Impossible Problem? Take Baby Steps

Once a year in February, we process the first motor vehicle “commitment” (bill) for the calendar year. This year, there were 29,161 new excise bills. More bill runsĀ  follow as a result of additional commitments, as people sell and buy cars and/or move in and out-of-town, but this first excise bill run it is the biggest of the year, and all new excise bills’ addresses are run through address verification software, so, if validated, the address can be bar-coded. Bar coding mail saves a lot of money.

I have wanted to speed up the original process, and felt that could happen. It was going to take several steps, the first of which was to modify the software to use a faster routine. After making the software changes, a strange error popped up.

It was completely depressing. Informix Support translated the error, which made no sense in the context of my program — Informix Support is always very good, by the way — and so I put this project off until this week.

Today, I broke the problem up into steps. This led me to a completely different problem involving database table indexes. There is a workaround for this problem, and that is a good thing.


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