Another language that I learnt along the way at Datapens Systems was DataFlex by Data Access Corporation. This was a 4GL, (a fourth generation programming language), which really was a data management type of language. 4GLs were meant to cut down on the amount of coding required by 3GLs such as BASIC and C, and to the greater degree it did so you had to think less about the presentation of the program, but you would have less flexibility on occasion. It wasn't a difficult language to learn and had the huge advantage that it could be tied to virtually any database without any changes required in the front end code.

I used this language to create a market trader tracking system for both Islington and Camden Borough Markets. The idea was that the inspector would go around these markets with a Datapen, (a barcode reader in the form of a pen), with a barcode menu in his pocket; and he would scan the pitch number and make any comments using various status barcodes. Then at the end of the day he would take his Datapen back to base where the data would be downloaded. This data would then be read by the Dataflex system I had written and create various reports about what was going on in the markets. 

Another system I wrote was for Sara Lee Cosmetics, (who had recently taken over Nicholas Laboratories, the makers of Matey bubble bath amongst other things!), which tracked order data in from sales teams.

I programmed the original MS-DOS variant of DataFlex for a couple of years, but moved over to Microsoft Access when that was released in late 1992.

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