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MODLER Developer Support and Facilities

The MODLER software, broadly conceived, has been created and developed by a large number of people who are members of one (or more) of three groups: the central development team, supplementary program developers, and interface developers. The central core of MODLER packages are those that have obvious names, such as MODLER, MODLER BLUE, and DataView, and these are the precinct of the central development team.

The "supplementary programs" include file converters, side-by-side programs (such as the weekly seasonal adjustment program), and others that work in conjunction with the major MODLER packages. The purpose of these is to extend the coverage of the MODLER software or allow it to link to independently developed packages, data bases, and the Internet. Sometimes supplementary programs are developed by the central development team, but at other times they are developed by users or others who need a specific facility at a particular time. Occasionally, independent commercial packages can function as supplementary programs, as in the case of the SnagIt package, which among other things can be used to capture MODLER screen displays and convert them to JPEG, BMP, GIF, or other files.

In contrast to such functional development, Interface Development generally refers to attempts to specialize the MODLER software to a specific end user context, and has historically given rise both to large projects, such as the well-known joint project with DRI/McGraw-Hill in the 1980s to develop a trade analysis system for the US State Department, and to particular projects, such as the various non-English language applications of MODLER. In past years, such work was based upon the inbuilt MODLER XML language, which permitted anyone who cared to to develop interface screens for the MODLER packages; for examples, see References. Today and in the future, people who wish to develop specialized applications that offer MODLER capabilities can build the interface using Visual Basic or some other applications development language, such as Delphi or PowerBuilder. Visual Basic is currently the actively supported development language and a developers guide is offered as a work-in-progress.

Supplementary Program Developer Assistance

During the past 30 years, MODLER and the other "core" MODLER family programs have been developed by a small team of people, which is characteristic of most successful software projects. However, a number of MODLER users and other third party developers have always played a critical part in the wider development process, taking responsibility among other things for the creation of supplementary programs that link the main MODLER programs to a wider world: to be really useful, any given software package must link to other software packages, and these links generally cannot be created by the "core" software team. The downloadable files described below are, in each case, compressed self-extracting files. Once they have been downloaded and (if pertinent) copied to the relevant directory on your hard disk, they can be "exploded" simply by executing them as if they were programs. In general, among the files obtained upon execution will be one or more files that provide further details and instructions. If you should encounter problems, contact us.

File Conversion Programs

These are mainly offered as examples, to provide you with a starting place if you wish to develop one or more conversion routines to convert data files that you have into MODLER data banks. Once you have downloaded, see the one or more included files for further details and instructions. To download, click on:

TSDsrc.Exe: TSD File Conversion

PFCSrc.Exe: Lotus Printfile Conversion

The documentation for TSD file conversion is contained in the TSDLINK.EXE file. If you download the PFCSrc.Exe file, you may also find it useful to download as well the Lotus Printfile Conversion Programs and Facilities and the Lotus Printfile Conversion Manual.

Interface Developer Assistance

The MODLER Interface Developer Guide is currently a work-in-progress, as noted earlier. It is provided in Word6 document format and updated versions will be made available periodically. Comments and Suggestions are gratefully received.

In general, the Developer Guide is a description of the MODLER facilities that can be accessed from programs written using Visual Basic version 4. Generally, the orientation is 16 bit, since this allows programs to be written for Windows 3.1x, Windows 95/98, and Windows NT/2000 operating systems. However, the Guide also describes how to create an OLE Server that can be accessed from Visual Basic version 6, and possibly other 32 bit environments. In the near future, we will provide not only descriptions, but software modules as well. For the current Developer Guide, click on:

UGMoDev.Exe: MODLER Developer Guide

Once you have downloaded, see the included file for further details.

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