By Fred Henning
One aspect of the year 2000 problem (Y2K) is to determine if there are any programs that we have created that would need to be changed.
Upon examination, it turns out that we need to change some programs because the Programming Language, they were written in, has Y2K issues. This requires us to check the syntax of the program, any obvious date references, etc. and then re-compile the program with the newest version of the Programming Language.
Some things that we need to look for are obvious such as - is there a 4 digit year field. Some are not so obvious. There are issues with the Program Languages and Programs that have to do with built in FUNCTIONS. I.E. We may have a program that uses a built in FUNCTION to calculate the number of days in a pay period. If the program uses a FUNCTION that does not take the new 2/29/2000 leap year day into account you get paid for one less day on your check! (This is similar to issues with Quattro, Excel, etc. built in FUNCTIONS.) Another is a program that automatically appends the date to a file name each time it is run. If the computer or program has a problem with the Y2K date or the February 29, 2000 date then the MACRO or program has a problem.
A new issue has to do with the date changing correctly on 1/1/2000 and/or 2/29/2000 but randomly changing after that! There has also been talk of the issues which might arise as early as September 9, 1999 (9/9/99). This is because a program may have used 9999 as a marker. I recently worked on a program that use 9999999999 as the end of file marker.
It has become obvious that, outside of Information Systems, users may be using MACROS, FUNCTIONS or programs created by you or your predecessor. This would also apply to old Paradox scripts or Quattro MACROS but in these cases they would be updated and converted to Microsoft Access and Microsoft Excel. Finding and testing these is an issue that needs everyone's Help! We need to know about these in order to determine if there are any potential problems. Please place a Help Desk Call to let us know about any in your area.