Micro Focus is urging customers to adopt a new method of testing for Year 2000 compliance, although many of its customers are well into projects using an older approach it now dismisses as of limited use.
The Cobol specialist, which has experienced a rebirth in its fortunes on the back of the demand for Y2K tools, yesterday launched a range of testing kits that support the ?windowing? method, which has been hailed by analysts as the most effective way of protecting against the time bomb for companies that have yet to begin projects.
Windowing requires companies to identify code that will 'break' by putting in mandates that leave the two digits in place, but adds logic to differentiate between centuries - so the system assumes '95' means 1995, but'01' means 2001.
Called Soft Factory/2000, the suite is designed to enable one person to identify and modify 400,000 lines of code per week, and halve the time for testing the applications. The company also claims it is 20 per cent more accurate than pattern matching - the method employed by many tools on the market, including some of its own.
Pattern matching, as used in data expansion - a method that was introduced amid fanfare two years ago but has since lost favour with Year 2000 conversion experts - picks up instances of when the word 'date' appears as a signal to expect a coded numerical date. However, this method could miss out some instances, suggests Micro Focus.
According to Peter Katz, general manager of Micro Focus? Year 2000 business, pattern matching could still be useful, but for less than one per cent of applications.
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