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Suggestions/Problems

 
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-G-



Joined: 23 Mar 2006
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2006 8:45 pm    Post subject: Suggestions/Problems Reply with quote

First off, I have been using DataLoad personal on a regular basis and it has really helped reduce the amount of manual keying in my job. Thank you for this tremendous program!

Still, there are a couple of issues that are always coming up:
-ESC does not always respond.
It seems dodgy at best, especially when using idle timers or the focus is another window. Also the main item we were hoping to get with the Pro version was the ability to pause the load, review something in Oracle and ESC out if necessary. Unfortunately, ESC does not work at all when the prompt comes up. It should function as an almost instanteous interrupt that the program always monitors for. There have been many times where something was wrong or server lag caused Oracle & DataLoad to become out of sync and we needed to halt immediately, before the programmed keypresses resulted in something disastrous.
-Boolean to look for error codes or checked boxes.
I saw this answered before and can understand that Oracle does not pass variables, but if there were only some way to look for these...
-Inability to change DataLoad's window focus.
For example, we are working in Oracle and would like to constantly copy some of the data from Oracle to update a spreadsheet in Excel.
-Ability to update DataLoad's programmed run on the fly.
While the program is running, we sometimes run into issues where an error comes up and we need to exit out of DataLoad. Alternatively, it would be easier if we could could use the time during built in pause points or the prompt command to eliminate these problem cells/rows and have DataLoad continue on it's merry way!
-The option "Wait while hourglass" does not seem to work.
-&, +, ^, % commands still perform functions when included in a body of text
Example: a company name like "G & G and Associates." DataLoad types "G ", depresses Right ALT and punches in a whole slew of characters. Brackets will fix this, but that is impractical.
-Price - it's too expensive!
As far as I know, DataLoad is still the only program to offer macro loading in a convenient spreadsheet format and probably the only one to support Oracle forms (although I still have not figured out whether this will work with our Oracle deployment). Still, I have found many other macro programs with added functionality like functions and formulas support, that are significantly cheaper. Fortunately, their script format bars their programs from real consideration. However, it would seem likely that it would not take long for another macro developer to make that logical leap to a spreadsheet format.

Personally, I think the DataLoad team would make significantly more money now if they reduced the cost of the program, increased the user base and added some type of upgrade program to maintain subscribers and create customer loyalty. Even many professional users will have a difficult time justifying the cost.


Last edited by -G- on Wed Apr 19, 2006 3:20 pm; edited 5 times in total
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David



Joined: 15 Nov 2005
Posts: 97
Location: Near Heathrow Airport, London

PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Suggestions/Problems Reply with quote

I don't work for DataLoad, I am just a user with about 8 years experience of using DataLoad. The opinions I express here are my own, and should not be taken as representing the views of DataLoad.

-G- wrote:
ESC does not always respond.


Classic: I have noticed that ESC will not always kick in immediately, but to me it seems that the delay usually occurs when it is doing a sleep like *SL3 or *SL5.

Professional: Since Professional runs entirely on the server (except for the display which runs on the PC) I would not expect pressing ESC on the PC to do anything to effect it.

-G- wrote:
Boolean to look for error codes or checked boxes.

DataLoad Classic does most of its work using the Windows clipboard and Cut'n'Paste, with a small amount done using Keystrokes. The flow of data is always from the PC to the server and the layout of the .dld determines the order of events (left to right, top to bottom). Although I agree that it would be nice to be able to pull info from the server and manipulate it in real time on the PC, I would hate to have responsibility for having to design or specify how it would work to please all users. DataLoad was not designed to have all of the fancy manipulation facilities that Excel has (VLOOKUP, INDEX, IF), but was designed to take data that has been cleverly crafted in Excel, pop it into a .dld file and send it to the server.

DataLoad Professional does all of its work on the server, and is based on functionalitiy built into Oracle Forms. The Oracle Applications developers worked with the Oracle Forms developers to provide a facility to record the instructions necessary to build a system so that they could quickly check and debug the Applications Forms, do regression testing, volume testing and quickly build databases like Vision. Unfortunately, it looks as though they are moving away from this. If you want changes to DataLoad Profesional to allow interogation and decision making, you really need to talk to Oracle about low-level changes in Oracle Forms and I don't see that happening in the near future. Sad Sorry.

Having said that, I frequently extract data from the APPS (using "File, Export" or TOAD), analyse and manipulate it in Excel and create a new DataLoad.

-G- wrote:
The option "Wait while hourglass" does not seem to work.

Hmm. I think that I would have to agree. I could get rid of a lot of *SL commands if it did work.

-G- wrote:
Price - it's too expensive!

Sorry, I can't agree. Looking at the time it saves me, it is worth every penny. Let me give you an example from my current project:

Arrow In our French organisation, we have two Account segments, one for the Global Account and one for the local PCG Account (PCG is the French statutory account numbering system). There is a many-to-one mapping from the PCG to Global, so for each value in the PCG segment, we have a Cross Segment Validation Rule with two elements; the first excludes Global values from the minimum value to one-below-the-valid-one while the other excludes the one-above-the-valid-one to the maximum value. This was easy to build in Excel and resulted in a total of around 2080 elements, which DataLoad Professional loaded in around 17 minutes. This had to be repeated for a total of 7 organisations. It was half-a-day's work with DataLoad Professional. It would take at least a week with DataLoad Classic. It would take 2-3 months to to it by hand, and it would be impossible to guarantee consistency across the organisations.

The money that can be saved by using DataLoad Professional vastly outweighs its cost. It may be that there are other programs out there that do similar things, but I doubt if there are any as tightly integrated with the Oracle Apps. It is my humble opinion that DataLoad Professional is extremely good value for money.

David.
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-G-



Joined: 23 Mar 2006
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2006 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are obviously very familiar with the forms function! The price for the DataLoad apps may be justifiable to some large organizations that need the speed on a regular basis. I can certainly see the utility in that. I have no experience with that part of the program, but the speed increase definitely does sound impressive and I have not heard of any other program that works with Oracle using that method.

However, my main focus is on the solitary function that is included in the macro side of the Pro version that is not included in the Classic. The ability to pause the program at specific points, to allow the user to make changes, check for validations or as a work around for the errors... the price is steep.

If you use the Classic version regularly, you will have a greater appreciation for how unresponsive the ESC key is. Some times it does not respond at all and I end up repeatedly hitting the ESC key. The idle timers do throw it off, but so do normal keystrokes. I also found that ESC does not work while using the costly PROMPT command in the Pro version.
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David



Joined: 15 Nov 2005
Posts: 97
Location: Near Heathrow Airport, London

PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2006 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

-G- wrote:
However, my main focus is on the solitary function that is included in the macro side of the Pro version that is not included in the Classic. The ability to pause the program at specific points, to allow the user to make changes, check for validations or as a work around for the errors... the price is steep.

Embarassed Ah, Sorry. I remember reading about this facility, but must confess that I have not had time to "play" with it yet. I must try to find the time, although I am not yet sure what I would use it for.

-G- wrote:
If you use the Classic version regularly, you will have a greater appreciation for how unresponsive the ESC key is. Some times it does not respond at all and I end up repeatedly hitting the ESC key. The idle timers do throw it off, but so do normal keystrokes. I also found that ESC does not work while using the costly PROMPT command in the Pro version.

I have done a lot of work with Classic, and I don't remember having serious problems with ESC. Yes, it sometimes doesn't react immediately during a *SL, but (I think) it has always responded before any damage could be done. Maybe I have just been lucky. Very Happy

As for ESC in Classic, I would not expect this to work. ESC is like a CTL+C or CTL+Break in that it interrupts the program running on the PC. When you are running DataLoad Professional, the program is running on the server and only the display is being processed on the PC. Your PC is being used almost like a dumb terminal, so when you press ESC, all you can do is interrupt the display process, not the logic process.

Anyway, enough of my ramblings, let's see what the DataLoad Support and Development staff have to say.
_________________
When my time comes,
I want to die like my grandfather did:
quietly and in his sleep.
Not kicking and screaming like the passengers in his car.

David K. Dickson
DataLoad Forum Moderator
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-G-



Joined: 23 Mar 2006
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.arl.wustl.edu/~lockwood/class/cs306/books/artofasm/Chapter_17/CH17-4.html
Quote:
Interrupt latency is the time between the point a device signals that it needs service and the point where the ISR provides the needed service. This is not instantaneous! At the very least, the 8259 PIC needs to signal the CPU, the CPU needs to interrupt the current program, push the flags and return address, obtain the ISR address, and transfer control to the ISR. The ISR may need to push various registers, set up certain variables, check device status to determine the source of the interrupt, and so on. Furthermore, there may be other ISRs chained into the interrupt vector before you and they execute to completion before transferring control to your ISR that actually services the device. Eventually, the ISR actually does whatever it is that the device needs done. In the best case on the fastest microprocessors with simple ISRs, the latency could be under a microsecond. On slower systems, with several ISRs in a chain, the latency could be as bad as several milliseconds.

For some devices, the interrupt latency is more important than the actual interrupt service time. For example, an input device may only interrupt the CPU once every 10 seconds. However, that device may be incapable of holding the data on its input port for more than a millisecond. In theory, any interrupt service time less than 10 seconds is fine; but the CPU must read the data within one millisecond of its arrival or the system will lose the data.
I am not sure if that is still true about the 10 second delay. It still seems like there has to be a way to increase the interrupt priority. How about active polling?
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DataLoad
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Joined: 15 Nov 2005
Posts: 227
Location: Dorset, UK

PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

-ESC does not always respond

David is correct that when DataLoad is "sleeping", e.g. executing the *SL command, it will not respond to the ESC key instantly. Instead it will check for an ESC at the end of its sleep. DataLoad checks for ESC after processing each cell. It is reliable but you must only press ESC once. If DataLoad does not pause immediately and you press ESC further times then this will stop DataLoad from detecting the first ESC and the load won't stop. We could change the sleeps so DataLoad checks for ESC during a sleep, say waking every so often and checking the ESC, and will add that in the next release.

-Boolean

This is just not possible with Oracle Forms because there is no way DataLoad can interoperate with Oracle at that level. We may extend DataLoad to offer additional functionality for the HTML/Self Service forms and could then add boolean logic. Please let us know if this is of interest.

-Inability to change window focus

You can do this with the *CW() command.

-Ability to update DataLoad's programmed run on the fly

I don't understand what you want here, can you give more details please?

-The option "Wait while hourglass" does not seem to work

Yes, this is a fair point. We have spent many, many hours trying to get this function to work better but it is not a good feature. It does work but there are too many situations where it doesn't work and we seem to be struggling with what is possible on Oracle/Windows.

-&, +, ^, % commands still perform functions when included in a body of text

Data should generally be sent using copy & paste and not as keystrokes and that avoids this issue. However, we understand that sometimes keystrokes must be used and have had a similar request from another user. We are now going to look at flexible ways to turn this off. Stopping DataLoad from interpretting these characters is easy, but we want a nice way for you to be able to control this. Should we use a global option that turns this feature on or off, or maybe something you include in your load cell(s) to control this behaviour? We want to hear what users think is best and will implement that.

- Price

If you are using DataLoad Pro for Macro loads and only use the extra Macro features then DataLoad Pro is quite expensive. Having said that, 95% of users take the free download of DataLoad so generally we offer fantastic value for money Smile. The cost of Oracle-skilled staff or consultants is such that even in Macro mode I am sure that the time DataLoad Pro saves represents more money than the license costs.

However, the real value of DataLoad Pro is in the Forms Playback loads. If you have DataLoad Pro and use Oracle Applications then use Forms Playback. These loads represent fantastic value for money when you think about the cost of either building interfaces or loading data manually (by hand or through a macro).

You mention features such as functions in other macro software. Please tell us what sort of things you would like to see and we will try to add them to DataLoad.


Regards,

Jonathan.
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DataLoad
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Joined: 15 Nov 2005
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Location: Dorset, UK

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FYI, the ESC was re-written in V5.0 and is now far more responsive and also does now interrupt a load during a *SL sleep or other delay.

Jonathan
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