AREV Examples and Projects
My first real job in IT was as a trainer for Cogent Information Systems, in Hoboken NJ,
later in Short Hills, where a synergy with Price Waterhouse's IDEA package took place. Earlier,
I had had success as an end-user trainer, for such local companies as Warner-Lambert, DuPont,
Celanese, Exxon Research & Engineering, Morgan Bank, New Jersey Bell, and others. This training
was entirely for end users, not technical types. ("Not that there's anything wrong with
that", though, as the deathless Seinfeld sitcom line would aver; after all the great majority
of humans who have ever lived, or ever will live on this planet are lumped together
by some as 'end users'.)
Cogent was a talented bunch of professionals with a deep bench of seasoned professionals. As
Cogent described it, their mission was to be a 'Premier provider' of Advanced Revelation, Pick,
and Revelation services---and they were. I came on board a vibrant, confident organization, with
a good grip on the market for Multi-valued Architecture (also known as post-Relational, as a
way to entice the rival SQL camp). Dick Pick and his mindset were formative for our community,
and his early passing was much lamented.
I did some WordMarc classes, as well as RevG classes, but the emphasis was on the latter, as
clients sent their IT staff to Cogent for training, from Day One. In learning how to train programmers
and internalizing the syntax and the possiblities of the rich and subtle Pick environment, I
became a decent programmer myself, as I continued to revisit syntax, rules and good practices
through my teaching of the subjects, such as R/Basic.
When AREV came out, with its Window processor, and the multiple, powerful, Code-and-Command driven
'hooks' living therein, a new era in productivity was made available, with a robust, well-tested
hashing algorithm leading to snappy READs (when you knew the key value, which passed through
LHASH to get your data). At one point, AREV was the number one, then Microsoft acquired FoxPro,
the Windows/VB play began, and the competitive landscape began to get more crowded.
As a diligent supportive instructor for Cogent from 1987-1996 I assumed responsibility for maintenance
and creation of (ultimately) the entire technical and user training curriculum at Cogent, which
over the life of my engagement was about 30 courses at least, in Prime Information, Rev G2b,
Advanced Revelation, Open Insight, and a foray into Powerbuilder, as Cogent sought to gain Authorized
Training Center status. During that same 8 year plus period, I also authored materials for presentation
at user conferences, and was published a few times in several magazines.
My first love was Revelation, a porting of the Pick operating system to PC's (they were actually
called 'microcomputers' or 'micros' in those days --- remember, fellow vets?). In addition to
the fact that the record size was 64K (and this at a time when most folks had only two 'floppy'
drives), each record could store a lot of data, for a single 'read' statement. Moreover, through
system support for certain delimiters, strings could be parsed into lists, thus Rev had the native
ability to store a one-to-many-to-many relationship. Using a fairly boilerplate approach, you
could programmatically parse out the sub-value dimension, thus providing the third level of data.
Standard features of display parsed out the first two levels, values and subvalues, delimited
with the Subvaluemark, or @SVM.
Revelation also permitted wide discretion in how the actual operating environment at runtime
behaved, as you could shell any system subroutine by modifying its central lookup entry in the
VOCabulary file (later to be called 'table' in AREV). Since even system processes, which you
got right out of the box, did the same lookup as your custom code, you could exercise supreme
leverage by intervening at that level, and just passing any parameters to your version (hence
'shell') of the subroutine. I found that behavior unique, very subtle, and very powerful. And
that was only part of the appeal.
By the way: There were regional differences in how one pronounced 'VOC', whether it be 'VOKE'
---but I digress. I offer AREV data conversion / migration services for those wishing to move
that data (with its Multi-valued Architecture) safely, reliably AND COMPLETELY to another platform;
those of you who have just tried the standard export utilities can attest what I mean, as the
multi-dimensional data (I'm talking MV Fields) just comes across as strings rather than discrete
data elements. I can interpret existing business rules embedded in the interface and filing systems
(MFS), (as long as the source code is still extant.) I can also incorporate and apply additional
business rules during the migration. Email me if you wish to discuss this service; I can offer
satisfied client references.
Below are scans of some magazine covers in which I've written AREV or OI content, as well as
pages from conference handouts of two of the very well-received National Revelation Conferences,
at which I spoke.