An Approach to Legacy System Analysis

Understanding tabulating system principles can be very powerful in analyzing legacy systems, even though card readers have not been used extensively for perhaps 40 years or more. In this post I’ll describe an approach I would take to replace a large bank’s customer deposit system. You can watch the video here. Daily Financial Cycle First, let’s be clear about what the daily financial cycle looks … Continue reading An Approach to Legacy System Analysis

Tabulating System Metadata

In the final episode about how many of our financial systems are based upon tabulating system principles, we’ll discuss how to detect more specific information about those specific programs. Finding the posting programs within tabulating systems is an important pillar of understanding; many other processes hang off the posting program.  Edit process precede posting, reporting typically follows. In looking for the posting programs, there is … Continue reading Tabulating System Metadata

Data Discovery in Tabulating Systems

Yesterday I came upon an article about some guys saving an IBM 360 Model 20 mainframe from the 1960’s.  It seems appropriate to think about the system architecture which would have worked on that machine at the time, and it’s origins.  The system would be been based upon tabulating systems. If today’s financial systems, and the tabulating System principles upon which they are based, were … Continue reading Data Discovery in Tabulating Systems

Complexity in Tabulating Systems

When investigating systems, often legacy financial and business systems, my simple descriptions in the prior videos begin to break down as we dive deeper: these systems are not always simple. Here’s what to look for next. Most of the program logic sits under the Perform Until End of File section. As systems developed, programmers recognized common program patterns for this phase, with small variations in … Continue reading Complexity in Tabulating Systems

Posting Processes in Tabulating Systems

Continuing our series on how many of today’s financial systems are fundamentally tabulating systems in nature, today we’ll discuss where posting processes fit in these systems.  (See prior post Series Introduction, and Tabulating System Program Structure). To understand these system, one needs to understand the great overriding principle and beauty in processes based on tabulating systems, the daily financial cycle. Let’s review what this looks like. … Continue reading Posting Processes in Tabulating Systems

Tabulating System Program Structure

Continuing our series on the principles behind tabulating system, let’s discuss the basic program structure. Perhaps some of the first tabulating systems were developed before the idea of structured programming, but this pattern for program structure developed very early in the life of system development.  Most Tabulating Systems have as the top constructs the following: Initiate Processing Perform Until End of File Terminate Processing These … Continue reading Tabulating System Program Structure

Spaghetti Code or Tabulating System?

Today’s episode of Conversations with Kip introduces a set of videos around the term Spaghetti Code.  Many systems are not understood by today’s developers because they do not understand the principles of the underlying systems. Spaghetti code is intended to describe systems built with little structure.  They don’t use structured programming approaches, use a lot of “go-to” constructs, have poorly designed sub-routines and a great … Continue reading Spaghetti Code or Tabulating System?