CIB merge runs on a great many different platforms - how come the porting works so quickly?
CIB merge is now available on two additional platforms. Since the start of March 1999, the program is executable for SINIX Reliant Unix and for Tru64 UNIX running on an Alpha server.
The relatively simple porting of CIB merge to new platforms is a direct result of the following features. The source code of CIB merge is based on the standard runtime library only and not on supplementary libraries.
For this purpose, the sources are optimized for three compiler types: Microsoft Visual Studio, IBM Visual Age and GNU C++.
CIB merge uses neither the MFC (Microsoft Foundation Classes) nor the OpenClass nor other libraries and thus refrains from using their templates. This awkward path entailed considerably greater effort and difficulty particularly in the development phase of the program. On the other hand however, we managed to preserve our autonomy in this way.
This strategic decision is currently paying off today. Thus, only a small number of constructs has to be adapted when porting to new platforms.
The fixed concentration on three compiler types also pursues the strategic objective of being able to serve as many platforms as possible because every compiler has its strengths for other environments. The Microsoft platforms - from DOS to 16-bit Windows all the way to Windows 95, 98 or NT - is best reached via Visual Studio. Visual Age compiles best for the platform OS/2 but can also be used for Windows platforms.
For the system world on the other hand, the GNU C++ compiler is the most suitable. In this way, CIB merge is broadly ported to various UNIX derivatives. The platforms Linux, HP-Unix, Sinix, Tru64 Unix are currently supported.
When porting in the Unix environment, the source file is compiled directly on the destination computer and then installed as an executable program. Here, the porting takes less than a day - independently of the system - and is carried out by a CIB specialist. A precondition for rapid porting is the availability of a GNU C++ compiler for the destination system. After CIB merge has been successfully installed, the source code of the program is removed again and the executable program left behind.
This procedure is only used in practice for system-oriented platforms. Finished executable files are created for Windows and OS/2. These exist in the form of EXE files, DLL files or ActiveX components.
In future, the program will be available on even more platforms. Work is currently taking place, for instance, on porting to a mainframe system. For Windows, an MTS-enabled (Microsoft Transaction Server) version of the CIB office modules will be available soon.