Is FileMan a toolset,
or a DBMS?
Is it reliable?
Is it documented?
Is it relational?
Is it full-screen?
Is it GUI?
What do I need to
If I already have a MUMPS
why would I need Fileman?
Is it easy to export FileMan
Can I tweak it?
versions in other
How do I get
FileMan a toolset, or a DBMS?
It's both. The DBMS can be used "stand-alone", without programmer
But the various components (Input, Deleting, Lookup, Listing, etc.) are
also accessible as M[UMPS] routines. The programmer calls allow either
interactive dialogue with the user, or 'silent' calls to the database.
FileMan thus functions as a full-blown API (Applications Programming
for the M[UMPS] programmer. Because users of the interactive,
components of Fileman are referencing the same APIs that programmers
to create custom applications, user interface and results are
Is it reliable?
FileMan is a proven product that has been in use in hundreds of sites
for nearly 30 years. It is designed to foster robust, consistent,
Yes, extensively. Documentation of the system is available from the
perspective of the User, the Developer, and the M[UMPS] programmer.
documentation exists in browser-readable HTML right
The FileMan DBMS allows developers to set up 'flat' files, or
ones. Its output capabilities allow for the normalizing of
data. Fileman can also be called a "networked" DBMS, because of the way
that "pointer"-type data can tie many different files together without
redundancy of data storage. A developer (non-programmer) can specify
not only on output (so that data from several files can appear on the
line of a report), but also on input (so that data can be entered into
several files using the same "Input Template").
The "classic" FileMan mode of user dialogue is "roll-and-scroll".
also includes a powerful "ScreenMan" tool which allows developers to
full-screen input modules to any Fileman database. "ScreenMan" screens
run on a variety of "dumb" terminal emulators and feature:
- Color-coding of captions, defaults & required fields
- Full-screen text editing
- Character-by-character editing of other data fields
- Transaction-at-a-time filing of data
What do I
All you need is a system that runs Standard M[UMPS]. The FileMan code
does not rely on any extensions to the ANSI Standard. You can learn
about M[UMPS] and its vendors by following the links in our M
If I already have
database, why would I need Fileman?
There are many valuable FileMan-based applications packages in the
Public Domain, and naturally you will need to import FileMan if you
any of these packages. Moreover, there are several reasons to consider
adopting Fileman itself as a tool:
Is it easy to export
data to non-MUMPS systems?
- Provides a de facto standard for file structures in M[UMPS]
- Rich library of data manipulation utilities/functions.
- Small 'footprint': easily co-exists with other packages,
such as COSTAR.
FileMan includes an "Export Tool" that simplifies the process of
files for export. A file of "Foreign Formats" controls the output, and
several formats (for EXCEL, Oracle, etc.) come pre-loaded.
Can I tweak it?
There are many documented "hooks" where a user who knows M[UMPS] can
customize the behavior of the DBMS, without changing the FileMan
themselves. It can indeed be said that "MUMPS is a Macro Language to
versions of Fileman?
The Defense Department hospitals use a second version of FileMan, which
is not in the Public Domain. It is essentially similar to VA FileMan,
there are a lot of differences. A paper
written for the DVA in 1995 summarizes these differences.
Much recent enhancement of FileMan has been done, primarily by
George Timson, for Medsphere
Systems Corporation. This new version of FileMan, unsupported by
the DVA, enables use of the mouse on ScreenMan screens, and builds
internationalization into the FileMan Data Dictionaries. A version of
this work, including dozens of other miscellaneous fixes and
improvements, is now available on an Open-Source basis, here.
MSC FileMan was the basis of a new "Version 22.2" developed for the "FLAP"
VA paid for this development, and virtually all
these enhancements and fixes have been become incorporated into VA FileMan.
in other languages?
Earlier versions of FileMan were translated into German and Finnish.
The latest versions (21 & 22) will work for any natural language,
since the user
can build a "DIALOG" file for as many different languages as he
Thus the same running copy of FileMan can "speak" to different users
say, Spanish and English, simultaneously.
How do I
VA FileMan is in the public domain, and free for the taking right here.
Jump over to the FileMan Repair Shop. You
will need to be able to download and unzip a file of M[UMPS] routines.
The routines (^DINIT, to start with) build the Globals FileMan needs.