FORTRAN-based accounting system

FORTRAN-based accounting system

Post by John Eisenschmid » Fri, 29 Nov 2002 03:53:23

May or may not be/have been on VMS, but are any of you familiar with
an accounting system written in FORTRAN?


"Left is right, and Right is wrong."


FORTRAN-based accounting system

Post by wins.. » Fri, 29 Nov 2002 07:19:42

Quote:>May or may not be/have been on VMS, but are any of you familiar with
>an accounting system written in FORTRAN?

My first real computing job was with a company then called Independent
Information Systems, which did motion picture accounting software on ModComp
computers using Fortran (and the Infinity 'database', which was pretty much
an ISAM package with some query utilities).

IIS changed its name to DISC (Draney Information Systems Corporation) and
a half-interest was bought by Lorimar Productions; one of the conditions of
sale was that DISC would develop corporate accounting software  for Lorimar,
so we did payroll, a/p, a/r, budgeting, TV residuals, etc, all on 16-bit
ModComps using Fortran, Infinity, and the TSX time-sharing package (which was
needed because the ModComp OS, MaxIII, was, like RT-11, a single-user system
that needed to be coerced into having multiple independent user identities.
I was the system manager as well as one of the applications programmers.

DISC 'productized' a version of the Lorimar corporate package and flogged
it to other movie/TV production companies; Lucasfilm rented it for six
months in 1983 or so while preparing to start using HP's own-label corporate
packages on MPE (because their DP guy had used them on a previous job).

Lorimar itself, after I left, dropped ModComp (a good idea), switched to
VAXes, and redid everything in Cobol using DBMS (because their main analyst
could read Cobol but not Fortran and was used to hierarchical databases).
I'm sure they would have gone to IBM/CICS/IMS if they could have afforded
it; no idea what they're doing now.

The one big thing with FORTRAN and accounting was that, however tempting,
you couldn't use floating point values to represent dollars and cents (for
reasons clear if you think about how floating point numbers are
represented; if the exponents are too far apart it may be impossible to
normalize two values to the same exponents, which means that if you add a
few pennies to a whole lot of dollars, the number of dollars may end up not
going up because the pennies are outside the limits of precision in the
larger number).  So we had to store money as integer counts of pennies.

Much of the heavy listing was done with a vendor-provided set of
'commercial subroutines'; once you had those, your programs were just
moving data around and doing arithmetic, for which Fortran was as
well-suited as anything else.  (Except for Fortran-66, which we were using,
not having structures, so you'd have to do a subroutine call to move x
number of bytes from one place to another rather than setting one structure
equal to another.)  We ended up recoding most of the commercial subroutines
in more-efficient assembler.

These were TTY-oriented formatted screen applications, not GUIs, if it
makes any difference.  Except for the caveats above, Fortran was a very
suitable language for a corporate accounting system under those conditions,
and we were extremely productive in it.

Is that the kind of thing you were asking about?

-- Alan


FORTRAN-based accounting system

Post by Randy Par » Sat, 30 Nov 2002 00:41:14

Quote:> May or may not be/have been on VMS, but are any of you familiar with
> an accounting system written in FORTRAN?

The ManMan software package written by ASK Computer Systems
probably had some accounting modules.  It was written in
Fortran and used DBMS.  The last I heard about ManMans was
that it was owned and support by MK Group which is was
subsidiary of Computer Associates.

FORTRAN-based accounting system

Post by Bob Koehl » Wed, 04 Dec 2002 03:08:34

Quote:> May or may not be/have been on VMS, but are any of you familiar with
> an accounting system written in FORTRAN?

   My second VAX had a program written in FORTRAN which read and
   reported the VMS accounting file.

1. FORTRAN-based accounting system

Nope, now SSA and yes, they do have an AP, AR (which includes their
order management module which is why it is called OMAR), and GL.  Randy
is correct, the software is written in Fortran and it does require DBMS,
which Oracle has owned for some time now...



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