Screen shots
Prior versions

Addsum TAS 7i Premier


What is TAS? (click on highlighted headings to expand/collapse)

TAS is a rich and powerful 4GL programming language interfaced to the Btrieve (now Pervasive) record manager (and also to CodeBase as of November 2001 in version 6). As a result it can be used to write sophisticated, database intensive multi-user applications.

The original publisher of TAS (Business Tools, Inc.) was founded in 1984 and the first release of TAS (known then as Level 1) was released soon thereafter followed by accounting software products written in TAS that later became known as TAS-Books, then Books and later Advanced Accounting.

To see early promotion of the TAS development system from 1985 to 1992 as well as its flagship accounting software products, see TAS and Advanced Accounting in the beginning.

Since its initial release, TAS has been used to write not only accounting applications but also special purpose in-house and commercial applications by programmers throughout the world. In addition to a heavy concentration of users in the US and the United Kingdom, TAS continues to be used as a programming tool by programmers elsewhere as well including India, Thailand, Malaysia, Tanzania, Uganda, Angola, Canada, Mexico and various European countries.

The much anticipated object-based version of TAS was released in March of 2001 and is being used by developers worldwide and is the underlying engine for Advanced Accounting 6. TAS 6 was premiered at an Addsum-Business Tools seminar in Salt Lake City in November of 2000; a year later a similar seminar hosted by Business Tools and its UK associate was held in London.

Addsum TAS Professional 7, published by Addsum Business Software, Inc., was first released in May of 2004.

Addsum TAS Premier 7i, published by Addsum Business Software, Inc., was first released in September of 2005.


What does a TAS program look like?

TAS is a 4GL (fourth generation language) that uses normal, everyday English that in many ways resembles BASIC programming commands although it is hard to compare it to any one language. A program can be very short as the following program which displays a 'Hello World' message.

;TAS 5.1 example - complete program
msg 'Hello world.'

//TAS Premier 7i example - complete program
msg 'Hello world.'

Or it could be very long containing thousands of of lines of statements. For a sample of what a longer program might look like, click here.


How does TAS compare to other programming languages?

All programming languages have strengths and weaknesses. TAS is a procedural language that is very strong in handling database applications (for example accounting programs). TAS has also historically been very strong in handling user input and validating that input with relative ease compared to other languages.

To provide you with an idea as to how TAS compares programmatically to other languages, click here for a comparison between TAS, C++ and Pascal.

With the release of version 6 (and now 7i), the way the code is structured and is attached to events is naturally different than in the prior DOS/text releases. TAS 6 and 7i however maintain complete backwards compatibility and it still built around similar commands and functions. In the object-based version, object events are handled generally as subroutine calls. Screen and report formats sit apart from the source allowing a developer (or potentially an end user) to make a screen or report change without having to re-compile the underlying code.

TAS programs run on top of a runtime engine. So a complete TAS 6 (now TAS 7i) application consists of typically a number of different TAS compiled "run" programs with accompanying screen (DFM) and report (RTM) formats. This is an ideal environment for modifiable systems (like Advanced Accounting) as well as for multi-programmer projects because a change can be made to just one, for example, "run" program without necessarily impacting the other components.


What commercial programs have been written in the TAS language?

A number of commercial applications that have been written in the TAS language which includes the Advanced Accounting series (which has a history spanning several decades). Industries for which TAS programs have been written include manufacturing, printing, medical, laundry, retail (point-of-sale), wholesale/distribution and many others.

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