Standard ['common'] interface

I long for the day when communicating to any Natural utility, particularly in batch, has a standard interface and method. All the utilities should certainly have a command processor, which is your technology. None should require ‘going through screens’ to communicate you request to. As far as I am concerned, a utility is not ‘ready for prime tjme’ if this requirement is not met. A good example of this is LIST XREF. There is so much more you can generate for batch reporting if you can get it right going through screens as input to CMSYNIN. Otherwise, there are precious few direct commands you can execute in batch – useful, but limited. In the era of XML data format, what a step it would be for all utilities to accept XML input. What a concept for a company that markets itself as ‘the XML company’.

Natural grew over several versions even before xml was born and we have to maintain the existing interfaces to let the jobs run as they are.

Nevertheless “emulating screen input” in batch is not sufficient but the upcoming version of Natural will not improve in this regard,