Viking Software Solutions

LifeWorks: Known Problems and Concerns


Note: New items are added at the end.

  1. $SORT uses /var/tmp as a temporary working directory when sorting and merging. If the file system containing /var/tmp gets full then you can get bad results without a corresponding error message. Typically the target batch will contain fewer records and the data may be garbled. Periodically check the available blocks in /var/tmp as Operating System error log files may grow over time. Release LWK01.23 allows $SORT to optionally use, via the lwoption statement USEOSSORT, /usr/bin/sort instead of $W/bin/LWsort. The OS sort routine may also use /tmp. Other changes have been made to minimize potential problems.
  2. When restoring index sets using LWrestore the underlying batch is not created. If you restored with the -u option then the index set is not accessible until LWmaint is run. Without the -u option LWmaint is run automatically and the batch will be created with the ISAM flag set. However LWmaint will log this situation as an error.
  3. On some System V Release 4 platforms, a problem has been reported on systems with a large amount of index set activity. The problem is seen by operators as a “DATABASE ERROR” and a “SYSTEM ERROR 45: Deadlock condition” entered into the log file. The problem goes away if the system resource FLCKREC is increased. The operating system should report a different error code if it runs out of this resource.
  4. Using $COPY ... $NODE to copy an index set batch to a remote site, the copy fails and the system returns an erroneous error “No disk space or file exceeds maximum file size”.
  5. $DPRINT produces an ordered value set cross reference list, but doesn’t list those values sets which are defined but not referenced.
  6. When configuring 9-track tape on platforms other than Motorola 88K:
    1. Always use the “Other - or customize existing assignment” entry on the 9-TRACK TAPE DEVICES screen.
    2. Make sure that the system has a /dev/rmt directory (AIX does not by default).
    3. On Sun systems ensure the device name has a “bn” suffix to cause “BSD” behavior and “no rewind”. eg. /dev/rmt/0bn.
    4. See the HELP for the CUSTOMIZE 9-TRACK TAPE CONTROLLERS screen. In particular note that the device name cannot include subdirectories of “.” or “..”.
    The 9-track tape support ($TAPE and MSFP) can now be used with other types of SCSI tape devices supported by the OS. You must be aware of limitations (such as block sizes) imposed by either the device or the OS support. You may also need to experiment with tape drive hardware settings.
  7. Release LWK01.16b and later require an updated version of MPS (MPS01.6) if updating from an earlier release.
  8. If you have a file system named WORKS and specified / as the database name to LWconfig, Show A reports on the df value for / rather than for /WORKS as it thinks WORKS is just a plain directory. LWconfig assumes that the path given in LWconfig is a file system.
  9. LAN (TCP/IP) operations between systems of different architectures is not supported.
  10. The release levels of EXPRESS available in support of IBM communications depends on the platform. For UnixWare, release 2.1.2 is the last one available and is supported with LifeWorks Data Entry for RJE only. For Sun Solaris/SPARC the supported release is 2.1.3. For AIX the current shipping version is 3.1, but LifeWorks Data Entry will also function with the prior release 2.1.3. See the Technical Note for further information on important differences.
  11. The documentation for the $HASP $PRINTC command is incorrect. Execution of this command only changes a flag setting. Command processing is not suspended.
  12. The facility for implementing “custom check digits” in $W/cd is dependent upon the compiler system being used. A file, “cdplat” is distributed for the specific CPU/OS platform and is included in It contains compiler/loader directives specific to the compiler/loader in use by LifeWorks, which may not be the same. In particular, for the Power/AIX platform, LifeWorks uses the “gcc” compiler, while many accounts will use the IBM xLC compiler. There are two directives which must be changed if using xLC instead of gcc’s: “-mcpu=common -fsigned-char” is changed to “-qarch=com -qdebug=useabs -qchars=signed”.
  13. Prior to release LWK01.21 a MicroFocus COBOL UBAM program that attempted to use the IXREAD call as documented would fail with an error code of 24029. The sequence of arguments that was expected is for RECFLAGS to be after RECSIZE and before KEYNAME. This was fixed in release LWK01.21 to match the documentation.
  14. Previous to LWK01.22.1, $EDIT didn’t request the password when reading a password-protected job. This was fixed in LWK01.22.1 to ask for the job password. However this might break some unattended operations. A new lwoptions flag NOEDITPASS was added to suppress asking for the password. The use of NOEDITPASS causes $EDIT to operate as it did before LWK01.22.1.
  15. UnixWare 7 appears to remove the LifeWorks Data Entry 9 track tape links (LW9TRK, etc.) in the /dev/rmt directory upon reboot.


  1. Remote printing between MPS systems will not work if the (required) “/var/spool/mps/rmt_hosts” file exists. It may work if this file does not exist.
  2. The default form definition, MPS_DEF_F (which exists as the UNIX file /var/spool/mps/forms/MPS_DEF_F, does not perform formatting operations, which will generally result in lines that are “stairstepped” and otherwise not as expected. If this form definition has been modified, an upgrade installation will overwrite it. Therefore be sure to save this file prior to an upgrade and restore as necessary.
  3. The default VFU definition is also overwritten during an upgrade, so if any changes to it have been made, be sure to save this file prior to an upgrade and restore as necessary.