Category : Databases and related files
Archive   : CNETT.ZIP
Filename : CNETT.HLP

 
Output of file : CNETT.HLP contained in archive : CNETT.ZIP
* *** C-NETT - Powerful, Effective, Easy to Learn and Use ***

C-NETT is a scheduling system with the power to compute and display a
large and complex network of tasks. It implements maximum flexibility in
the interfacing of tasks and in specifying network criticality. C-NETT
provides for task hierarchy through the use of logical task numbering (e.g.
A1 is a subtask of A as abcdefg1 is of abcdefg.) This method is highly
effective in that it requires no hidden hierarchy specification system
which must me maintained and tiering relationships are easily and
effectively communicated. C-NETT combines the power to complete the big
scheduling job with the simplicity of approach which allows a user to
master the system within the first hour of study and use.

I developed C-NETT after years of modifying and applying other
schedule/network systems to large Air Force programs. It includes the best
features which I have found. Rather than modify another system, this time
I built it right from the ground up. It's easy to use and highly effective in
doing the serious schedule/networking job large or small. Other features
(e.g resource handling) will be added later.

W R Conner

*

*** How to Learn C-NETT ***

I suggest the following:

1) Read Sections I and II of the C-NETT Manual.

2) Read all of the screens of this system overview. Take a couple of
minutes to learn the general layout of the input data. Make sure you
understand the discussion under Menu Item C) Network Computation.

3) Using the demonstration data set DEMO.DAT, produce the various
products. Do the on-screen versions first - that's easier. If at any point
you do not know what to enter at a prompt, enter a ?. The system will tell
you the allowable answers.

4) Modify DEMO and note the differences created in the products.

5) Build one of your own. If you've done 1 - 4, you should be ready
to do some real work.



* *** C-NETT MAIN MENU ***
The C-NETT Main Menu gives the user access to the entire C-NETT system
including the capability:

1) To build input data sets in system specific editors -Choices A&B,

2) To compute the resultant schedule/network - Choice C,

3) To display Gantt Charts and Network Diagrams on the screen - Choices
D&E,

4) To print a comprehensive description of each task, its predecessors and
successors. This non-graphics product can be output to any printer
regardless of protocol type. Choice H,

5) To graphically print Gantt Charts and Network Diagrams on a dot matrix
printer. Choices F&G.

6) To produce pen plot Gantt Charts and Network Diagrams (CALCOMP IPGL,
Houston Instrument DM/PL, Hewlett-Packard HPGL, AMPLOT & others) Choices I&J,
7) And to change default files and hardware selections from the main menu.
- Choices K&L.

* *** A&B) DATA ENTRY - C-NETT EDITORS ***

The Full-Screen and Line Editors build and update the formatted
files for input to the C-NETT Network Computation Program.

The C-NETT Editors are error correcting to the extent possible - not
allowing illegal dates (e.g.32MAR88), field errors, illegal mode choices
etc. (Note: Additional error detection is performed by the Network
Computation Program.)

User help is readily available in the background of the Line Editor.
To see a listing & explanation of available entries, enter a ? at the
prompt.

Filenaming - The system counts on using a data type of ".dat" for files
produced by the editor and read by the Network Computation Program.
Generally the user does not enter the file type - leaving that to the
system.

The .dat data files are formatted ASCII. The experienced user may wish
to supplement the capabilities of the C-NETT Editor with other utilities.
Avoid an editor which inserts non-printed control characters.

* *** INPUT DATA DESCRIPTION ***
There are a total of 5 input formats. A general description of the
content of these is offered here. The Help facility with the Line Editor
will give more detailed information.

H Record - One of these per data set. Includes calendar type to
be used (all days, weekdays, or weekdays excluding
holidays), the as/of date of the data, and the name of the
file listing the holiday dates to be considered.
1 Record - The title information for the task. Work Breakdown
Structure (WBS) # (hierarchical activity number - See the
task hierarchy discussion which follows these Menu item
descriptions.), task title, manager name, and organization.
Note - This record is always present for a task and is
always the first for a task.
2 Record - Start date, end date, critical deadline date, and progress
information. This record is optional. If present, all
fields are optional.
3 Record - Head-To-Tail predecessor tasks and task duration. Fields
optional, any number of records (including 0) may be entered
for a task.
4 Record - Specifies start requirement in days from start of a
predecessor. Any number of 3s & 4s may be used for a task.
*
*** C) NETWORK COMPUTATION ***

The Network Computation Program reads the input data file (.dat file
type) produced by the editors and produces a computed network file. The
computed file will have the same name as the .dat file but will have a file
type of .cmp. If that filename.cmp already exists, a version number will be
added to the name (e.g. filename1.cmp).

The networking algorithm first makes a forward pass through the data
to establish the earliest start date for each task. A task may have
multiple predecessor relationships and perhaps a start and/or end date.
The computed start date is established such that all constraints are met.

Next, starting with tasks which were given a critical deadline or were
designated critical (zero slack), a backward pass is made. In this pass,
the slack of tasks in the predecessor chain to one or more critical tasks
is computed. These tasks may have negative slacks if deadline dates are
too constraining.
Error checking during the Network Computation primarily concerns task
interfaces. The system reports any predecessors not found. Task interface
loops ( a task(s) in its own predecessor chain) are detected and described
by a list of all task connections involved. Both types of errors must be
resolved by the user before the computation can be completed.
*


*** K) DEFAULT COMPUTED NETWORK FILE ***


The system remembers the name of the last computed network (.cmp)
file. Unless told otherwise, it will assume that the user wishes for
products to be produced from that file. The "C" selection allows the user
to redesignate this default file. The user will be prompted to enter the
alternative filename. If no new name is entered, there will be no default
name and the computed file must be designated with each product selection.


*** L) Set/Change Plotter/Printer/Video Modes ***
This function allows the user to select plotter protocol and page size,
printer graphics method (compressed files or expanded all-graphics for printers
which don't work well with the compressed files); and video board -
monochrome or other (CGA, EGA, VGA). Note that with the use of monochrome,
the user must run MSHERC.COM before displaying the on-screen products.
This is accomplished by typing MSHERC at the DOS prompt.



* *** ON-SCREEN DISPLAYS ***

D) GANTT
Similar to the dot matrix and pen plot versions, the task selection
and order for this product can be customized by the user. The first set of
alternatives is "WBS Order" or "Sort/Select". "WBS Order" allows the
selection of a consecutive group of tasks. A summary level ( WBS hierarchy)
view of this group may be selected. The "Sort/Select" version allows the
selection of the task group by the combination of a variety of criteria.
Order may be as-entered in the data or by task start (waterfall order).
The schedule period is system chosen to cover the task set. WBS# and Title
are displayed.
E) NETWORK DIAGRAM

The purpose of the network diagram is to show the interface structure
of tasks, particularly to highlight critical and near-critical paths.
As in the pen plot & dot matrix versions, tasks are ordered in start
time group vertically and by slack across the screen - causing fewer
crossing interface lines and highlighting criticality. Task groups
again selected by the combination of a variety of criteria.

* *** DOT MATRIX PRODUCTS ***


Similar to the on-screen and pen plot versions, the task selection and
order for this product can be customized by the user. The first set of
alternatives is "WBS Order" or "Sort/Select". "WBS Order" allows the
selection of a consecutive group of tasks. A summary level ( WBS hierarchy)
view of this group may be selected. The "Sort/Select" version allows the
selection of the task group by the combination of a variety of criteria.
Order may be as-entered in the data or by task start (waterfall order).
Any or all of the WBS, Title, Manager, and Organization fields may be
displayed. The schedule period is user chosen. The width of the plot is
user chosen within printer limits.

G) NETWORK DIAGRAM
The purpose of the network diagram is to show the interface structure
of tasks, particularly to highlight critical and near-critical paths.
As in the pen plot & on-screen versions, tasks are ordered in start
time group vertically and by slack across the screen - causing fewer
crossing interface lines and highlighting criticality. Task groups
again are selected by the combination of a variety of criteria.

* *** DOT MATRIX PRODUCTS (CONT) ***
H) TABULAR REPORT

This report is text only and thus can be printed on any printer. Two
versions are available. The comprehensive version includes effectively
everything the system knows about each task. This includes Earliest
Start/End, Duration, and Critical Slack. Predecessors
and successor tasks are listed along with dates for each and the number of
days separating them from the described task ("GAP"). The abbreviated
version does not include the predecessor and successor listings.












* *** PEN PLOT PRODUCTS ***
(For Amplot(tm), Houston Instr(tm),Hewlett-Packard and CALCOMP protocols)
I) GANTT
Similar to the dot matrix and on-screen versions, the task selection
for this product can be customized by the user. Again, both WBS Order and
selected task are alternatives. "WBS Order" allows the selection of a
consecutive group of tasks. A summary level ( WBS hierarchy ) view of this
group may be selected. The user selects the size and shape of the plot
(within plotter limits), number of tasks per plot, schedule period, and
any/all of the WBS#, Title, Manager, and Organization fields. Multiple plot
files are produced to cover the selected task group.

J) NETWORK DIAGRAM
The purpose of the network diagram is to show the interface structure
of tasks, particularly to highlight critical and near-critical paths.
As in the on-screen & dot matrix versions, tasks are ordered by start
time groups in one direction and by slack in the other - causing fewer
crossing interface lines and highlighting criticality. Task groups are again
selected by the combination of a variety of criteria. Three configurations
are provided to allow selection of best fit on a minimum number of plot
sheets.
*
*** TASK HIERARCHY ***

An important feature of C-NETT is the implementation of task hierarchy
within the task numbering system (aka WBS#). The system recognizes that a
tasks of WBS# "A1", "A2" and "Az" following task "A" are subtasks of A.
When the user calls for a Level 1 Gantt summary plot he will get a line
labeled "A" with the composite values of "A1" and "A2". Similarly a Level 4
plot of the task series "abcd", "abcd1","abcd12", and "abcx" will show two
lines - "abcd" and "abcx".

The simplicity and ease of use of this approach is very valuable to
the system user. However, the real value is in ease of communication with
any who review the products. This will be abundantly evident the first
time you present a set of summary and detail level Gantt charts to a large
program review. There will be no confusion as to task hierarchy
relationships. Other systems which use an additional tiering specification
are difficult to maintain and confusing to product reviewers.


NOTE: See the notes on the the next screens. Most include inferences
concerning the handling of hierarchy.


* *** OTHER C-NETT NOTES ***

WBS#s are CASE SENSITIVE and BLANK SENSITIVE! AbC is a different task than
ABC and abc. AB C is not ABC or A BC. Do not enter leading blanks in the
WBS# field unless you intend to do so.

WBS/HIERARCHY LEVEL. Count the positions in the WBS# from the left. That's
the level.

TASK HIERARCHY. While the system doesn't mandate it, it makes sense that
schedule attributes (dates, durations, predecessors etc.) are inserted for
detail level only. That is, for the series "A","A1","A11","A12","A2","B",
schedule attributes are entered for "A11","A12","A2", and "B". For "A", and
"A1" only title type information (#1 Record) would be entered. Note that
the actual level of detail can vary from 1 to 8.

SUMMARY GANTT PROGRESS. Progress is summed up the WBS# hierarchy into best
and worst. On Gantt charts two lines are superimposed on the schedule bar.
Worst is at the earliest progress date of incomplete tasks. Best is the
latest progress date of the group summarized complete or incomplete.



* *** C-NETT NOTES Continued ***

Dot Matrix and Pen Plot products are produced in the form of disk files
which the user names. The user "PRINTS" them using the MS DOS PRINT
command (e.g. PRINT filename.typ).

When in doubt about an entry enter a ?. The system will, in almost all
cases, provide explanation.

Some entry fields require that you read vertically and place an X (really
any non-blank character) below to select the item (e.g. a field on a Gantt
Chart). So if you're reading horizontally and its not making sense try
vertical.










*


  3 Responses to “Category : Databases and related files
Archive   : CNETT.ZIP
Filename : CNETT.HLP

  1. Very nice! Thank you for this wonderful archive. I wonder why I found it only now. Long live the BBS file archives!

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