Client/Server - maintaining the metaphor

ESandi modify labor distribution screen

Last modified: August 2, 1996

When computer software mimics the paper system it replaces it seems intuitive to me. I find my electronic calendar (Datebook Pro) easy to use because it looks and, in many ways, behaves just like my wall calendar. The only difference is that it doesn't allow me to schedule conflicting appointments and it beeps to remind me of appointments.

ESandi mimics the paper system it replaced all the way down to the perforations. The only difference between the electronic SANDI and the paper SANDI is that ESandi beeps at the end user when they try to distribute a person's effort beyond 100% or they try to charge to a project that doesn't exist, etc.

There were two major challenges involved with this project. The first was that the server software was ADABAS. ADABAS is not a relational database and has no "sql hook". In order to update data on ADABAS in real time from an Omnis application someone needed to write the server software to do it. Mary Donovan wrote that software. The second challenge was encrypting and kerberizing the sensitive & private salary information. Dave Hardy wrote the middle ware and server software to do this.

Carolyn Fuller
Senior Analyst/Programmer
MIT Comptroller's Accounting Office
(617) 253-6213

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