Looking for books


New Member
Hi there-
At a previous employer, a couple of my co-workers had some really great older books on Progress, and I read a bit of them and they were pretty good. I'd love to track down copies, if I could remember the details and find someone who had a copy they'd be willing to sell..

The first one was soft cover, a light green or teal color, and I think it was called something like "Making Good Progress", and the author may have been John Sadd, but I'm fuzzy on that. Does that sound familiar? Anyone still have that?

The other one may be harder to track down. It was a student guide from a Progress training, and was from the V9 days so it had the V9-style artwork on the cover. It was only maybe 50 pages or so, and discussed the internals the database, how the high water mark works, how records are stored in blocks, how free blocks are located, etc. I don't recall if it was spiral-bound or stapled. Does that one sound familiar? It was really one of the most clear and outstanding technical discussions of database internals I've read, and not just for Progress.

Thank you in advance!
I'm aware of those publications, though they are a bit before my time. The challenge with old documents/books is that, although they may have been well laid out and well written to cover the subject matter of their day, the platform has moved on.

Yes, some fundamental aspects of ABL remain unchanged, and you can get some very old ABL code to run unchanged in a new runtime. And some database concepts remain unchanged enough that old descriptions of them would still hold true today.

The problem is that many things didn't remain the same. And unfortunately you might already require the knowledge that the documents attempt to provide in order to distinguish the good information from the outdated information. Also, old documents don't include the accumulated wisdom of the user community that discourages the use of some platform features as worst practices.

In the v9 era, application storage areas (Type I!) were brand new tech. Features we now think of as old, like Type II areas, 64-bit dbkeys/rowids, TDE, ABP, Auditing, CSC, CDC, multi-tenancy, table partitioning, diagnostic data collection, online parameter changes, and countless others, were still far in the future. And even some seemingly fundamental internals concepts like space management, block headers, backups, BI/AI management, checkpoints, latches, client/server messaging, index rebuilds, repair tools, etc. have changed significantly since the v9 days. It is better to learn concepts from more modern information sources.

Some suggestions for updating your knowledge:
  • Read the docs for a chosen release.
    Progress Documentation
  • Register for a future technical conference.
  • Download and review the session materials from past conferences. They often contain deep technical content you can't find anywhere else. The PUG Challenge Americas archive linked here contains nine years of conference content.
  • For specific content, search the online Knowledge Base.
  • Post a question in an OpenEdge community forum or sub-forum.
  • Post a question in an appropriate forum here!
  • Read White Star Software's blog (disclaimer: I work for White Star).
The "Making Good Progress" book could be this one - by John Campbell not John Sadd - although may be difficult to get now:

For the version 9 book it may be part of the downloads from the OpenEdge 9 section here:

As Rob points out though, they will be very old now and updated documentation is better.
Hi guys!
Thanks for the replies!

Yes, I think you are right about the John Campbell book, though that cover is not the one I recall my co-worker having. Maybe he had a different edition? His was a darker shade of blue-green and didn't have any graphics on the cover. Just the title and author.

The V9 book was definitely a student guide from some training class, and isn't part of the standard V9 set. I actually have a full set of V9 printed docs someplace too and it wasn't part of that either. If the one I'm talking about sounds familiar, does anyone remember what it was called specifically?

Both of you raise excellent and valid points about newer documentation and publications. I know about most of the changes since those days and read the current stuff too. I was looking for these two manuals as much for nostalgia and being well-written as much as anything, and less so for their technical content... So that being said I'd still love to find copies, if anyone has one stored away still!

Thanks so much!
John's original book "Programmers Progress" was much thinner and had several cover variations. It is still the best discussion of the basics of 4gl queries and transactions that has ever been written.

Campbell Progress.jpg
For the first book, "Making Good Progress" by John Sadd, I'm not totally sure if that's the right title or author. You might wanna try searching online or checking libraries and secondhand bookstores.

As for the second book, with the V9-style cover and all the tech stuff about database internals, it might be tough to find since it sounds pretty specialized. You could try asking around on Progress-related forums or communities to see if anyone has a copy or knows where to get one.