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All workers can benefit from effective tools, and VISTA programmers are no exception. This page is dedicated to making the latest tools available to you, especially those that are tuned for a VISTA environment.

David Bolduc's Victory Programming Environment includes a VISTA-friendly programmer shell with improved routine and global management tools, and an Electronic Data Dictionary that complements and extends the FileMan data dictionary options.

M Utilities - Here is a handy list of common M utilities across various M platforms.

VA Utilities - Here is a brief list of common utilities and APIs in the various subsystems of the VistA Infrastructure.

VA Standards and Conventions (SAC) - If you want to understand the nuts and bolts of the VA's software architecture, you need to study the 'shop' standards. The SAC lays out the VA's current guidelines on required and suggested programming practices.  This document was revised by the VA in April 2007.  

George Timson's "%" routine - Contains APIs to manipulate ".m" routines, search routines for patch numbers, and do comparisons from one namespace to another. New!

Procedures for Modifying Applications - VISTA employs a very flexible scheme for permitting locally developed enhancements. If carefully followed, this scheme will eliminate the possibility of conflict when installing new versions of an application.

Customizing %INDEX - The powerful %INDEX program was modified to run outside of the VISTA environment by Ed de Moel.  He kindly documented the process that is shared here

ERD Extract Tool - This simple set of routines (download) will extract information from VistA Fileman Data Dictionaries to create .SML files that can be used by programs, like ERWIN, to create Entity Relationship Diagrams (ERD). Below is an example of the use of the tool.

     Select one of the following:
          R         Range of Files
          B         Build
Select files by: Range of Files
First file in range: 2  PATIENT
Last file in range: 2  PATIENT
Model Name: PAT
Full path, up to but not including Model Name: C:\

This is the tool that was used to create ERDs for many VistA applications.

Do you have a particular tool that you have found to be extremely useful for VISTA? Please feel free to tell us about it. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

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