spinning globe The Cope CASE Tool

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What is Cope?

  • Cope is a CASE tool that converts business rules into efficient Cobol programs.
  • Cope cuts procedure division coding by a factor of three, and improves documentation!
  • Cope is written in Cobol, so it is completely portable.
A programmer records business rules in a tabular format. An advantage of Cope's tabular format is that the business rules the program uses are clearly displayed. A rule-based approach is especially useful for embedding expert systems logic in a Cobol shell.

Cope converts the tables into highly optimised Cobol procedures. From each table, Cope generates a procedure with an execution path for each rule. Each path checks for the required conditions, then executes its required actions. Because the program's logical structure is computer-generated, you get exactly the paths specified by the rules, and no others. Of course, if the set of rules is incomplete or inconsistent, Cope will tell you about it. This really helps with debugging and maintenance.

It is also possible to express sequential logic, using a method based on finite-state machines. There are well known methods of deriving a state machine to analyse a given input. However, even if you don't know the theory, the concept itself is easy to understand and totally flexible.

  • Examples gives you a quick preview of what Cope can do.
  • How to Write Cope Decision Tables is the Cope tutorial and reference manual.
  • Experience with the Cope Decision Table Translator explains some advantages of Cope.
  • Click to download Click here to download Cope

    If you have a Cobol compiler, you will easily get Cope working.
    Documentation within the program explains how to set it up and test it.
    If you decide to use Cope, please send me a nice postcard of where you live.

    Send mail to dwyer@cs.adelaide.edu.au if you have questions, or links are broken.

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