SJ+ Systems Associates e-newsletter masthead
In this issue:
Greetings and News
Social Outreach
Articles and Technical Tips
Manuals & Tip Sheets

Greetings & News

Greetings customers and friends.  This newsletter is a bit delayed – it wasn’t intentional, I just looked up and summer was over!  How could that happen?  I guess I’ve had my head pretty far down the rabbit hole with some new development. Please check-out the results in the Release Notes, below!  We've been doing alot of upgrades, too - which has lead to some thoughts on maintenance and even spring cleaning. Please also see the main article on data management in PRC.
To subscribe or not? Many receiving this newsletter have been on the list for a long time. In the bad old days, we would add you automatically once we were in contact with you. This is not the way things are done, nowadays. So - we try to keep it short and useful - but getting off the list is easy and blessedly impersonal now that it is all managed by icontact.  Manage your own destiny - or at least whether or not you receive this newsletter. If you want any friends or colleages to get it, go to the web-site ( and sign up.  If you don't want to receive it anymore, follow the instructions in the email.

Contact us for new login information and passwords for the new website.

Social Outreach

PRC has a group on Linked in.  Many times customers will ask me “What are other companies doing about this, or that?”  Posing the question on the forum might get you a direct answer and could lead to helpful discussions.  It may take some time for there to be enough membership and involvement there but you have to start somewhere!  Please join us.

Clear Message Initiative is another Linked in group that we are interested in. This group is a companion to a recent rant, er, I mean article, published in Spectrum Magazine.  I contend that we can do better – as a species, but also specifically those of us in U2 where it is uniquely easier to change our messages and to manage strings and variables.  We can joke about it but also we can perhaps share our insights and raise the bar. This is an open group. 

  Follow us on twitter!  PRC_SJPlus

Article and Technical Tips

What to do with all this PRC data?

Maintain it (indexing and resizing).

There are a number of archive files that are kept in PRC during routine operations. These are outlined in detail in the tip sheet “Archive Structure and Strategy”.   Depending on how many programmers and the volume projects, these archives can grow very quickly.  A couple of them are searched and selected regularly during the bump and rollout so this can slow things down during these routine operations when the files get very large.  One way to speed things up is to create indexes on these files.  See the tip sheet “Indexes – PRC Files” for detailed information on recommended indexes.  Another thing that is important is file sizing.  Most U2/Multivalue companies have a procedure in place for routine file management but often the PRC account is not included. Files that have become unwieldy and fragmented are not just slow but at risk for corruption.  Because PRC is so central to everything else going on within IT, corruption in PRC can be a real show-stopper. Be sure to include PRC's files in your regular reviewing and resizing!

Isolate it.

There is a place in the preferences screen to nominate a separate directory for all of the PRC archives.  This is a good idea because it makes those directories easier to backup and to maintain separately, easier to identify - and if there is a problem with them, they are isolated from the main, functioning PRC account.  If this separate directory is not nominated during the initial install they have to be manually moved, then nominated on the preferences screen.  We can help with this!

Purge it.

In addition to maintaining the file sizes and adding indexes to some of the files you may also wish to consider purging some of these data files occasionally. Some detailed recommendations are included in the Archive tip sheet, mentioned above.  In general we don’t recommend ever purging the project master – those records are small and create a great permanent record of work that has been done, in general.  But it may be that you don’t require so many backup copies of programs and other software components to be kept for long periods of time.  Some companies tend to purge them every other year or so.  It really depends on the amount of space you have and the volume of change.  But it probably should be considered at some interval.  There is a utility under the Action menu to assist with this.  This function was seriously revamped in release 6.9 so it is clearer and easier to use. It works in earlier releases, but if you don’t find it easy to understand feel free to ask us about it.

We will often offer to purge the files for you if we are on the system performing an upgrade.  Or we can take care of it for you at any time that you request.  The purge utility creates a separate standalone archive and moves records to it.  You can then archive those to offline media if you like, then delete them. If you leave them there the next purge will add records to the same file.  These purged files could then grow large and unwieldy – so probably should be offloaded and cleared or deleted at some point. But even if they are large and slow, the only time they would be accessed is during the purges, so they will not slow down routine functions.

Using PRC's archived data

Don't get too caught up in waxing, buffing and polishing and forget to take it for a spin!  The archives are kept in PRC to help identify work that has been done and to allow you to revert.  The two simplest and most common uses are to perform rollbacks and searches.  Rollbacks include rolling back/reverting of projects delivered via a rollout to another account on the same server or via an unravel (using the un-unravel) to rollback and revert software delivered via a ravel file to another server.  Searches are conducted automatically at various events, can be done manually, of course - and the most global, central way to dig around in the archives is to use the Global Trace (PRC Account>Action menu).  This search utility provides meaningful searches of any software component regardless of where the change was made or how it was delivered.  Function-key drill-downs to project details and code-comparison's let you view what was done on any past project, compare to its own "before and after" or to what is currently in the application.

Check out the blog on (see sidebar)



  • Epicor Perspectives was postponed until May to be held in conjunction with Activant's annual user meeting.  Back to our familiar stomping grounds - Ceasar's Palace in Las Vegas.  More details in the next issue.
  • International Spectrum - PGA Resort ,West Palm Beach, FL, USA  April 2-6, 2012 

Release Information

PRC 6.9 is the release of PRC that will remain faithful to the older SB platforms while being compatible with and taking advantage of the features in SB/XA.  We are continuing our strategy of smartening up handling of Multivalue and U2 based development but strengthing our middle-ware to be ready for new user intefaces and plug-in compatibility with other tools.

Here are some details about new features that you might want to ask about:

  • Completed SB+ GUI Revamp
  • Data stratification Sensitive data / critical file nomination (see tip sheet)
  • Log file for destination action - so you can comb back through events that occurred during delivery of a project or release.
  • Suit-casing - nickname for a release created by starting with one program or one project and gathering up everything touched in order to patch up to that feature.
  • Smarter options and more robust management of
    • Program remarks,
    • Compiling and cataloging
    • File creation and deletion
  • Clear Message Initiative - many messages reconstructed.
  • Process slots, preferences reorganized, new ones added
  • /PRC.TRACE reinstated for SB users (ask)
  • Bug fixes.  Yeah, we found some. It happens.
  • Test plans are undergoing some revamp with many new features
  • More platform and user-interface options  

Manuals & Tip Sheets

There are always new tip-sheets – remember to check / re-download.


Email is the fastest way to get your question answered.

                                 PRC®  Agile IT Governance for Multivalue / U2.