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Sunbelt Computer

ANSI Committee


Mid-Michigan Computer Consultants
509 Center
Bay City, Michigan

Sales (989) 892-9242             Support (989) 686-8860

ANSI Standard PL/B Language


Visual PL/B for Windows

Mid-Michigan Computer Consultants (MMCC) designs and develops software in many languages and environments. For years COBOL was our language of choice. FORTRAN has never been a favorite but we've done a lot of FORTRAN work. When forced, we've held our noses and worked in RPG. We've also used most of the languages popular on the PC's and now do web site scripting in the various tools of that environment.

Throughout our more than 35 years in the business our favorite programming tool, by far, is the PL/B language.

PL/B originated in the early 70's as DATABUS, the proprietary language for Datapoint Computer systems. The language developed a huge international following. When the PC took over the world, it didn't take long for various vendors to port the DATABUS language to that platform.

As DATABUS left the proprietary folds and became a general purpose business language, the demand grew for an official standard. Near the end of the 1980's the ANSI J15 Committee was formed and staffed by a group of corporate DATABUS users and language vendors.

As the standard neared completion in 1993, the official name was changed from DATABUS to "programming language B" and designated PL/B. PL/B joined COBOL as the second ANSI "business" programming language.

Today PL/B is supplied by a number of language vendors as well as by Datapoint. The language cut its teeth in the PC world as a fully network compliant MS/DOS system. Sunbelt Computer Systems had a Mac version for several years before moving the language to Windows. Today's PL/B is used largely in Windows environments but also has a strong Linux and UNIX user base. PL/B programs are generally portable across all computer and OS environments.

To enable programers from other diciplines to get a flavor of PL/B, MMCC has prepared a short white paper describing the general characteristics of PL/B and offering examples of the code. Several years ago we adopted the policy of posting our own internal PL/B Notebook on our web site and we invite anyone to use it as a resource.

MMCC uses the Visual PL/B development suite provided by Sunbelt Computer Systems. Sunbelt is one of the oldest PL/B vendors and, in our opinion, by far the best. The folks at Sunbelt are extremely responsive to users and are highly respected world wide.

For 25 years, Sunbelt has held an Annual User's Conference. Users come from all over the world. Regulars show up from all over the US as well as from Canada, England, Australia, South Africa, Israel and other countries. The 23rd Annual User Conference was held October 29 to November 1, 2006 in San Antonio, Texas.
Send e-mail to MMCC.
Write to MMCC Technical Support at:
600 W. Midland
Bay City, MI 48708
(989) 686-8860

J15 Committee: Programming Language PL/B
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Started 09/15/1998