OpenVMS Demos: Programmer's Corner

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non-code OpenVMS resources can be found here
  1. The information presented here is intended for educational use by qualified OpenVMS programmers.
  2. The information presented here is provided free of charge, as-is, with no warranty of any kind.
  3. To the best of my knowledge, the programs presented here compile, link and run properly. Please send me an email if they do not (I only support this stuff in my spare time).
  4. Since I am now within 4-years of retirement, I may move all this stuff to where it might better survive my career and, eventually, my life.
Updated: 2020-01-21

OpenVMS Source Code (presented in HTML format)

Presented in HTML format so:

How my source code pages were webified (is that a real word?)

My demo programs were converted to HTML pages by running my source code through this VMS-BASIC utility:

What does it do? For the most part, it converts certain HTML-sensitive characters into HTML entities like so:

Original Character HTML Entities
& &
< &lt;
> &gt;

The utility also wraps my code with <pre> and </pre> in order to preserve white-space. Optionally, this utility can generate a complete web page which saves much time.

OpenVMS BASIC demos

People new to VMS-BASIC might wish to read these articles:

File I/O Demos

RMS - Record Management Services for OpenVMS

  1. back in the day, many hardware vendors also provided their own operating systems. IBM and DEC, incorporated support for sequential and relative records into their operating systems in order to facilitate COBOL-74. Next, they included support for indexed records in order to support COBOL-80 which was finally released as COBOL-85. IBM invented the name ISAM which contains all three technologies. On DEC systems, like VMS and OpenVMS, indexed ISAM can be seen in file SYSUAF.DAT (just type "dir sys$system:SYSUAF.DAT /full")
  2. COBOL uses PIC statements to layout record structure (PIC is short for PICTURE). VMS-BASIC employs MAP statements

RDB - Oracle-Rdb (Relational Data Base)

MariaDB - An alternate fork of MySQL

Tools: RMS Export - MySQL Import

I/P Stack Demos (written entirely in VMS-BASIC)

TCPIP Services for OpenVMS


  1. a third-party stack from Process Software (supports IPv4 and IPv6)
  2. more feature-rich than TCPIP Services for OpenVMS from HP
  3. No stack-specific demos here since my "TCPIP Services" demos work with this stack


  1. a third-party stack from Process Software (only supports IPv4)
  2. this was the only IP Stack for VMS in the 1980s and first half of the 1990s
  3. the Telnet API and FTP API provide a solution midway between Sockets and System Services

Web Demos

Apache Glue Example

Apache No-Glue Example

Password Change Demo

Upload Demo



Data conversion / manipulation

Miscellaneous Stuff

Command Line

DCL symbols

DECnet Communications

Device Scan

Diffie-Hellman Key Exchange Demo

Displaying System errors

Health Monitor

Lock Demos (CEF - Common Event Flag)

Lock Demos (DLM - Distributed Lock Manager)

Linked Lists and Memory Queues

Mailbox Demo (Unix people use the word 'pipe')

When you need larger DCL symbols

Password Stuff


Population Simulation

System Calls you can't live without

Source Code Tools


Terminal Characteristics

Timer Demos

VMS Mail



OpenVMS BASIC standalone functions (file extension ".fun")

Some BASIC demos may require these standalone (mostly BASIC) functions:

Question: So just what does the prefix WCSM stand for?
Answer: Waterloo Computer System Maintenance. That department name morphed into something else but the prefix remains smile

OpenVMS BASIC includes (file extension ".inc")

Some BASIC demos may require these standalone includes:

My BASIC Development Environment

A snapshot of my development environment. It will help you understand my how I refer to includes and standalone functions

Directory File
[.dvlp] .bas
basic source code
DCL scripts for building some applications
[.dvlp.flb] .frm
FMS forms (created by dcl command: $fms yada.frm)
FMS form libraries
[.dvlp.fil] .rec
mapped string declarations (records) for relative and indexed files
open statements for relative and indexed files
file description language files for tuning rms files
[] .fun basic functions
[] .inc basic include files
[.dvlp.mar] .mar
macro-32 files
macro-64 files
[.dvlp.sql] .sql MySQL or MariaDB scripts

BASIC Compiler bugs

Overview: this all started when I was trying to write a limited Diffie-Helman demo in BASIC. Why limited? I knew before I began that I wouldn't have access to the whole key space because BASIC does not natively support unsigned integers. But VMS-BASIC-1.7 does support a QUAD datatype which weighs in at 64-bits so that should have gotten me part way (a complete Diffie-Helman demo would require 512-bits, 1024-bits or more). But then I found the following problems with quad.


  1. I just (2012-08-01) discovered a bug in HP Alpha BASIC-1.7-000 (friends tell me it also exists on Itanium)
  2. Although you can divide large QUADWORD integers, the modulus function fails
  3. Here is a "C" version which works properly: basic_quad_mod_bug.c
  4. I just (2012-09-14) tested an experimental version of HP Alpha BASIC 1.7-001 which fixes this problem
    Version Notes-1 Notes-2
    1.7-000 test fails at 2^32 bug
    1.7-001 test works up to 2^62 fixed
  5. CAVEAT: HP told me they will not be releasing this fix to the world so "if you have a support contract and want it fixed then you must input a support request"


  1. I just (2012-09-01) discovered a bug in HP Alpha BASIC-1.7-000 (friends tell me it also exists on Itanium)
  2. Although you can divide large DECIMAL integers, the modulus function fails
  3. I just (2012-09-14) tested an experimental version of HP Alpha BASIC 1.7-001 which fixes this problem.
    Version Declaration Notes-1 Notes-2
    1.7-000 decimal(16,0) test fails at 2^32 bug
    1.7-001 decimal(16,0) test works up to 2^53 fixed
      decimal(17,0) test works up to 2^56 with compile warnings safer to use quad
      decimal(18,0) test works up to 2^59 with compile warnings safer to use quad
      decimal(19,0) test works up to 2^62 with compile warnings safer to use quad
  4. CAVEAT: HP told me they will not be releasing this fix to the world so "if you have a support contract and want it fixed then you must input a support request"

BASIC RTL (run-time library) bug

p.s. I was attempting to write code which would directly open SYSUAF which contains a key (a.k.a. index) based upon an unsigned quadword. Since VMS-BASIC has no unsigned data types an updated BASRTL would be of no use. Even still, I am surprised to learn that this bug was hanging around since 2005 when HP added the quad data type to the language (up until then you needed to use basic$quadword defined in the STARLET library)



Caveats for developers:
  1. both C and C++ languages "appear" to be more complicated on OpenVMS than what you will see on UNIX, Linux or Windows so be sure to read OpenVMS specific documentation.
    1. C on OpenVMS
    2. C++ on OpenVMS
      • just what the heck is "cxx"? This is another example of Dilbert humor where the plus signs of "c++" are rotated 45 degrees. This was necessary because the VMS operating system did not allow plus signs in file names. This means that ".cpp" is also supported.
    3. DEC-C Run-Time-Library Reference Manual For OpenVMS which is used by both C and C++
      • tells you where your reference libraries are located
      • compares UNIX I/O to RMS I/O
      • introduces optional library directives which will allow UNIX-dependent c programs to run on OpenVMS
        e.g. automatically translate a full filename specification from "//one/two/three/four.txt" to "[one.two.three]four.txt"
    4. Many people today only purchase a C++ license then use it to compile C programs
    5. One definition of Sensei (a  Black Belt  in Karate) is "one who has gone before". Many times you will attempt to solve a problem which has already been solved by someone else long ago but you didn't know where to look. Some of those solutions can be seen here:
  2. Two compilers? Many programmers claim since c++ was developed to be a superset of c then will point to numerous articles where programmers use a c++ compiler to develop better c programs. That said, I can show you examples where original developers tell third-party programmers to not use c++ compilers when building their APIs. OpenSSL is one example that springs to mind.
  3. When calling OpenVMS routines defined in the STARLET library, do yourself a favor and enable strict type-checking. This is done by inserting this statement before the library references you wish to be strict (for new programs it should be before all library includes).
    #define __NEW_STARLET 1
    Doing so will endure your code will be in better shape to be ported to another OpenVMS hardware platform. In one of the programs below (sys_create_uid_101.c) I was forced to add a few more lines (resorted to a union) to satisfy the compiler but the optimizer was able to generate a program which was byte-for-byte identical to an earlier relaxed version.
  4. Some large projects (especially code originally written for UNIX/Linux) may require you to build your program with a so-called "make utility". MMS (module management system) is the name of the official licensed make tool. Developers without an MMS license are advised to use MMK which is the open source freeware version available here:
    Additional Advice:
    1. many old-school VMS programmers prefer to invoke the compiler and linker from a DCL prompt. When their DCL commands become too long they will often move them into a DCL build script. While there is nothing wrong with this, older applications like "$LINK" do not support DCL symbol substitution after the "sys$input/opt" directive which then forces the developer to resort to temporary "logical names" or generating-then-executing temporary scripts. Even then, you will have some difficulty squelching a noisy link operation (lots of warnings but still a successful build). All these problems can be handled by moving to a make tool like MMK
    2. We had been using MMK-4.1 for more than a decade on Alpha with no difficulties. When we moved from Alpha to Itanium in 2014, I acquired an Itanium version of MMK-4.1 which did not always work properly with some open source offerings like mtools. Upgrading to MMK-5.0 fixed those problems
      comment: years ago, one of our developers attempted to use MMK-5.0 on Alpha but it proved problematic so we stayed with MMK-4. Do not jump to a new version of MMK unless forced to do so.  

  5. GNV (Gnu Not VMS) hosts a Unix-like environment on OpenVMS:
  6. Lots of open-source software has already been ported to OpenVMS:

C Demo Programs

Topic File Notes
Hello World hello_world.c every site has one of these
  hello_openvms_world.c introductory "hello world" program for OpenVMS
  hello_openvms_world_more.c adds a few system calls to the previous program
General chmod_demo.c changing VMS file protection bits
  credit_card_number_test.c employs the Luhn Algorithm to pre-validate credit card numbers (as well as some other stuff including Canadian Social Insurance Numbers, etc.)
  cmd_line.c reads command line arguments (and named logicals and/or DCL symbols)
  descriptor_macro.c the $DESCRIPTOR MACRO is dumber than most people realize so use it with caution or not at all
  diffie_hellman_demo.c Diffie-Hellman Key Exchange Demo (limited to 64-bit integer math)
  dns_lookup_demo.c A very-cool LINUX socket programming to do Name Server lookups. It was not written by me but it works as-is on OpenVMS-8.4 Alpha with "TCPIP Services for OpenVMS v 5.7". It won't work from behind a firewall (without a few mods) but you'll get the basic idea.
Caveat: be sure to see RES_SEARCH_DEMO.c below which may be a bit more useful. Why? Library functions res_search() and res_query() work properly with IPv4 -and- I assume they also work properly with IPv6
  ebcdic-ascii-demo.c convert between EBCDIC and ASCII character sets
  getuai.c demos use of getuai (get user authorization information)
GUID - UID sys_create_uid_100.c generate a UID (with a tip of the hat to Jim Duff)
caveat: need a 1 ms delay between successive calls for true uniqueness
  sys_create_uid_101.c generate a GUID (with a tip of the hat to Stephen Hoffman)
caveat: need a 1 ms delay between successive calls for true uniqueness
HTTP Related do_100k.c This little test file came from OpenVMS Engineering (I kept it in homage to them) when we reported a 100k problem with CSWS 2.0 (Apache for OpenVMS). Drop this file into the scripts directory of your Apache server then trigger it from a browser like so:
It will help you test your Apache server as well as assist in confidence tests with your network admin people.
  http-check.c HTTP connection test-tool from Hunter Goatley (Process Software)
CGI File Upload
file_upload_neil_c3.html this is the webpage used to start the file-picker
  http_file_upload_31.c (broken
when uploading certain binary
files; see caveat)
this is a c version of my BASIC code (it can be built as either "a standalone executable program" or "a function which can be called from any so-called DEC language including BASIC)
caveat: on 2016-03-xx I realized this program contains a small bug when saving uploaded binary files to OpenVMS. With regard to RMS files of the "512-byte fixed" variety, this broken program appends nulls after the last data byte in the last block then places an EOF at the end of the block. Most programmers already know that many files (with extensions like ".exe" and ".xslx" etc.) expect to see an EOF after the last data byte in the last block. I fear the only way around this is to switch from "standard-i/o functions like fprintf" to "OpenVMS functions like sys$put and sys$write". If anyone is aware of a simpler way only using c then please send me an email. Anyway, a solution is just around the corner.
solution: I now have a working version (this is just a spare time project) but I have not gotten around to publishing it
LDAP ldap.h
Lightweight Directory Access Protocol
Lib DCL script to build lib_mysqludf_sys on OpenVMS (user defined function to do OpenVMS system calls from within Stored Procedures) on MySQL and MariaDB
note: this script shows how to force the OpenVMS linker to produce both uppercase and lowercase symbols
MySQL MariaDB mysql_demo01.c a "hello world" demo for MySQL and MariaDB
doing some real world work with SQL
an optional parameter file for use with demo02 and higher
  mysql_demo03.c connecting via SSL
  mysql_demo04.c demonstrates how to import data from RMS to MySQL/MariaDB
caveat: since I wrote this program I've had better luck working with the client CLI
  mysql_demo05.sql playing with SQL (creating tables, displaying execution plans, etc.) simple build script (produces the fastest executable) complicated build script (can link to a mixed-case shareable SSL library)
    click here for my BASIC-to-C hybrid demos
OpenSSL hyperlink example OpenSSL applications from HP
  hyperlink BASIC-C hybrid example of AES (advanced Encryption Standard)
PIPE and VFORK pipe_demo_parent.c this program creates 3 pipes before calling vfork
  pipe_demo_child.c this C program is executed by the vfork this DCL script is optionally executed by the vfork
Pointers pointer_demo.c  
General quad_mod_demo.c playing with quads (long long) in "C". This program was used to verify some problems with HP Alpha BASIC 1.7-000
  res_search_demo.c As of October-2014 I think this is the only reasonably complete OpenVMS demo on the internet showing how to use res_search() and res_query() then extracting A, MX and NS records. If anyone knows a better/easier way to to extract this information on OpenVMS (perhaps using library functions I don't know about) then please send me the details.
  1. Many library functions are available for Linux (and I was tempted for a short while to begin porting a half dozen or so but why reinvent the wheel if others have gone before me? I certainly couldn't be the first OpenVMS application programmer standing before this chasm, right? Also, the responsibility of keeping the C/C++ libraries up-to-date squarely lays with HP
  2. Anyone who has viewed the official ISC source code for nslookup.c or dig.c might be wondering WTF? I'm certain they are kept remark-poor to thwart modifications by non-specialists. Meanwhile, I am certain that professional spammers already know how to extract MX records.
  rms_c_ug_example.c This program is an annotated version of RMSEXP.C found in chapter 2 of the HP C User's Guide. Any newbie wishing to use RMS from C or C++ should first look at this program before you write a single line of code
  smtp-check.c SMTP connection test-tool from Hunter Goatley (Process Software)
SSL link example OpenSSL applications from HP
general sys_sndjbcw.c sndjbc - submitting a job to a batch queue (this will enable you to submit a job on behalf of another user for the express purpose of having that user send a file to another system via SFTP or SCP)
  sff_demo.c demos function tcpip$send_from_file() which is a nifty way to send SMTP messages to your own stack without opening a connection to port #25
  sudoku.c to benchmark hardware/software performance
  tcpip$tcp_client_qio.c my presentation of a client demo program found in vms folder sys$examples (copyright by HP)
  1. this program uses sys$qiow rather than Berkeley sockets and is synchronous
  2. a synchronous version (based on sys$qio) will be published soon
  timezone_demo.c display the current time translated to any other time zone
  unix_hater.c does the "C" example in the UNIX Hater's Handbook actually compile? (yes)
VT stuff vt340-color-demo.c display colored text on real VT terminals (or any good emulator) without SMG$
  dec-device-control-codes.c this file contains escape sequences used to control popular DEC peripheral devices
  vt-smg-demo.c note: SMG$ is one of five OpenVMS RTLs. This limited demo employs SMG$ routines to display colored text on a virtual terminal
general vms_lock_dlm.c Accessing the OpenVMS DLM (Distributed Lock Manager)
UTF-8 utf8_decode.c no matter how you configure them, most popular browsers will push Unicode via UTF-8 back to your programs. This will cause a problem if your databases are configured to store single characters so you will want to convert from UTF-8 to ANSI/Windows-1252 (which is a superset of iso-8859-1). But what happens when you are unable to convert everything? Do you throw away anything over 255 or do you map to something else?
  utf8_encode.c this program can convert from ANSI/Windows-1252 back to UTF-8
Internationalization Demos internationalization_demo_100.c demos converting from "iso-8859-1" to "ucs-4" (calls: setlocale(), iconv_open(), icon_close(), and iconv())
  internationalization_demo_101.c demos converting from "iso-8859-1-euro" to "utf-8"
okay for ISO-8859-1 to UTF-8; not okay for Windows-1252 (also called ANSI)
for this reason alone, I will keep these Internationalization demos close to my UTF-8 routines

C++ Demo Programs

File Description
hello_world.cpp every site has one
string_demo.cpp This string demo is very interesting. Why?
  1. at first glance these C++ strings appear much more BASIC-like than those found in traditional C.
    But this syntax seems closer to what you see in Java, JavaScript, or C#
  2. Many traditional third generation languages, like HP-BASIC for OpenVMS, limit string size to 32,767 bytes. I have tested this C++ demo up to a string size of 1,999,000 bytes (I could have gone higher but became bored) and found that it worked equally well with:
    1. "HP C++ V7.3-009 for OpenVMS Alpha V8.4" (complied and linked in 32-bit mode)
    2. "CodeBlocks 12.11 on Windows 7"

Apache Specific (c-only)

Apache Module Authentication

Source Code

gSOAP Specific (c-only)

When you check out the sample programs delivered with the gSOAP stack they seem fairly straight forward (right now I'm thinking about "calc") but most were created using the WSDL-last method (a.k.a. code-first method). When someone hands you a WSDL then says "build client and server apps which will be part of a two way messaging system" things get complicated fast. You will be forced to use the WSDL-first method, and the tool wsdl2h (read as: wsdl-to-h) will stuff your SOAP variables deep inside complicated structures and unions then pass the whole mess to you with a pointer. If the WSDL contains more than 100 fields like the one I saw a few months ago, you might want to tackle a smaller project first just to develop skills.

Last year I used the WSDL-last method to create a Java-based web service under Tomcat/AXIS2 called "SimpleService" which can be viewed here. This service only had three methods: ssADD, ssSubtract, and ssEcho. Then I used AXIS2 to generate a WSDL which would be used to build this gSOAP service with the same functionality.

gSOAP demo web service

this WSDL was generated by AXIS2 (using:
this is a simple gSOAP client (add, subtract, echo)
this is a simple gSOAP service (add, subtract, echo)
this is a simple gSOAP service with a few more bells and whistles
the service requires this wrapper if you want to access it from Apache
common build script (DCL)
service build script (DCL)
client build script (DCL)
gSOAP demos (other)

this gSOAP sample client has been tweaked to support OpenSSL (demonstrates three different SSL client contexts)
doesn't do anything useful other than traversing a DOM-loaded SOAP packet (needs more work; would like to produce a better version in C++)
gSOAP reference
plugin code to allow Apache access to gSOAP (problems highlighted in yellow)
note: do not use this with OpenVMS (Brett Cameron has rewritten this plugin for his gSOAP distro)

gSOAP Specific (c++)

Brett Cameron and John Apps have provided a really good set of gSOAP sample programs written in VMS-C but nothing (as of 2012) written in VMS-C++. So here are my unofficial offerings of sample programs tweaked for use with VMS-C++ for OpenVMS.

  1. Large gSOAP programs written in C++ seem clearer than the same ones written in C. Consider using C++ if you you want your gSOAP code to me more easily maintainable by other programmers.
  2. When the gSOAP preprocessor "soapcpp2" generates C++ code it will use a ".CPP" extension
  3. VMS-C++ defaults to a file extension of ".CXX" while competing compilers default to ".CPP" so be sure to include a fully qualified file name.
gSOAP Calc Samples

gSOAP sample Client program from //gsoap/samples/calc++/calcClient.cpp
gSOAP sample Server program from //gsoap/samples/calc++/calcServer.cpp
DCL script to build these two gSOAP sample programs on OpenVMS
gSOAP sample Client program (w/OpenSSL) from //gsoap/samples/calc++/calcClient.cpp
(this last  demo has only been tested on Windows-7)

Porting OpenSSL to OpenVMS

While it is possible to build OpenSSL from public sources, at least one of the demonstration applications will not work without modifications. The main reason for this involves use of the UNIX I/O select() statement to test for I/O readiness. While this is perfectly acceptable in the UNIX/Linux world, select() can only be used to wait for network I/O in the VMS and Windows worlds. There are two possible fixes for this:

  1. use a different technique to detect the start of keyboard I/O
  2. use a VMS-recommended technique to use a socket to connect to SYS$COMMAND
Programs Notes
s_client.c This program was found in kit CPQ-OpenSSL-1.0A (OpenSSL 0.9.6b) published July 2001 by Compaq
It shows how to create a socket (TerminalSocket) to communicate with stdin (your keyboard)
No Compaq/HP copyright was included with this package.
While this program is copyrighted by Eric Young, the VMS changes are not copyrighted by anyone.
"I think" it was modified by someone at Compaq Computer Corporation
term_sock.c This program was found in kit CPQ-OpenSSL-1.0A and is used to create a socket (TerminalSocket) to communicate with stdin (your keyboard).
No Compaq/HP copyright was included with this package or this file.
"I think" it was written by someone at Compaq Computer Corporation.
It allows the programmer to get around the "bad select 38" problem
term_sock.h This c header supports term_sock.c
No Compaq/HP copyright was included with this package or this file.
"I think" it was written by someone at Compaq Computer Corporation
select_demo.c A demo program (derived from HP's UNIX to OpenVMS porting guide) to show how to use select() 

Webpage Hit Counters

We have always been told to never use hit-counters because they consume precious resources. But many rinky-dink sites, especially some on corporate intranets sitting behind a firewall, need them for good P.R. with other departments.

Image-based Counters

These seem to be the gold-standard in counters. Between 1995 and 2000 (when web servers were powerful platforms serving up mostly static webpages to underpowered desktop PCs sporting Pentium-2 or Pentium-3 processors) most sites used a bit of freeware written by Muhammad Muquit named "count". Needless to say I am envious of his programming skills. But this solution places a more-than-trivial computational burden on the server. Why? Updating a counter file is the easy part. Using the digits to reference a graphics library of individual digits then assemble the binary pieces scan-line by scan-line into a resultant GIF is the hard part.

Text-based Counters

I'm running an overworked decade-old server (AlphaServer DS20e installed in 2002) and I think the time has come to shift the computational burden from the server to the client. I have a little "C" program ready which increments the counter file then sends back the plain-text result. The calling webpage uses a small amount of AJAX (~20 lines) to accomplish the task then the browser is responsible for displaying the count. The browser may not have access to all the cool image sets seen in Muhammad's offering but that may not be as big a deal as you might think. I will publish it soon.


Web Page Hit Counter (2.4 + 2.6)

Technical Observations (2013-11-xx)

Hybrid Programming (VMS-BASIC calling VMS-C)

All so-called "DEC languages" (VMS-COBOL, VMS-FORTRAN, VMS-Pascal, VMS-BASIC, etc) can easily pass variables (including strings and arrays) to each other. Passing variables between "DEC languages" and code written in C, C++, or MACRO is a little more difficult but not impossible.

Some BASIC solutions can be anywhere between impractical to impossible (LDAP springs to mind). Here are your options:

  1. "rewrite C programs into BASIC"
  2. BASIC programs could call C programs indirectly which means passing data  via "shell variables" or "logical names"
  3. BASIC programs could be linked to C programs. For the last method you need to know how to pass variables back and forth

Here are some examples

Java and AXIS2 Web Services

Category Title Description
Java Program a hello world to test the javac command
Axis2/Java SOAP Web Services a very simple service with three methods like above but a tiny more complicated

OpenVMS DCL scripts

caveat: the ".com" file extension in VMS/OpenVMS predates MS-DOS and MS-Windows. Here it means "commands" 

Category DCL Scripts Notes
Calc Time Difference
quick hack
much better
Create Certificates a hack to create SSL certificates (for development use only)
1) create a "CA key" and "CA cert"
2) create a "server key" and "server csr" (certificate signing request)
3) use the "CA cert" to sign the "server csr"
DECnet communication
client (start a remote server then send it some messages)
server (echo messages back to client)
Intercepting an
FTP/SFTP login
Example DCL script for properly setting up FTP/SFTP
DCL script to intercept an FTP/SFTP login then submit a login helper job
DCL script which will wait for the network partner to exit then process received file(s)
(similar to what happens at the end of an XCOM transaction)
More notes can be found here: OpenVMS Notes: TCPware
FTP Scripts a script which can FTP from three different stacks: MultNet, TCPware, and TCPIP Services
uppercase - lowercase
a tool to easily toggle your account between two modes: case-sensitive and normal
a tool to easily down-case filenames. Intended for SSH key files.
Apache Support a little batch job to rotate apache client log files every 24 hours
also will (optionally) do monthly maintenance of apache process logs
Monitoring (AXP only)
original script
tweaked for calling from your LOGIN.COM
MSA-RAID Monitor this self-submitting script can check your RAID controller, and drives, as often as you like

OpenVMS Macro32 source code

Programs Notes
helloworld.mar a little demo from Stephen Hoffman (works on Alpha and Itanium)
peek_byte_vax.mar Code to peek at bytes
peek_byte_function.mar Code to peek at bytes (function)
peek_any_int_vax.mar Code to peek at bytes, words, and longs

OpenVMS Programming

Introduction to OpenVMS programming

It was a lot tougher before y2k

It was a lot tougher learning how to write VMS applications in the 1980s. Why? DEC charged big-bucks for everything including hardware, software, training and documentation (including pocket programming cards!) Many IT people wondered if that was why DEC used a dollar sign ($) for the VMS/DCL command-line prompt.

First off, you needed the 32-binder  Orange Wall of VMS documentation  which I remember being around $5k for the initial purchase. Then, even if you already knew how to program in one of the many DEC-supported programming languages, you still needed to attend DEC language-specific courses to learn how to do system calls. This meant you needed to work for a company with deep pockets, or needed to get VMS-specific training in college or university.

In the early 1990s, DEC renamed the product line from VMS to OpenVMS at the same time they introduced the 64-bit Alpha hardware line as a successor to 32-bit VAX. During this time the  Orange Wall  became the  Gray Wall  

Then Things Changed

In 1998, DEC was purchased by "PC manufacturer" Compaq.

In 2002, HP purchased (err, merged with) Compaq. HP restored some in-house training but now OpenVMS was just one of many software offerings from HP's, and I think OpenVMS has been lost in the mix.

Although my employer did provide us with the 32-binder Gray Wall, we had to learn how to interface VMS BASIC to VMS the good old-fashioned hard way: by hacking. In 1993 I fortunately stumbled across a copy of Writing VAX/VMS Applications Using Pascal (Author: Theo De Klerk, Published: 1991 by Digital Press) in DEC's student retail store in Bedford, Massachusetts. I had learned Apple Pascal in late 1970s so found it relativity easy to convert many of these programs into VMS-BASIC and VMS-C. This book contained many descriptions of VMS subsystems and was full of "system calls" on how to access them. These books pop up every so often on and I think every serious OpenVMS programmer should own a copy.

Okay so that was then and this is now. To the best of my knowledge, you can only get the OpenVMS Documentation CD-ROM by purchasing it from HP, buying a used copy on eBay, or begging a friend to make you a copy. But if you use HP's online documentation along with examples from this book, you will learn how to become a VMS BASIC developer much faster than me.

Online HP Manuals + Documents

Advanced hacking (system services)

Many programmers do not know about this technique to trace "system service calls" originating from your process (DCL or otherwise). So if you have the necessary privs, and are on an Alpha or Itanium, then try this experiment:
<sr> = system response <ur> = user response -------------------------------------------------------- <sr> $ ! this is my DCL prompt
<ur> set process /sslog=(state=on,count=4,flag=arg) ! enable tracing on YOUR process
<sr> $
<ur> run your-program.exe <sr> the program then exit... $ <ur> set process /sslog=(state=off) ! disable tracing <sr> $ <ur> set process /sslog=(state=unload) ! this closes the file <sr> $ <ur> ANALYZE/SSLOG/FULL/WIDE/OUTPUT=ss_trace.txt ! human readable data goes to this file <sr> $ <ur> type/page ss_trace.txt

Official Documents:

Noteworthy C/C++ demos at other sites

Noteworthy C/C++ articles and manuals

How to recover from FTP-induced saveset corruption

$set file /attr=(RFM:FIX,MRS:512,LRL=512,ORG=SEQ,RAT=NONE)	yourfile.sav

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Neil Rieck
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.