Gladstone Date Package (GDP)

Over a decade ago, the worldwide Year 2000 dilemma brought about a new appreciation of the importance of planning for and processing dates in business systems. Billions of dollars were spent to rework the shortsightedness in existing systems. In many cases, companies applied a temporary fix via the “time windowing technique.” Hense, the date issue will be with us for a long time until files are expanded to include the century designation. Gladstone developed a comprehensive set of software to automate the conversion of dates and is capable of handling approximately 130 different date formats.

While most date conversion software examines the client’s source program code to identify fields that contain dates, we took a different approach. We first analyze the data and identify fields that contain any of the 130 recognizable date formats rather than searching for field names in source code that contain words like “DATE,” “DTE,” “DT,” or a time-related term. After identifying date fields in the data, the file definitions are used to identify the field names. These field names are then used to pinpoint the areas of source code where the date fields are referenced. This is considerably faster and more complete than the hit-and-miss method of scanning source code and guessing which fields might possibly contain date fields.

In addition to performing the actual date conversion, the Gladstone tool is capable of comparing files of old dates versus newly converted dates with different formats (for example, century only present in new target file) and is capable of “aging” dates by a client driven parameter as part of the verification process.

The data analysis programs provide 100% validation that all date fields have been found and that all have been converted. Likewise, our software produces reports that prove that the data fields that should not have been impacted during the date conversion have not been.