It would be helpful if you could state what version of BPCS you are using.
This info should be shown during the sign on process, if BPCS was configured
Best answers to you vary with the version, and possibly any add-ons, if you

Do you have access to the menu, which we get to by entering DOC for the
application short cut?
If not, can you find the file BPCSDOC?
Each member of this file is a separate manual, accessible the same way you
access program source code.
We had a rule: We may ADD text to the documentation, to help improve
everyone's understanding of BPCS, but we may not delete any of the vanilla

I retired a couple years ago, after working on BPCS for about 15 years,
other ERP before it.
Other people have given you good info, but I disagree with some of its
applicability to the version of BPCS we were on.

There are several different kinds of lock ups. The most common for us was
when two or more user sessions are trying to update the same order, item, or
whatever, at the same time. The first program to access, for update, sets a
flag, telling BPCS that the whatever is IN USE, to block other user-programs
from conflicting, until they are done. When a person cannot get in, for
that reason, there are IBM OS tools which can be used to figure out who is
doing the using, unless that person, in the middle of the usage, used the
RED X in upper right corner of Windows to exit. Supposedly there is a way
to disable that option, but we never got that figured out. This would leave
the item or whatever locked up so that no one can use it. We solved that
scenario by ordering everyone to sign off BPCS, then when that accomplished,
we ran a program which killed all IN USE, then we told everyone they could
sign back on again, to BPCS. The worst offender in lockups was the shipping
dept. There's a step where they are asked what customer they are shipping,
which puts 100% of the orders for that customer IN USE, then they select
which orders of that customer they are shipping, so now only those orders
are in use. But when all the orders of one customer are in use, an accident
occurs, like someone stepping on the electric plug between the shipping PC
and the power supply, which is like clicking on the Windows red X. They try
to get back in, but the in use blocks them. Recovering from a lock up
involves more than fixing the in use flag, depending on whatever
applications the offending work station was involved in. Shipping PCs also
had a lot of non-BPCS applications on board and management refused to let
shipping have enough gas to do all the work there, so the frequent lockups
were more the fault of accounting budget than the people who worked in

The first 7-8 characters, of work station name, are used in the naming of
data areas, file members, etc. where the first 2-3 characters identify the
program application involved. If the way the work stations are named are
such that 2 or more users are running the same program at the same time,
with their first letters of workstation named identical, then BPCS cannot
tell the difference between which user is supposed to be using which work
area, so the data involved gets messed up (corrupted).

If someone is doing input, which uses such a work area, and they are allowed
to SYSATTN out of that task, then start another, of the exact same program,
both will be using the same work area naming, which can lead to their input
getting messed up.

When work stations get named, so that one user can have more than one
session open at the same time, this is accomplished by having 1-2 characters
appended to the base sign-on. For example, I used a PC whose base was
ALHOME (meaning I was telecommuting). My individual sessions became ALHOMEA
ALHOMEB ALHOMEC ALHOMED ALHOMEE etc. where work areas for them got named
something like this: XXALHOMEG . notice that is 9 characters. Thus there
was no BPCS confusion between sessions.

We had a rule about naming workstations to avoid BPCS confusion. I had some
software to run periodically, to note the newest work stations which had
been established, because rules enforcement was problematic, and I wanted to
catch new troublemakers, before they had done much damage.

For many users, their work productivity is vastly improved when they are
able to have multiple concurrent sessions.
A person, entering or updating any kind of orders, can have a second session
open to inquiry about the items, master files, inventory, etc. associated
with the orders they are entering. Also our phones constantly ringing,
where someone might need to interrupt what they are doing, go to another
session screen, and deal with whatever is needed because of the phone call.
There is an inefficiency associated with starting and stopping complex jobs,
such that the workers can be more efficient if they use some other session
to handle the interruptions.

Alister Wm Macintyre (Al Mac).
Panama Papers group:

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