Windows DLL development

A configuration wizard

03 Dec 1997

Software Developer, Technical Writer, UI Designer
C++, SGML, ODBC, Oracle tnsnames, MSQL API, DB2 CLI, DRDA, SNA, TCP/IP, SQL, Support

IBM® DB2® DataJoiner was the premiere federation solution for IBM DB2 databases on distributed platforms. It offered an elegant method to access heterogeneous data sources, with an efficient and powerful engine to process queries. However, as it was middleware that supported a wide variety of network and database communication protocols, it was naturally a challenge for users to initially configure manually—not an introduction you want users to experience with your product.

Rather than change the already improved configuration documentation, I proposed we instead offer users a configuration wizard to automate the tasks and volunteered to do the job.

A screen capture of the configuration wizard

I knew about a recent TaskGuide wizard-creation framework by Doug Tidwell at IBM RTP. The framework made the frontend development simple, leaving the hard work in the backend DLL. I was eager to dive into my second professional programming project with this fresh technology. Development and release managers approved the project wholeheartedly and provided excellent mentorship and help along the way.

It was a joy to learn from the best, to discover how to create a Windows DLL, and to make use of the various database APIs and Windows libraries required. In the end, not only was it well-received by customers, but it also earned me the IBM Outstanding Technical Achievement award.

An image of the award coin