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Today's Niakwa News

In this issue:

Niakwa Introduces 32-bit IDE and Workbench

by Jason Dederich, Sales Manager

Imagine a world in which your development environment is consistent, fast and powerful. Imagine a world in which designing in one place yields coordinated, accurate and efficient results. This world becomes a reality in Release V of Niakwa’s new 32-bit Integrated Development Environment (IDE). The center of this new world is the Niakwa Workbench.

The Niakwa Workbench introduces a powerful editor / debugger to the NPL development community. The Workbench will be much more than just an editor / debugger, it will be a visual project management tool that provides seamless access to Niakwa’s 32-bit development tools. This product is the primary lens through which NPL developers will view and interact with the language and is the foundation upon which all future development will be performed.

In addition to the Niakwa Workbench, NPL Release V introduces developers to a true 32-bit Windows RunTime and development product, providing the opportunity to take advantage of 32-bit language features currently available in our UNIX and 386/DOS-Extender RunTime products.

The Niakwa IDE is designed to provide the application developer with a complete set of 32-bit development tools including: The Niakwa Programming Language with the new Niakwa Workbench, the Visual Interface Manager (Vinny), Open NDM (in development) and the Niakwa Gateway to ODBC. All of these products have been updated to support 32-bit development, with additional enhancements in the works, to keep NPL developers competitive in today’s world of evolving 32-bit operating systems.

Niakwa’s 32-bit suite of products offers numerous advantages to developers. Here is a summary on each of these 32-bit IDE components.

Niakwa Programming Language - The updated Windows RTI now accommodates variables larger than 64K. This new release also allows the use of 32-bit external routines.

Open NDM - In its final stage, Open NDM will be a product integrated with the Niakwa Workbench, providing a graphical set of development tools, allowing access to all NDM supported data bases. Initially, NPL Release V will include a 32-bit version of the NDM for Btrieve library. Future releases will include updated NDM utilities integrated with the Workbench, and all new NDM libraries that are currently under development including TCP/IP and ODBC.

ODBC Gateway - The 32-bit version allows developers who are currently using the 16-bit version of the Niakwa Gateway to ODBC an easy migration path to 32-bit ODBC. Now 32-bit calls can be accessed for use with current programs.

Visual Interface Manager (Vinny) - With the 32-bit version of Visual NPL you can use 32-bit Visual Basic (VB 5.0) along with the wealth of add-on 32-bit controls made available via OCX’s.

The rollout of Release V features will be an ongoing process, with future enhancements currently in development. Release 5.0, which includes the Workbench Editor and 32-bit support, is now in beta testing.

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NPL Revision 4.3 and NPL V Beta Test in Progress

by Cyndee Philyaw, NPL Sales & Mktg Manager

Niakwa has released two products to Beta Test simultaneously, NPL 4.3 and NPL V. NPL 4.3 brings updated syntax to our 16-bit DOS/Windows platforms while NPL 5.0 will be our first 32-bit release for these same platforms. The Beta test period began the week of April 13th and will be concluded by press time.

NPL Revision 4.3

NPL Revision 4.3 introduces a significant number of enhancements and additions to NPL such as:

  • Year 2000 enhancement $LDATE
  • Improved mixed network security authentication
  • Enhanced Universal Upgrade procedures
  • New MS-DOS install procedures
  • Improved Passthrough printing support
  • Enhanced Boolean Expressions
  • Parenthesis are now permitted to group logical conditions
  • Enhanced RTIWIN.INI
  • New /C command line option for Instant Vinny support
  • Enhanced printer control
  • Support for new HALT key sequence
  • New and enhanced commands and syntax

NPL Revision 5.0

NPL Release V introduces the much anticipated 32-bit NPL Windows version of NPL and the Niakwa Integrated Development Environment (IDE). The focal point of the Niakwa IDE is the new Niakwa Workbench, a powerful editor/debugger which will be welcomed by all NPL developers! The debugger will follow in Release 5.1.

The Niakwa IDE also includes updated 32-bit Vinny, NDM and ODBC libraries for use with the new 32-bit Windows RunTime.

The following features will be introduced in NPL 5.0:

  • Niakwa Workbench editor and project management environment
  • Built in support for calls to 32-bit DLL’s
  • 32-bit Windows RunTimes support variables larger than 64K
  • 32-bit Windows BESDK
  • RTIWIN.INI now supports optional sections specific to 16-bit or 32-bit Windows versions
  • 32-bit Windows Demonstration diskettes
  • New 32-bit NDM Btrieve libraries
  • 32-bit Vinny 5.0 for use with VB 5.0
  • Support for Windows 98
  • All Release 4.3 enhancements described above

Soon to follow will be NPL V for Intel UNIX platforms.

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NPL V Packaging and NPL Pricing Preview

by Cyndee Philyaw, NPL Sales & Mktg Manager

With the eminent release of NPL V Integrated Development Environment and NPL Revision 4.3, we are making some changes in the way we distribute NPL.

Here’s a preview of those changes:

  • For NPL V, we are dropping the individual development software products (NPL, Vinny, NDM, ODBC) and combining them into one NPL V Integrated Development Environment (IDE) CD-ROM! Beginning with Release V, all development updates now and ongoing will automatically be sent to all active Gold and International Resellers. The annual Reseller renewal fee will be increased to accommodate this change.
  • For NPL 4.3 and NPL V RunTimes, our standard product will remain 3-1/2" 1.44 mb diskettes, with the aim to move to CD-ROM and to the Internet in future Release V releases.  Now that NPL V 32-bit replaces much of the need for the PharLap or Combo versions, we will be adjusting the pricing in all groups slightly higher, with the main emphasis on the Windows groups 2 and 4.
  • For all NPL Upgrades on all platforms, the Universal Upgrade will be available. For DOS and Windows (and Phar-Lap) platforms 1 through 4, all Universal Upgrades will contain the full RunTime set, and it will be the Authorization Code which determines what products and numbers of users are activated at a given site. This will eliminate the need for internet downloads when adding functionality at a later date, and make them even easier to work with. Universal Upgrades will be available for upgrades from 4.x to 4.3, from 4.x to 5.0, or from 3.x to either of these revisions. All Universal Upgrades are provided at the same user level breaks as new RunTimes.
  • For all platforms, Niakwa upgrade pricing will be adjusted to be more in line with industry standard upgrade prices.

These changes become effective when the final release of NPL V and 4.3 ship (late July or early August.) RunTime package pricing changes will affect all product groups. Further packaging and pricing details along with new price lists will be mailed prior to final release.

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NPL Release IV for IBM RS/6000

by Leona Swieton, Customer Service

NPL Release IV has been available on AIX based operating systems running on IBM RS/6000 since December 1997. All developers of AIX based systems can take advantage of the popular Release IV structured programming features such as:

  • NEW! Modular development
  • NEW! CUT, COPY, PASTE & UNDO commands
  • NEW! Support for variables greater than 64K
  • NEW! Function/procedure interface
  • NEW! Structured constructs
  • NEW! Long variable names

In addition to the significant programmer productivity gains which Release IV makes possible, the following features benefit both developers and end-users:

NPL Year 2000 Support Facility

Niakwa has provided a Century Date function in Release IV to assist developers in adapting their applications to handle turn of the century issues.

Field Level Reset Capability

For the first time, field level resets are available for all AIX RunTime Packages! If the "install based NPL security" is lost from the hard drive, a special reset code can be obtained from Niakwa to re-enable the security in most situations. This feature is intended to greatly reduce the number of physical Run-Time replacements required.

User Level Upgrades in the Field (LIMITS program)

Another key feature gaining popularity among NPL users is the ability to increase user counts in the field via a single activation code! The benefits are obvious with the elimination of the time and costs involved in a full RTP exchange. Standard user level counts and pricing policies apply.

Universal Upgrades (No Return Required)

The highly successful 4.22 Universal Upgrade of DOS, Windows and Intel fame is now available for AIX upgrades. This upgrade package contains the NPL RunTime Replacement Gold Key Diskette, which inherits all of the characteristics of the original NPL Gold Key (i.e. keeps the same serial number and #GOLDKEY numbers.) Best of all, it deactivates the original NPL Gold Key, eliminating the need to return the older version RunTime to Niakwa.

SHOWNPL Program for RS/6000

To ensure accurate Gold Key information is provided to Niakwa for the new AIX Universal Upgrade, we have created another SHOWNPL program, so your end-user can provide this essential information to you at the time of the order. With the SHOWNPL program you can verify the NPL Revision, Number of Users, Platform, Product Number and most importantly... Serial Number!

For pricing and product distribution information refer to Marketing Bulletin No. 84, which was mailed in late December.

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HP9000 Series Moving to Release IV

by Cyndee Philyaw, NPL Sales & Mktg Manager

HP-UX is the next in line to be upgraded from Release III to Release IV. This is good news for all existing HP users, and for any Resellers who choose to offer this as yet another Release IV platform option.

NPL Release IV for HP-UX will include all of the Release IV standards of modular development, improved editing commands, support for variables greater than 64K and long variable names, plus new statements to help in the conversion of programs for Year 2000 compliance, and much more.

The HP-UX Release IV product is currently in beta test. If you are interested in taking part in the HP Beta Test please contact Kurt Skaronea, kas@niakwa.com.

This leaves only the Sun Sparc platform remaining at Release III. We have not scheduled a move to Release IV for this platform. If you have a significant interest in having the Sun platform on Release IV, please contact our sales department.

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Niakwa Offers Two On-Line Services

by Dick Drew, V.P. & General Manager

The Niakwa Newsletter has been a reliable communication tool for NPL related news and information. You have probably noticed the frequency of its publication has diminished during the last few years. This is due to the emergence of the Niakwa On-Line News and the Niakwa List Serv.

The On-Line News is an e-mail based newsletter published by Niakwa. Because it is fast and easy to produce, Niakwa relies upon it more and more to disseminate important information on an immediate basis. As an example, we recently became aware of a serious bug in the SCO UNIX operating system. Niakwa’s On-Line News subscribers were notified immediately of the problem and a short time later, after Santa Cruz had fixed the problem, they were advised of the correction.

The Niakwa List Serv is an on-line e-mail "chat room" for NPL developers to share ideas, techniques and discuss issues, as well as a place where Niakwa solicits opinions and discussion regarding trends and new products that shape our development.

We will continue to publish Today’s Niakwa News on a periodic basis, however if you wish to receive up to the minute information regarding Niakwa and NPL and you have an e-mail address, we encourage you to subscribe to the NPL On-Line News and add your name to the Niakwa List Serv.

To participate in these on-line services send your e-mail address to sales@niakwa.com.

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On-Line Maintenance Release 4.22.21

by Kurt Skaronea, General Service Manager

NPL Revision 4.22.21 is now available from our Web Site. This is not just your ordinary "bug fix" style maintenance release to tide you over until a formal update is available. This maintenance release allows you to take advantage of the "latest and greatest" NPL developments including:

  • Instant Vinny - Working in conjunction with Visual NPL, this is the fastest way to move your code to a Windows environment. Instant Vinny requires Release 4.22.21.
  • Improved Mixed Network Support - NPL security on Release 4.22.21 has been changed to accommodate Niakwa Network RunTimes running on a mixed Windows NT and Novell Network environment. Specifically, this will eliminate past problems of RunTimes installed on Window NT servers that detected and failed to pass security due to the presence of a Novell server.
  • TrueType Fonts - the purpose of this font is to provide a completely scaleable fixed-pitch font for NPL character-based applications running under Microsoft Windows.

Although we are delighted to bring you this software "preview," please be aware that each of these products are intended to give you a head-start on your development needs, while we prepare the upcoming final release of NPL 4.3 and NPL 5.0.

NPL Revision 4.22.21 is now available FREE from our Web Site. This is the only way you can receive this maintenance re-lease. The only exception is Instant Vinny which automatically shipped to all current Visual NPL 2 licensees and will become part of the standard product.

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NPL/Windows TrueType Fonts Set

by Alan Green, Director of R&D

The NPL/Windows TrueType font set has yielded mixed results.  The purpose of this font is to provide a completely scaleable fixed-pitch font for NPL character based applications running under Microsoft Windows. Our results have shown the quality of the font seems directly related to the monitor/video card in use. On most systems, running at 1024 x 768 using large fonts yields a good look and feel. Results are similar at 800 x 600. However, using the font on some of our older systems yield a blocky character set. The only difference seems to be the age and quality of the monitor/video card in use.

We will be happy to provide the source files for the font to any developer who wishes to use Fontographer or another tool to improve its appearance. We ask that anyone who achieves better results than we did, please supply us a copy so we can make it available to all NPL developers.

We are still searching for a better, fixed-pitch TrueType font and welcome hearing from anyone who knows of one.

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Tech Bites

by Rich Lindas, Senior Product Analyst

Setting up a Microsoft NT or Win95 network is not as simple as it is for Novell networks. By taking extra care in the setup phase, many costly problems can be avoided. Here are some helpful hints:

Configuring Microsoft Windows 95

When setting up networking in Windows 95, the network configuration screen will display the networking components to be installed on your system. If Windows 95 is already installed on your system, this list can be displayed by choosing Network from the Control Panel. The list of networking components installed should appear similar to:

Client for Microsoft Networks
(Your Network Adapter is shown here)
IPX/SPX Compatible Protocol
NetBIOS support for IPX/SPX Compatible Protocol
NetBEUI
File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks

NOTE: Windows 95 does not automatically select a default protocol. In the Properties section for the IPX/SPX Compatible Protocol verify the following 3 options are selected:

  1. I want to Enable NetBIOS over IPX/SPX.
  2. Set this protocol to be the default protocol.
  3. In the Bindings setup, choose all the components to communicate using the NetBIOS protocol.

Configuring WindowsNT server and workstations

Windows NT Server and Workstations require the following protocols to run NPL:

  • NetBEUI Protocol
  • NWLink IPX/SPX Compatible Transport
  • NWLink NetBIOS

When you load NWLink IPX/SPX Compatible Transport and the NetBEUI protocols, Windows NT should automatically load NWLink NetBIOS. You must then restart the computer for the new setting to take effect.

A reminder about NIAKNETW.DLL.

In both cases these are NetBIOS type networks so NIAKNETW. DLL must be enabled for NPL to function correctly.

To enable the use of NIAKNETW.DLL, add the command, NiaknetwEnabled=1 to the [general] section of either the local RTIWIN.INI file or the configured NetworkIniFile.

NIAKNETW.DLL is loaded by the NPL MS-Windows Run-Time at start up (if it is not already present.) Therefore, NIAKNETW.DLL must be locatable using the standard MS-Windows DLL search procedure. For the simplest operation, ensure NIAKNETW.DLL is in the same directory as the NPL Windows executables.

A small status window appears at the top of the display with the caption "NiakNetW Monitor - Establishing NETBIOS interface" when the Windows RunTimes are checking for NetBIOS authorization (whether using NIAKNET.DLL or NIAKNETB.COM.) This feature was added because some NetBIOS operations effectively stop MS-Windows for a number of seconds. The status of windows is displayed to indicate the behavior is temporary, and the workstation is not locked.

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Today’s Niakwa News is published periodically by Niakwa, Incorporated, 1850 W. Winchester Road, Libertyville, Illinois, 60048. Phone (847)816-7400. Fax (847)816-7420. Web http://www.niakwa.com

Comments, questions and suggestions are welcome and can be directed to the Editor, Today’s Niakwa News, Niakwa.

Copyright 1996 - 2000 by Niakwa. Printed in the USA. All rights reserved. All product names, company names and/or logos are property of their respective companies.

 

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