For years now the question has been surfacing in the OpenVMS community
"Where are the pimply faced kids?" The other situation which seems to
continually occur is a developer of one language suddenly finding themselves
having to modify or maintain an application written in a language completely
foreign to them.
This book was a year long effort to answer both of those questions. It also
should help those to work on a good platform. Once the rudimentaries of
logging in, symbols, logicals and the various editors are handled this book
takes the reader on a journey of development using the most common tools
encountered on the OpenVMS platform and one new tool making headway.
A single sample application (a lottery tracking system) is developed using
FMS and RMS indexed files in each of the covered languages. (BASIC, FORTRAN,
COBOL and C/C++). The reader is exposed on how to use CDD, CMS and MMS with
these languages as well.
A CD-ROM is included which contains the source, MMS and command files
developed through the course of the book. Once RMS has been covered with all
of the languages the same application using MySQL with C and FMS is covered.
This breaks readers into the use of relational databases if they are not
currently familiar with the concept. Rounding out the technical portion of
the book is the same application using RDB with FMS. While source code is
provided for all of the language implementations only FORTRAN and COBOL are
actually covered in the text.
It is the hope of the author that this book will prove a useful reference on
the desk of every OpenVMS developer. The inclusion of MySQL should benefit
both those unfamiliar with relational technology and those platform veterans
interested in playing with MySQL for the first time.
There are two main intents of this book...
- Allow developers who know at least one of the covered languages on
another platform to quickly come up to speed on the OpenVMS platform.
- Assist current OpenVMS developers finding themselves having to work
with a differentlanguage on this platform.
Tips from the
- The /SPECIFICATION qualifier of the SORT command lets you identify a
text file which contains a plethora of power. You can define named
fields, named keys, named test conditions, inclusion criteria, omission
criteria. In a batch job stream, you typically have a lead program
which creates the sort specification file (if you need to do record
selection that varies from run to run), execute the sort command, then
write your follow-up program to process the sorted data. This is a
much more acceptable approach than writing one massive executable which
will run for hours without creating many entries in the log file. Most
developers I run into don’t know a lot about the sort specification
file, so we are going to cover it in the COBOL chapter.
- A reference is a “special” object. There is a reason we covered
COBOL prior to covering C, and references are it. You better have
read that chapter. When we discussed the linkage section in COBOL,
we discussed how COBOL doesn’t really pass parameters unless it is
forced to pass them. The linkage section creates reference points
back into the caller’s working-storage section. These references
allow your called module to use those values just like they were your
very own, but they aren’t. The reason most COBOL programmers don’t
even know there is a GIVING clause on the procedure division is because
they know the linkage section operates via references (unless you tell
it not to). When you alter the values of items passed by reference
you are actually altering the values in the caller.
"DO NOT begin any new database projects without first reading chapter 13
(MySQL) and chapter
14 (Oracle-RDB) of this book. Hint: while you can acquire MySQL for free,
and it may have a place
for some small applications, it may cost you more in the long run."
Neil Rieck, OpenVMS Application Developer
"Hands-on programming throughout the book provides a highly effective
learning tool, and the best practices, advice, and knowledge transfer from
the author gives the reader the unique feeling that they are sitting down
next to a mentor, being coached through the tricks of the trade!"
Regan Windsor, Reader Views
"I had it shipped to the Netherlands for the price of $96. It arrived within
a week of the order date. Worth every dollar (euro). "
"Highly recommended for OpenVMS programmers (especially those new to OpenVMS
who need a good bootstrap). At the very minimum, a copy of this book should
be purchased as an "office resource" in every location where OpenVMS
Neil Rieck, OpenVMS Application Developer
"Amazing. This is a truly astonishing work and a MUST for everybody
who is starting with application developing, be it on VMS or not (I can not
tell for others as I am starting myself). It is not a book where you will
find many theories about abstract topics but one displaying everything you
need to know by means of examples, explaining each example's important parts
in-depth. You really feel the experience of the author throughout the text!
This is a book I'd try to take with me if my house was burning down."
Thierry Dussuet, OpenVMS Student
Ian Miller, OpenVMS.Org - OpenVMS
News and Information
Reprinted from: http://www.openvms.org/stories.php?story=06/04/02/4453076
After I got over the surprise of seeing a new book on OpenVMS Software
Development I wondered
at the title - this is an 800 page book with a CD! The book is intended for
people who are familiar
with programming on another platform and are faced with maintaining an
application on VMS
written using classic OpenVMS software tools. Perhaps a better title would
be “What a person
unfamiliar with OpenVMS should know to maintain an OpenVMS application”.
Hughes describes uses of: the MMS and CMS tools from the widely used DECSET
software development toolkit; CDD; FMS; the RDB and MySQL databases. He also
tools often found in the OpenVMS application development environment such as
PHONE etc. Parts of OpenVMS which will be unfamiliar to a person
transferring from another
platform, such as logical names and DCL symbols, are introduced as they will
encountered when maintaining an application on OpenVMS.
The book is based around a single application which is developed in each of
FORTRAN, COBOL, C and C++ using a variety of tools. Full source code is
provided on the CD. By
repeatedly implementing the same thing in different languages the programmer
familiar with one
language can learn about another. The presented code is not suitable for a
environment but is intended to illustrate something being described in the
text. For example the
error handling is not always fully implemented except when Hughes wishes to
Hughes describes building the application and typical ways of organizing the
environment and highlights common pitfalls for programmers coming from other
book is written in American English and in a casual style. Although it is
easy to read some people
who are not native English speakers may not recognise some of the colloquial
terms used. I don’t
think this will significantly hinder understanding.
Hughes has opinions about how things should be done and is not afraid to
state them! Personally
I find an opinionated book easier to engage with because there is something
to argue or agree
with. The final chapter is Hughes opinion on the state of the IT Industry.
The key to appreciating this book its specific focus. I think the target
audience will find this a useful
resource to sit alongside the OpenVMS Documentation. However the material is
also useful for an
OpenVMS developer faced with an application in a different programming
language to the one they
Copyright © 2007
TheMinimumYouNeedtoKnow.com. The information on this page may
not be reproduced or republished without prior permission from