PRODUCT   :  R:BASE                  VERSION      :  3.1
   CATEGORY  :  DAI                     SUBCATEGORY  :  PROGRAMMING
   From John Henry Kuhlmann, John Henry Kuhlmann, Inc., 6140 - 93rd SE,
   Mercer Island, WA 98040. John's been working with R:BASE for over 10
   Microrim's latest R:BASE 3.1 (Upgrade EXPRESS 3.1A), includes an
   intriguing new RETURN option on the ZIP command. The RETURN option
   gives you Dynamic Application Integration (DAI) to connect other
   software to your R:BASE application.
   Now you can run any software--a dBASE application program, word
   processing, spreadsheet, or even graphics--from inside R:BASE. For
   example, you can develop an application that enables a user to run an
   accounts payable dBASE application, mail-merge letters using Microsoft
   Word, generate graphs of R:BASE data using Harvard Graphics, and run
   worksheets using Lotus 1-2-3--all from the same R:BASE menu. You can
   use R:BASE as your central application, listing other software
   programs as choices on the R:BASE menu.
   The RETURN Option
   ZIP RETURN allows processing to switch to another software product and
   then return to the same spot in your R:BASE application. The RETURN
   option gives you the full system memory access of ZIP ROLLOUT and the
   transparency of the regular ZIP command.
   ZIP RETURN Internal Workings
   When R:BASE encounters a ZIP RETURN during application execution, it
   first saves the current R:BASE environment in a temporary file. Then
   it closes all database and other files, drops any open cursors, exits
   R:BASE, and passes control to RBZIP.EXE--thus freeing up the memory
   that R:BASE was using. The process of passing control to RBZIP also
   passes the name of the temporary environment file and the remainder of
   the commands that follow the ZIP RETURN.
   Next, RBZIP executes the program named in the command line; this can
   be COMMAND.COM for executing batch files, or it can be any DOS .COM or
   .EXE program referenced directly or accessible along the DOS system
   path. When the called program finishes executing, R:BASE returns
   control to RBZIP.EXE, and RBZIP executes R:BASE with the environment
   file as a parameter. R:BASE reads and deletes the temporary
   environment file, and restores the system to it's pre-ZIP state. All
   this serves to place the execution of R:BASE, or of the R:BASE
   application, directly at the next command in sequence. R:BASE then
   continues to execute the commands following the ZIP RETURN command.
   Direct Approach
   Use ZIP RETURN to execute any .EXE or .COM program directly, or use it
   to execute a DOS batch file by using COMMAND.COM (a DOS .COM program
   that executes batch file statements). For example, to run the
   WordPerfect word processing program directly from inside R:BASE, enter
   this command at the R> prompt:
     ZIP RETURN wp
   When you exit from WordPerfect, you'll return to R:BASE, which will be
   in the same state as when you left it. It's easy to pass parameters
   too. Here's the syntax for running an .EXE program directly from the
   R> prompt:
     ZIP RETURN c:\path\exe_name param1 ... paramN
   Here are some examples:
     ZIP RETURN fastback
     ZIP RETURN c:\word\word d:\doc\region.doc
     ZIP RETURN c:\norton\nu
   Batch File Approach
   Use the batch file approach (passing control to COMMAND.COM to run a
   batch file) when you need to run an R:BASE 2.11 application from the
   R:BASE 3.1A menu or when you need to alter the DOS environment. For
   example, the DOS batch file can set the path, change the default
   drive, chain the execution of multiple programs together, and perform
   a myriad of other batch file functions. Here's the syntax for the
   batch approach:
     ZIP RETURN COMMAND /C filename.bat param 1 ... param n
   Run 2.11 Application from 3.1A
   To run an R:BASE 2.11 application from inside R:BASE 3.1A, follow
   these three steps:
   STEP 1
   Ensure that you have your 2.11 database and application files and the
   following 2.11 program files on your computer in a directory separate
   from your R:BASE 3.1A files.
   These files occupy less than one megabyte of disk space. They
   represent the minimum needed. If you want additional R:BASE 2.11
   functionality, you must add the appropriate program file. For example,
   to create or modify an Application EXPRESS application, you need
   STEP 2
   Create a batch file (R211.BAT) to run R:BASE 2.11. For example, say
   the 2.11 program files are in the directory RB211, the 3.1A program
   files are in the directory R31A, and the database and application
   files are in the directory DBFILES. In this case, the R211.BAT file
   might contain these commands:
     @ECHO OFF
     CD \R211\dbfiles
     RBASE -R
     CD \R31A\dbfiles
   This file sets ECHO OFF to keep the commands from displaying on
   screen. Then it sets the path for R:BASE 2.11 and changes to the
   directory where the 2.11 database and application files are stored.
   Then it starts R:BASE 2.11 and uses the RBASE.DAT to start the
   application. When you exit from the 2.11 application, the next line in
   the batch file changes to the directory where your R:BASE 3.1A
   database and application files are stored, and then it resets your
   path to R:BASE 3.1A.
   STEP 3
   Include the following line in your 3.1A application file (or enter it
   at the R> prompt):
     ZIP RETURN COMMAND /C r211.bat
   The ZIP RETURN returns you to the line following the ZIP RETURN in
   your R:BASE 3.1A application file. You can specify a drive and
   directory if the batch file isn't in the current directory:
     ZIP RETURN COMMAND /C d:\dirname\r211.bat
   Putting Software on the Menu
   You can put your external software programs right on the R:BASE
   Applications menu by creating an .APP file, and using CODELOCK to
   create an .APX file.
   For example, you can add WordPerfect to the R:BASE Application menu by
   following two steps. First, use the R:BASE Editor to create a file
   named WP.APP containing these lines:
     ZIP RETURN wp
   Next, use CODELOCK on the application file (WP.APP) to create a
   procedure file (WP.APX) by following this procedure:
     o  Start CODELOCK at the R> prompt or the operating system prompt.
     o  Choose "Convert an ASCII application file to a binary procedure
     o  Enter WP.APP as the name of the ASCII application file and WP.APX
        as the name of the procedure file.
     o  Choose Exit.
   The R:BASE Applications menu will now include a WP option when your
   current directory holds the WP.APX file.
   Keep the following in mind when adding software to your R:BASE menu:
     o  The .APX file must be in your current directory.
     o  The second line of the .APP file must match the name of the .APP
        and .APX files. It's the name that appears on the R:BASE
        Applications menu. If you want LETTERS to appear on the menu
        instead of WP; name the files LETTERS.APP and LETTERS.APX, and
        make LETTERS the second line of .APP file.
     o  You can include the path following the ZIP RETURN command in your
        .APP file for some programs if the software you want to run isn't
        already on your path. For example, if you keep WordPerfect on D:
        in a directory named WP but run R:BASE from C:, make this the
        third line of the .APP file:
          ZIP RETURN d:\wp\wp
     o  Be sure the name of the file you specify with ZIP RETURN is the
        name of the program's .EXE file.
     o  If you prefer, you can have your .APP file call a batch file that
        sets the path before running the application and then restores
        the path when you leave the application as was done to run R:BASE
        2.11 from R:BASE 3.1.
     o  R:BASE displays--in the Applications menu--the list of .APX files
        in the current directory. Therefore, you must be in the directory
        that holds a given .APX file in order to see it on the
        Applications menu.
     o  ZIP RETURN opens a new world of possibilities. For example, you
        can unload a selected subset of data from an attached dBASE III
        table into an output file, invoke Microsoft Word 5.5, and then
        use the file as a name list to mailmerge into an existing Word
        letter that you selected from an R:BASE dynamic menu in the
        R:BASE application.
   Here are some considerations to keep in mind when you use ZIP RETURN:
     o  RBZIP remains memory resident during the execution of the
        software program you zipped to. But RBZIP only takes up a tiny
        amount of the available system base memory, approximately 12-15K.
     o  When you execute ZIP RETURN, R:BASE closes all files and drops
        all open cursors. If you need the cursors, you must redeclare
        them upon return from the ZIP RETURN.
     o  ZIP RETURN doesn't put a DOS error level value into the R:BASE
        error variable as does ZIP.
     o  When ZIP RETURN returns control to an application, it can't
        return to the same menu selection that was chosen to invoke the
        ZIP RETURN command. ZIP RETURN returns to the first choice on the
        application's main menu.
   ZIP RETURN gives you Dynamic Application Integration. Now you can take
   full advantage of the capabilities and power available in other
   programs in your R:BASE application. DAI enables developers and users
   to precisely tailor an application to retain prior investments while
   adding new enhancements.