A computer-aided pressure transient analysis program has been developed in a Microsoft Windows™ environment resulting in a highly interactive and user-friendly application. Programming in such an environment involved a completely new approach to program logic and design. In Windows, programs respond to events and process messages -mouse clicks, requests to redraw window contents, etc- rather than issue commands as in conventional software design.
Personal computer operating systems are evolving towards creating a graphical user interface. The main advantage of such a visual interface is that the user can learn how to operate a particular application quicker and more efficiently than a DOS-based application. The learning process is intuitive and all the applications consistently have the same feel and look. Users of both Macintosh™ and IBM™ family of personal computers are well aware of the difference in operating systems.
For the non-professional software developer, programming in Windows creates a whole new array of concepts and requires a deep understanding of computer architecture, in particular, memory management and organization. The experience obtained in developing a pressure transient analysis application has reinforced our belief that engineers need to become acquainted with such operating systems. This paper covers the most important topics on how to write Windows applications and the changes in our programming habits involved in creating them.