Sheerpower® A Guide to the Sheerpower Language

A Guide to the Sheerpower Language

Touch Technologies, Inc.
1470 Encinitas Blvd. #104
Encinitas, CA 92024

[email protected]


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Revised: December 13, 2020 for V10.0

Copyright ©2001-2022 Touch Technologies, Inc.

Contents Index


Sheerpower is a next generation database and scripting language for Windows. It is supported on Windows 10, 11, and Windows Server 2016 and above.

Sheerpower includes a rapid development environment (SPDEV) and a fourth-generation database language (SP4GL)

The Sheerpower language:

Sheerpower excels at both character and mathematical utility, combining them into a powerful, easy-to-use framework. Sheerpower can be used to write programs of any size, from simple-input applications to vast database infrastructures and Web applications.

Sheerpower includes a transparent interface to the ARS (Advanced Record System) database engine as well as to other database engines. ARS is bundled into Sheerpower.

ARS is integrated into Sheerpower featuring extremely high speed sequential and random access to database information. In addition, ARS is optimized for client/server applications through the use of high performance memory resident shared data.

The interface includes:

The Sheerpower development environment is designed for developing complex applications rapidly. This interactive environment:

Development cycle time is the time it takes to edit, compile, link, run and debug code. Sheerpower reduces this time by providing an interactive and fast response environment. Sheerpower offers features that cut cycle time significantly... up to 80%.

You will find Sheerpower to be an exciting and powerful programming tool.

Sheerpower Reference Manuals

All Sheerpower manuals are designed to provide information in a manner that is concise and easy to use. The manuals are:

Purpose of this Guide

The purpose of this Guide is to present the information you will need to develop programs with Sheerpower. The intent is to provide you, the user, with simple and concise explanations of the Sheerpower system, features, and language. This manual is designed to provide a basic and thorough explanation of each element. This manual can also be used as a reference guide by advanced users.

Intended Audience

This guide is written for both experienced programmers and those self-learners who have had some exposure to computers and programming languages.

Feedback and Technical Support

Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what you think about the Sheerpower language, development environment, website, and documentation.

If you encounter any technical issues, email them to us and we will respond as soon as possible (usually within 48 hours.)

Email all feedback and technical support requests to [email protected]

Thank you for using Sheerpower.

Chapter 1
Getting Started in Sheerpower

1.1 Getting Started

Download Sheerpower

Download the latest version of Sheerpower by clicking HERE.


The examples throughout this manual show how commands or statements are used. Wherever possible, the example is a full program rather than a program fragment. You are encouraged to type in (or copy/paste) the Sheerpower examples into SPDEV throughout this manual and run them.

How to Start the Sheerpower Rapid Development Environment

To start the Sheerpower Rapid Development Environment (SPDEV), double click the Sheerpower shortcut icon located on your desktop - a circle with a lightning bolt through it. Below is an image of what SPDEV looks like when it is running.

To illustrate the basic features of SPDEV, the next sections in this chapter will also serve as a brief tutorial using a simple menu program.

1.2 Creating a New Program in Sheerpower

To create a new program in Sheerpower Rapid Development Environment, click once on the New icon in the toolbar---a white paper with one corner folded. This will create a new file for you to work in.

You can also click on File in the SPDEV toolbar and select New from the drop down menu of choices to create a new file.

The Name New File... dialog box will appear and ask you to name your new file, and to specify the location you want to save it in.

Type the name of the new program file inside the File name: field. To follow along with this short tutorial, name this new file Menu.

The default file type to save a file is .SPSRC. It shows as "Sheerpower source files (*.spsrc)" in the "Save as type" drop down list. This creates a Sheerpower source program file. When you click on [Save] the .SPSRC file type extension will automatically be added on to the file name. Clicking on the down arrow will drop down a list of other different file type options available to save your file as.

With "Sheerpower source files (*.spsrc)" selected as the file type, click on [Save].

After you click on the [Save] button in the "Name New File..." dialog box, a new document window will open within SPDEV. A dialog box will also appear prompting you for your name, company name and program name.

When you fill in this information and click on [OK], a program template will automatically be inserted into your new program file. See Appendix I, Developing Professional Applications with Sheerpower for a detailed discussion on the special features built-in to Sheerpower designed to save time and money when creating professional applications.

For the purpose of this basic tutorial, click on [Cancel] to skip creating the program template. You can now begin to write your new Sheerpower program inside the new document window.

1.2.1 Menu Program Example

Copy and paste or type the following program code into the new menu.spsrc file inside SPDEV.

Example 1-1 Menu Program

    line input menu '"Calculator" = calc,"Command Prompt" = dos,"EXIT"': ans$ 
    if  _exit  then  exit do
    select case ans$ 
    case 'CALC' 
      pass nowait: 'calc' 
    case 'DOS' 
      pass nowait: '$$' 
    end select

1.2.2 Validating a Program in Sheerpower

You can VALIDATE your program code in SPDEV for compile errors without running or deploying it first by clicking once on the Validate icon in the SPDEV toolbar---the "V" icon. Note that if there are no Sheerpower source program files (SPSRC) open in SPDEV, the Validate icon will be disabled (greyed out).

The results of the validation are displayed in the Build tab window at the bottom of SPDEV. If there are no compile errors, SPDEV displays that the program was a clean build. The name of your file, the number of lines written, the speed it was compiled at, and the size of the file are also displayed.

In addition. the program compile results are also displayed in the Build window when a Sheerpower program is Run or Deployed.

 Build of C:\SheerPower\samples\menu.spsrc 
 Lines processed: 11 (500/sec), code space used: 1KB 
 Clean build for C:\SheerPower\samples\menu.spsrc 

Below is an example of the compile results displayed in the Build window when the sample menu.spsrc program contains an error (a missing quote):

 Build of C:\Sheerpower\samples\menu.spsrc 
file: C:\Sheerpower\samples\menu.spsrc 
    (line 7, column 14):  Warning:  Missing quote assumed 
 Lines processed: 11 (500/sec), code space used: 1KB 
 Errors (1) in C:\Sheerpower\samples\menu.spsrc 

If you double-click directly on the line of the error message that details the line and column number, Sheerpower will automatically scroll through the program and highlight the line of code containing the error in yellow.

 Build of C:\Sheerpower\samples\menu.spsrc 
file: C:\Sheerpower\samples\menu.spsrc 
    (line 7, column 14):  Warning:  Missing quote assumed  <-- double click on this line 
 Lines processed: 11 (500/sec), code space used: 1KB 
 Errors (1) in C:\Sheerpower\samples\menu.spsrc 

If there are no routines detected in the program, the error message will contain only the line number and column number of the error.

When routines are detected in the code, if the error occurred outside of a routine (in the main logic area) the location of the error will always start with "MAIN" followed by a period. Following the period is the source code line number.

For example, MAIN.11 means the error occurred in the 11th line from the very top of the file. Below is an example of the compile results of a program that contains routines with an error:

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