In every version of BPCS, problems have been found that some people at SSA made an honest effort to fix, such that later versions of BPCS were superior, although any time new enhancements come along there is risk of new problems, while there were also problems that due to some failure of communications did not get fixed.

For example, I found places in BPCS where a field that was maximum size RPG got math with other fields similar structure, with no provision for work area. The IBM programming manual has specific warning about doing this, that when extreme values are in those fields, that you can have unpredictable results. "Extreme values" in IBM terminology is like zero and one. I traced rounding errors to this explanation. They affected Billing programs (penny off), cost programs (least significant digit), all over the place in accounting. Worst case scenario ... a result that should have been 0.00001 became -8999999999 ... that kind of wrap-around happened to us twice.

I found this in BPCS code all over the place. A lack of provision for work areas when dealing with largest possible RPG math fields. When I reported to SSA Tech support what I had found, I was told the programs were working correctly. No correction was to be made. Blame this on my poor communication skills when talking to a tech support person who was not an RPG programmer.

This particular kind of bug is systemic in 405 CD and earlier versions of BPCS, meaning SSA has written standardized chunks of code (or AS/Set has) then copies that same code every place, and some of that copy every place has the same design flaw. Our solution has been to modify in most critical places, and create programs that list damaged records, and fix them, external to the actual code that is continuing to do damage. There may be areas where damage is occurring that we are not yet aware of it. I believe in the importance of control totals of data being fed into BPCS, to not trust the BPCS data exclusively.

We have moved from SSA tech support to another outfit.

Al Mac
BPCS 400 jack of all trades, master of not enough

> If you know of any similar bugs in BPCS 4.05 CD PTF1 please let me
> know.
> Thanks in advance.
> Peter Lunde
> Manager, IT
> WellSpring Pharmaceutical Canada Corp
> 400 Iroquois Shore Rd
> Oakville, ON, L6H 1M5
> Phone: 905-337-4505
> Cell: 416-948-5863
> Fax: 905-337-7239

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