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Sagesoft's program is a professional database which will cope with most things that might be thrown at it in a small business. It's a full CP/M program using random access files held on disc, and offers an easy to use query language much like you might use in playing an adventure. More of this later.
To setup the database you will first need to prepare a working disc from the master supplied. The main program and it's overlays take up so much room that you can't add your .EMS file to the disc to make a bootable working copy, which is a shame. You'll have to load CP/M from a separate disc and then load the Sage database from there.
Defining a file is quite an awkward business which requires you to answer a number of questions about the format of each field in the record. You even have to stipulate the row and column start positions for each field. It's best to plot your record out on a piece of graph paper. A pity Sage couldn't have designed their program to let you see the record as it's built up.
Cnee you've got some records on your file the really fun' part of the Sage database comes into its own. Rather than having different options for searching, sorting and printing your data, Sage's database lets you give it commands, using a simplified set of English words. For instance if you want to produce a sorted list of names and addresses from a file called 'ADDLIST' withheld names 'NAME', 'ADDRESS' , 'TOWN' and 'TELEPHONE' you could give the command 'list' addlist by name showing name address town telephone' To print the same list you could change 'list' to 'print' or add 'on ptr' to the end of the command. The whole system is very easy to use.
Also included in the package is a text processor for producing form letters from your files. This is more than a make-weight and allows you to write quite complex letters or reports, inserting information from a file into each.
The Sage database is very powerful and friendly, but it s a pity the setting up procedure isn't as friendly as the rest of it.
AMSTRAD ACTION #6