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Performance Improvements at Point Of Sale - A Guide to Getting the most out of your 4690 System.

It is clear that many of the IBM 4690 POS applications could use an overhaul. But who has the time? And where would one start?

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Application Serviceability Pack

InSight Overview

The Application Serviceability Feature Pack is a powerful set of tools for the Help Desk, Programmer or Systems Analyst that can be used to more effectively identify and resolve problems that occur in the POS terminal.  All programs have bugs and POS applications are no exception.  The environment at a POS checkout lane doesn't always lend itself to easily gather information that would be useful in recreating the problem.

This Feature Pack offers a set of features that compliment each other.  It is not a requirement to purchase or use all of the features of the Feature Pack.  QVS has packaged these features together to provide a more cost effective option to take advantage of them all at the same time.

For more information see the list of features below or the Terminal Features Page for other terminal features:


Terminal Snapshot Dump
Application Serviceability Pack

 

Overview - Brief Description of Feature

Terminal Snapshot Dump is an InSight Terminal Agent feature that quickly writes selective terminal memory areas to a file on the controller without restarting terminal. Included in the dump are various InSight trace and log histories and optional application data areas.  Multiple options exist to trigger a snapshot dump: 

  • A user pressing  5 clear keys in a row within a certain time frame being
  • InSight utility program that is installed on the controller
  • Management client invoking an API function
  • Terminal application API
  • Custom 'trigger' code added to the terminal agent to catch a know problem condition
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System Call Tracing
Application Serviceability Pack

Overview - Brief Description of Feature

System calls are calls between application and system processes and the operating system - the operating system API.  This feature traces calls between processes and the operating system in in-memory circular buffers.  One buffer is kept per-process.  The tracing logic saves pertinent input and output parameters including a limited amount of data for each system call.  All trace entries are timestamped with millisecond granularity.  

The InSight trace facility is very efficient and the additional code path added for each system call is barely measurable even on the slowest processors still in use today.

The operating system api consists of file and device "handle" functions such as open/close/read/write plus others such as a timer function and an asyncronous wait function.  In all, there are approximately 50 different system calls in 4690.

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Terminal Application APIs
Application Serviceability Pack

Overview - Brief Description of Feature

Terminal APIs for binary and ASCII logging, registering memory areas for snapshot dump, and invoking snapshot dump.  APIs are provided for CBASIC, 16-bit 'C', 32-bit 'C', and Java applications.

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Device Channel Tracing
Application Serviceability Pack

Overview - Brief Description of Feature

This feature provides in-memory wrapped tracing and real-time collection of device channel trace data for attached 232, 485 and USB devices.

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Terminal Event History
Application Serviceability Pack

Overview - Brief Description of Feature

This feature supports the tracking of device i/o history and device adverse event history. History trace buffers are allocated per-device.  In addition, an 'all devices' history buffer is kept so device events can be viewed/analyzed relative to one another..

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Unexpected Terminal Restart Tracking
Application Serviceability Pack

Overview - Brief Description of Feature

This feature provides a mechanism to track system and application progress information throughout the flow of a transaction.  The information is kept in NVRAM and is retrievable during terminal application startup.  If terminal sales was not in a fully closed state, an event is logged indicating an unexpected restart and the system and application progress indication information is logged in the event.

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