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Base Module Description

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Technical Description

Base functions and features

When a terminal user or an application wants to send a message or a data file, Manycom user interface and API programs generate a transfer (job) request entry into the Manycom Transfer Directory. The end user or application doesn't need to wait for the ending of the transfer. They are immediately free to go on with other tasks.

Transfer jobs have to be created also for receiving or retrieving messages and data files from the different servers. These jobs can be normal jobs to be executed only once, or they can be continuous (regular) jobs to be started and executed automatically after the specified time intervals by MCM Base.

For instance, if you want to receive email from a POP3 server or retrieve files from a FTP server automatically to the Manycom work files, the transfer job request need to be created only once (per server) as a continuous job.

The Manycom monitor programs notice the created transfer job requests and start the necessary transfer programs ('drivers' of the message and file servers) for executing the requests. The created transfer job requests together with the predefined configuration settings contain all the necessary control information (e.g. IP addresses of the remote servers, userids and passwords for automatic login, fax number or email address of the receiver, etc.) in order to run the transfer programs in the back-ground as batch jobs. The jobs run in the specific MCM subsystem.

Each transfer job description consists of the control information given by the end user or application, a set of script file names, and the names of the files to send or receive. The script files consist of settings used for dynamic run-time control of the execution of the transfer jobs. The scripts can also include commands for starting the local and remote pre- and post-processes before and after each file transfer phase.

For more information about the functions of the Manycom script language, see the appropriate manuals MCM Base Configuration Guide and MCM Client Automation Configuration Guide.

The following figure shows the general structure of a MCM transfer job. Each transfer job can consist of none, one or multiple files to send and/or receive. Each script file can be used for instance for setting necessary parameter values or starting the desired local or remote task. This structure is very flexible allowing defining practically any kind of transfer jobs needed in messaging and file transfer.

General structure of a MCM transfer job

MCM Base is the 'engine' of the MCM software taking care of starting the right jobs at the right time, controlling the execution of the transfer jobs, keeping the logs and controlling authorities and security in the MCM system. The following is a list of the main concepts, functions and features of the MCM Base module.

Transfer directory

Manycom transfer directory is used to save the transfer job requests (job control information), status data and part of the logging information. This makes it possible to follow later the status and other information of the created and executed transfer jobs, restart and copy the jobs, etc.

Transfer job requests

There are two kinds of transfer jobs: normal and continuous. Normal jobs are one-time jobs e.g. for sending a fax message via the fax server. Transfer jobs created as continuous jobs are re-activated and executed automatically by MCM Base after pre-defined time intervals.

Monitor programs, timing, priorities

Monitor programs run periodically, typically every minute, to check the transfer directory in order to find the new 'normal' transfer jobs and re-activated 'continuous' jobs to execute. Monitors check the requested starting time, priorities and available line resources, and choose and start the transfer programs ('server drivers'). After started, the transfer programs run as independent batch jobs taking care of the execution of the transfer jobs.

Script files and script editor

MCM uses a script technique specially designed for its purposes. MCM Base includes the Manycom script editor to create and maintain scripts, which can be attached to the transfer job requests. The transfer programs use the script files to control the execution of the jobs.

Logging functions

MCM Base has extensive logging functions, which are of special importance in automated messaging and file transfer environments. Logging of all transfer requests, communications transactions and error situations is the base for successful problem management.

Work files

Manycom copies and saves the contents of the original messages and files in work files for the desired time, if requested. This makes it possible to show later the exact content of the sent and received messages and files, resend them, if needed, and so on.

Conversion services

The base product includes conversion programs to convert from the AS/400 original object types (i.e. OV/400 document, PC text files and spool files) to the Manycom work file formats. Additionally, any user defined code conversion tables (e.g. from EBCDIC to ASCII and vice versa) can be used for data conversions.

An separate Data File Conversion module is also available offering a parameterised way to convert AS/400 data base files field by field to those text file formats needed with the different message and file servers, for instance with those running in UNIX and Windows systems.


Only pre-configured users and applications can use MCM. A special authority is needed to maintain the settings. Each Manycom user has a user class that grants an access to the user's private messages only, to the messages of the work group (department), or to the messages of the company. A 'super user' can access all messages and their log and status data. Each user can send and receive messages only with those message and file servers defined for the user.

User Interfaces

There are three main menus and the related displays separately for installation, daily system operations, and end user operations. The user interfaces are easy to use and consistent regardless of the message types.


The command based Manycom APIs (Application Program Interfaces) are for creating transfer job requests directly from the applications. The same APIs are also used by MCM 'behind' the user interface screens. The status information of the created transfer jobs can be checked any time by the end users on the status displays, or by the applications by calling the MCM Status API program with the unique job id returned by the API.

Maintenance functions

MCM takes care of automatically organising the transfer directories and log and work files daily so that use of disk space is controlled. In normal use, no daily manual operation is needed to keep MCM running at desired dates and times. All tasks of MCM are executed under a special Manycom subsystem.

A more detailed technical description is available in the manual MCM, Base Configuration Guide.

MCM uses at the moment only non-SNA protocols (asynchronous/ASCII and TCP/IP) to communicate with other systems. It cannot necessarily obsolete or replace all the existing messaging and file transfer systems your company may already have, but complements them by providing new possibilities, easiness and effectiveness in messaging and file transfer.

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