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Alternates for FOCUS on mainframes

 
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rockish

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Joined: 05 Jun 2009
Posts: 185
Location: Planet Earth

PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:03 pm    Post subject: Alternates for FOCUS on mainframes
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Hello all,

Please bare my ignorance on this topic. I know that FOCUS is one of the host based reporting tools available on Mainframes that is predominatly in use today. I am trying to find out alternate products which could perform the same/similar functionalities. I hope SAS BO is one of them. Could anybody help me finding out more names of products that could do the same ?
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Bill O'Boyle

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Joined: 14 Jan 2008
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Location: Atlanta, Georgia, USA

PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply to: Alternates for FOCUS on mainframes
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Google?

Mr. Bill
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rockish

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 11:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Reply to: Alternates for FOCUS on mainframes
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Bill O'Boyle wrote:
Google?

Mr. Bill


Thanks for your response Mr. Bill. I have been trying to play around with Google for a while. And all the top hits are pointing me towards information builders website which again points to FOCUS icon_sad.gif
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enrico-sorichetti

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2011 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply to: Alternates for FOCUS on mainframes
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I guess that for reporting a FOCUS alternative could be SAS

googling for focus alternatives did not yield anything useful
but the same for SAS alternatives gave quite a few links
so the suggestion is to use some alternative thinking to think around the problem
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Akatsukami

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Joined: 03 Oct 2009
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Location: Bloomington, IL

PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:40 am    Post subject: Re: Alternates for FOCUS on mainframes
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rockish wrote:
I know that FOCUS is one of the host based reporting tools available on Mainframes that is predominatly in use today. I am trying to find out alternate products which could perform the same/similar functionalities. I hope SAS BO is one of them. Could anybody help me finding out more names of products that could do the same ?

Probably not; TTBOMK, FOCUS is pretty much the sole survivor of the wave of 4GLs that was going to make programmers obsolete (until it was realized that the only query that the average user is willing to write is, "Hey, four-eyes, where's the quarterly sales report?") SAS can do everything that FOCUS does, and a lot more besides; I don't know how the licensing structure compares, however.

An aside: I had a contract at a large insurance company in the late 1980s. Among the things that I did was convert all the RAMIS (direct ancestor of FOCUS) queries to PL/I programs, as the performance was execrable.
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dick scherrer

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Joined: 23 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:41 am    Post subject:
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Hello,

Once upon a time (30 years ago) RAMIS, NOMAD, and FOCUS were the "big 3" end-user decision support tools. As mentioned, RAMIS (Mathematics(?) and FOCUS(IBI) came from the same original concept.

My employer at the time decided to install/use both FOCUS and NOMAD (i won't even try to go into the political reasons why both) but i was asked to be the product co-ordinator / support person for both products.

At that time our data center consisted of 2 3081s and a 3084 (iirc). One entire 3081 was only for these 2 decision support tools. This was known as the "Informaton Center" as opposed to the "Data Center" where online transactoina and batch processes were run.

We had some incredibly strong "power users" (more than 100 - but we had 125k employees) who were most happy to dig in and develop some very powerful analysis tools. They did not have to wait for IT to study, estimate, get approval, allocate development staff etc and usually had what they wanted running before IT could have even gotten started. They also had pretty much All of their historical data available on real dasd.

Over time some of these user-written processes were wanted on the "Data Center" for real-time processing rather than waiting for the data to become available as the historical info. . . icon_rolleyes.gif

The rule was established that if one of these processes was to be run on the main transaction processing systems, they had to be converted to a "standard" implementation and be implemented by IT.

So much for that bit of nostalgia/history. . . icon_smile.gif

As for converting from FOCUS to something else, FOCUS data is stored in a proprietary format. The language is also proprietary and is quite a different approach to programming.
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