Few Tips

Here are a few pointers to guide you through the process:

Thank You

Thank you for trying Schema Plus.  We think you will find it exceeds your expectations in every way! We also think the payback period for the purchase of Schema Plus will be mere weeks, with savings in database diagram generation, change impact analysis, systems analysis and programmer productivity.


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