December 31, 2007 What you want... When you want it Volume 07.6
Year in Review - 2007

Another year comes to an End

December 2007: Well another year has come and gone so we thought now would be a good time to reflect on what we have accomplished in 2007. It was a busy year for PVX Plus Technologies and in particular for PxPlus, with lots of new features and capabilities being added over the past twelve months.

To follow are some of the great features we have brought you in 2007.

For the Developer

Integrated Toolkit:

For the developer out there, we introduced a new Integrated Toolkit (IT). This package includes a number of features found in most high-end Integrated Development Environments (IDEs), such as online help, access to graphical designers, workspace management and program library management. It's built in program explorer even provides the ability to change variable names on-the-fly without having to worry about affecting references to the same word or text within strings or elsewhere in the program - a feature that most IDEs don't provide.

And what IDE would be complete without a built-in debug environment? We took IT to a whole new level of debugging by incorporating not only the ability to launch and debug sessions, but to connect to and debug currently running sessions. This makes IT an indispensable tool for support. Just imagine being able to find out the state of any background activity on the system without having to run it interactively.

Version Control:

While PxPlus has had the ability to interact with CVS for years, in 2007, we took this one-step further. In order to address the needs of developers trying to maintain stand-alone client sites where a Source Control system would be difficult to setup and maintain, we added built in version control to PxPlus.

Whenever a program is saved, the system now automatically preserves multiple prior versions, which can later be recalled, restored, or compared. Having version control built into the language adds a new element of security and piece of mind to the developers, and having it built into the language makes sure that ALL changes are tracked regardless of how or where they are made.

Performance - it just keeps getting better

File IO Enhancements:

As has always been the case with Business Basic applications, disk IO has been one of the major issues in terms of system performances. In prior years, we addressed program load times in order to help improve performance, but in 2007, we turned our attention to data file IO. A number of new features have been added over the year to help improve the performance of file IO.

Shared file handles and buffers were added (parameter 'SH') which allows the system to identify and share both buffers and operating system handles (connections) for files opened multiple times. As programs become more and more compartmentalized and structured, the number of times the same file is opened has increased. A typical application can easily have the same file opened two, three, even more times in a single process as its contents are accessed by different modules in the system (for example item maintenance and query). Sharing the buffers and operating system handles reduces file IO drastically by eliminating unnecessary file opens and improved buffer utilization. In addition, coordinating file locks means significantly faster IO when the file is updated on one channel and read on the other.

A new file close caching algorithm was also implemented that can eliminate much of the operating system overhead surrounding the opening and closing of frequently used files.

Intelligent Buffer Management:

As an added touch to improve the performance of the file system, we improved keyed file buffer management. A new Intel-A-Buf algorithm was developed that dynamically determines the optimal number of buffers required for a file while it is being accessed. This algorithm eliminates the need to pre-determine and allocate file buffers within the application program. It determines the number of buffers to allocate based on the types of requests being made and the file characteristics -- and changes these values as the file and requests change. In addition, the algorithm changes the buffer reuse scheme in order to attempt to optimize what data is kept in memory. Rather than a simple FIFO algorithm that was previously used, the Intel-A-Buf routines buffer management works to keep key pages and other control information in memory thereby improving data access times.

Enhanced Windows Features

Built in Word Processor Capabilities and RTF:

Due to popular demand, we added built-in word processor capabilities to our Multi-line input control on Windows. This new control allows you to not just to enter text, but also control the font, colour, alignment, bullets, and much more. Data in the control uses standard RTF formatting making it easy for applications to create or edit word processing files directly from within their PxPlus application. There is even a built-in search function (end-user language sensitive) accessible from both the program and user keyboard.

Improved Windows Printing:

Of course, RTF data would not be of much use without the ability to print it, so the Windows Print subsystem was updated to allow for the direct printing of RTF data.

Included with the RTF printing capabilities was an enhanced printing option that allows applications to easily print long sections of text and have the system handle the page and section breaks. The 'TEXT' mnemonic was extended to allow you to pass large strings of text (or RTF output) and have the system print what it can in the region specified and let your application know what was printed and what was left. This greatly simplifies the printing process.

The year 2007 also saw the addition of a number of new mnemonics to the windows printing interface to control page orientation and paper tray selection in the middle of print job. As a result, your application can now select the type of paper it wants to print on and the orientation of the paper without having to start a new print job each time the setting changes.

Windows DLL Bundled Install:

Did you ever want to simplify the installation of your application? Tired of having to install all your application programs and control files as separate files and having to worry about one of them getting damaged or deleted? The new PLUSLIB DLL Library allows you to bundle your complete application into a single DLL along with all PxPlus library and associated files. This DLL along with PxPlus can then be used to run your application providing not only a simpler and cleaner install but also faster program access.

As an added benefit the use of the PLUSLIB DLL provides your application with a greater degree of security since the programs are inherently write protected and your DLL library is always searched first making it harder for malicious programmers to tamper with your code.

Future planned enhancements include support for multiple secondary DLLs and controls to add/drop secondary DLLs from library list.

The Internet

XML Processing:

EXtensible Markup Language (XML) is fast becoming the most common means of exchanging information across the Internet. PxPlus added a built in XML function that simplifies both the creation and parsing of XML documents. This XML function provides a fast and efficient means to work with XML and by being embedded within the language; it is much faster than manual parsers.

Remote Procedure Calls & SOAP:

Building on the XML functions, PxPlus added a new SOAP style interface that can be used in conjunction with the Apache HTTP server to allow RPC style calls to be made across the internet. Since these RPC calls utilize standard HTTP interfaces, they are easier to implement through firewalls and because they are "Stateless" they are not subject to disconnects. In addition, the interface is not limited to a single instance of the host RPC process, but can run multiple processes simultaneously providing greater throughput for RPC based applications.

iNomads is coming…

Late in 2007, we gave a sneak peak at a new product we will be shipping in 2008. iNomads allow you to take your Nomads based applications and run them directly within a browser. Unlike WindX or JavX solutions, no software other than a standard browser needs to be installed on the workstation. Also unlike the existing solutions, the panel can be tailored using templates and style sheets to match the look and feel of any web site.

If you haven't checked it out yet, have a look at the iNomads preview document at and visit our site at for live samples.

Keep on the lookout for iNomads announcements in the coming months.

Of course, this is only a partial list of the features we added to PxPlus this past year.

For a complete list of features added in 2007 check out our web site at:

As you can see, 2007 has been a busy year for PxPlus development and our plans are for 2008 to be even better.

To all our customers, we trust we have lived up to our motto of providing you:

What you need -- When you need it

And for those of you still thinking about adding the Plus to your application

What's Stopping you?

Join the Plus revolution today

Coming in 2008 to PxPlus

  • Use iNomads to run your Nomads based application natively in a browser
  • Secondary PLUSDLL libraries for easier software installation
  • New Object Management options for properties
  • Enhanced array handling
  • Improved file system interfaces and ODBC access
  • Additional object libraries and utilities for external interfaces
PLUS much much more...
... more than you imagine

Join the PLUS revolution today

PVX Plus Technologies
Leaders in innovative solutions for the Business Basic community

PVX Plus Technologies, Ltd.
4261 Hwy #7 East, Unit A14
Suite 364
Unionville, Ontario L3R 9W6

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