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Oledb vs Infoaccess is the way to go

Oledb vs Infoaccess is the way to go

Oledb vs Infoaccess is the way to go

For anyone using the Infoaccess software for connecting a Unisys DMSII database to a PC client, you should take a good look at the OLEDB software which replaces the Infoaccess. It is very easy to use and the recent release (46.1 & 45.1 patched version) allows the client to update the DMSII database.
Perhaps the best feature is that with OLEDB software you do not need to know anything about the DMSII structure, because it gets downloaded to your pc when you connect, and a sample VB program from Unisys will allow you to view the database to see what you are dealing with.
Good luck trying to decipher the Unisys example VB program loaded with the Pathmate CD. For those of us who are still somewhat VB chalengled, the example makes it look harder that it really is.

RE: Oledb vs Infoaccess is the way to go

Keep getting an error "all licences have been used up" even when the first user tries to connect from a PC Client.

We have the system software key for the OLEDB service on MCP - but do not have any clue what licenses this message is talking about.

RE: Oledb vs Infoaccess is the way to go

We are planning to use Infoaccess as a pipe between a DmsII database, thru nt side of a clearpath 4800, and then over to a linux server which has apache web server and tomcat application server, in addition to an informix database server. This is to get our big application on the intranet as inquiry only.  We first copy the whole database into an informix database on the linux server.  The infoaccess will be used just to update the informix from the dmsii datbase. I don't agree with everything, but I don't work for myself.  How does oledb work ? What are to reasons that oledb works better than infoaccess ?
     I'am an old cobol mainframe programmer where you knew where the heck everything was. No so these days.  I don't even know how many servers we have today or where they all are. Either does anyone else.

RE: Oledb vs Infoaccess is the way to go

Guess the sample VB program referred to above is the macro being called thru an MS Excel File to give a VIEW of the data.
Like I said, I think its only a VIEW and not particularly useful if you plan to port data.

OLEDB does alow you to run JSP/ASP on TomCat or IIS and access data from the DMS II directly. This probably would reduce the  effort of taking data across to Informix on a regular basis - not to talk about the cost of maintaining another server and DB.
Guess if you have a recent enough MCP, it will even alow you to deploy the JSP on the server itself.

BTW I got the feeling that Unisys recommended using Dataaccess utilities to create a staging data base in MS SQL Server. Then offcourse porting the data to any SQL/ODBC data source should be easy. Off course I have neither personally ever attempted nor seen anybody attempt the use Dataaccess to get data into SQL.

That was just my two bit for what is was worth - sorry that does not reply to the question though.

RE: Oledb vs Infoaccess is the way to go

The OLEDB product uses the old InfoAccess license key, which comes with permission for 4 or 8 client connections for the LX machines, I think a NX also gets a few free licenses.  The license key is something like UL-62-INFOACCESS-L3-......
You can find this by doing a IK SHOW from the ODT or Marc session.
The sample program I referred to is from the CD called PathMate. It has setup instructions and a couple of sample VB programs. It's a little tricky getting all of the pieces in place, because you need the keys installed (Many times the system ships with the software installed, but without the keysfile being loaded), and you need a couple of configuration files setup on the MCP side.
The reason I think OLEDB is better than InfoAccess is because it is much faster, doesn't require a middle tier and the database description is downloaded to you pc when you attach. You don't need to re-gen anything when the DMSII database structure is altered.
If you need more detail, I probably would need your system style, software levels and maybe a peek at your keysfile and configuration files to be helpful.

RE: Oledb vs Infoaccess is the way to go

I have had some limited succes with the oledb client for the DMSII. We are able to do single record seeks and updates using oledb via the MS ADO seek method in our asp app on IIS 4 and 5. There is no way that we can find at this time to do SQL querys via oledb. You can try the ADO filter method to get a small resultset, but the time is outragouse. If you need an example of the oledb single record seek using ADO and asp in IIS let me know.


RE: Oledb vs Infoaccess is the way to go

I am trying to Update a child table unique to a parent table in a Hierarchical database that is on the UNISYS system using Infoaccess and ASP. The problem is that it send the select on the parent and the insert in the child as 2 different commands when I need the connection to keep what parent record is selected. I have talked to UNISYS and they say there should be an ASP command that keeps the connection to the InfoAccess. I have yet to find this. Does anyone know of or how to do this?

RE: Oledb vs Infoaccess is the way to go

I have been experimenting with OLEDB back since SSR 46.1 was out there, and now I am currently trying SSR 47.1.  Although for read-only purposes at this point, the approach I am implementing is through SQL Server 2000 in order to avoid driver installation a the client machines.  Most of our PCs have already the OLEDB drivers to connect to SQL Server.  My results have been great.  I have been able to query my DMSII datasets using SQL statements, even by using the key sets and joining sets together.  I've gone as far as creating stored procedures, so I can use them through my Visual Basic programs in a more look-and-feel fashion.

RE: Oledb vs Infoaccess is the way to go

I have been experimenting with both the Unisys Data Access ODBC ( and the Unisys OLEDB Provider for ClearPath MCP (47.1.18).  I have set up 2 database links in Oracle 9i ( that use Heterogeneous Services-Generic Connectivity:  one database link uses the Data Access ODBC and the other uses OLEDB.  The ODBC works, but apparently does not support distributed transactions/two-phase commit which I need to ensure consistent data.  (I have an Oracle PL/SQL procedure that INSERTs data into DMSII tables and updates records in Oracle.)

I think the Unisys OLEDB Provider supports distributed transactions, but I am unable to get Oracle to read the data correctly.  It seems there is a column offset problem: when doing a SELECT on a DMSII table from Oracle, I get hex garbage for the first column and the last column is missing--all the other columns in between show up fine.  The OLEDB schema utility shows the correct tables and fields and even the Oracle Heterogeneous Services data dictionary views show all the correct DMSII columns.

We are still running MCP Release 6.0.  Unisys states that the OLEDB Provider released with MCP Release 7.0 is qualified to work with Oracle, but I have yet to find any specific documentation for use with Oracle.  From looking at their OLEDB Provider documentation for MCP Release 7.0 SSP2 it looks as if Unisys dropped OLEDB update and transaction support (ITransaction, ITransactionLocal, IRowsetChange, & IRowsetUpdate).

Does anybody have any Oracle+ClearPath OLEDB experience or any other clues?

RE: Oledb vs Infoaccess is the way to go

I'd love to hear more about this topic myself.

I get the distinct impression that this is a fairly "dumb" interface.  You have to remember that the concept MS had with OLEDB was for it to connect to and interact with almost any datastore, even things like email folders!

So using the DMSII Provider doesn't turn DMSII into a relational database.  DMSII is "dumb" itself, more like a set of ISAM files.  Come on, where's the DMSII "engine?"  Answer is, there ain't one.  Now I'm not disparaging DMSII here, I'm aware of all that it offers, but it just doesn't contain a query processor unless you count the myriad add-ons over the years.

As I understand it, the DMSII Provider is really meant to be used with SQL Server as its database engine.  That's where you process your SQL statements or write stored procedures.

This doesn't mean you can't grab DMSII data in a client application, far from it.  But it does seem to mean all you can do is Cobol-style DMSII programming - there aren't any Joins and such available.  The DMSII structures are more like unconnected, unconnectable tables - once again sort of like a bunch of ISAM files.

Oracle and OLEDB ought to work I suppose, can't imagine why not.  Sure sounds like a match made in hell though: Oracle through a MS interface to a Unisys database?  Does Oracle "know about" non-relational datastores via OLEDB?  My guess is the Oracle implementation of an OLEDB sink will make assumptions that aren't true in this case.

I'd love to hear anything you've learned that contradicts any or all of this though.

RE: Oledb vs Infoaccess is the way to go

hello and good day! We are trying to use unisys oledb as a tool to download data from ourn DMS database to our sql server but we encountered a problem on making a query. There is no query bulder for this tool unlike infoaccess. Is there any way you can help us with this? Thanks!

neil davadilla
neil. davadilla@insularbank.com.ph

RE: Oledb vs Infoaccess is the way to go


Why not start a new thread? ..

Anyways - No Query Builder but there is a schema viewer which might help you identify the table/column names.

Also it might be a better idea to create a Linked Server in the SQL Server and run Queries on the linked server.


RE: Oledb vs Infoaccess is the way to go


You definitely have to setup a linked server within SQL for every DMSII physical database, if you are planning to bring your mainframe data to SQL structures.  You can use query analyzer to query DMSII datasets using SQL statements.  You can even create views for your PC client applications to query the mainframe in real time.  
If you plan to build a data warehouse, you might want to consider creating store procedures and schedule jobs to populate your tables in your SQL Server.


You probably should consider doing the same, if you wish to execute SQL statements against DMSII.  If I understood correctly, it seems you were trying the sample approach, where your PC application connects directly to the DMSII database.  The sample implementation allows you to access the data like you would in a COBOL program, in a very dumb fashion.  I sympathize with you in the conceptual matter, but ultimately it is a more direct way rather than using flat files.  By setting the linked server, SQL server is acting as the mediator to get the data from DMSII.  Even though this illusion constitutes another layer, it provides our programmers, who do not know DMSII, with a more comfortable and familiar way to access the data.  In addition, it eliminates the issue of another driver deployment to all the PCs.

If I can be of any assistance, let me know.

Good Luck!!!

RE: Oledb vs Infoaccess is the way to go


Guess there are some limitations on the joins and other complexities that you can introduce.

RE: Oledb vs Infoaccess is the way to go

Can anyone point me to good documentation on how to setup and use a linked server for SQL 2000 and DMSII? I have read thru UNisys's doc and it seems that I have created the linked server but how do you access the data? Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks, James

RE: Oledb vs Infoaccess is the way to go

If the Linked Server is properly configured you can access the data via:
 1. Using four-part names
    See Microsoft SQL Server Books OnLine (BOL) topic
    Using Identifiers as Object Names
    See BOL topic OPENQUERY
You can access data using an OLE-DB or ODBC driver without configuring a linked server via:
    See BOL topic OPENQUERY

Hope this helps.


RE: Oledb vs Infoaccess is the way to go

I too am trying to setup OLEDB with MSSQL Server 2000 linked server, yet I cannot get the Enterprise Manager to read the tables from the Clearpath. I know it has to do with the logon to the Clearpath, but do not know how to get around this. Any help will be greatly appreciated since the Unisys documentation only deals with version 7 of the SQL server.

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