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Microsoft HIS & OpenVMS 7.2 RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • Hallo All,

    Currently I wil be working on a project to synchronize data between Microsoft SQL 2008 & Cobol Application on top of OpenVMS 7.2 (on VAX 6300 hardware). I was thinking of using Microsoft HIS and connect to OpenVMS 7.2 through SNA. However, seems that OpenVMS is not supported. Is that true? And what is your advice on such integration; what possibile technologies are available?

     

    Thanks in advance

    Monday, November 1, 2010 6:18 AM

All replies

  • Hi Mohs_Stic

     

    HIS is probably not a good fit for this project. HIS is oriented towards integrating IBM environments, such as CICS, IMS and DB2. It does not have any features which specifically target VMS. Also, OpenVMS systems usually can't communicate over SNA; unless they run HP's SNA Server for OpenVMS, which is a layered software product (ie you have to pay extra for it). Most VMS systems run TCP/IP natively, and/or DECnet.

     

    The form of integration you'll need will depend on whether you want to integrate the *data* used by the COBOL app, or the COBOL app itself (ie, call the app as a remote function in some distributed application). If you want the data, it wil depend on how the data is stored - is it in a database, such as Rdb? Or is it stored in COBOL data files? Which COBOL are we talking about? DEC/HP COBOL, MicroFocus etc? If you want to access the actual program, to process some data passed from another system, what kind of external interfaces does the COBOL app provide? Such as RPC etc.

     

    Connx is a software vendor who sells several products for integrating VMS apps, you could start there: www.connx.com. If all else fails, WebSphere MQ (formerly known as MQSeries) is the universal "glue" which allows any system to talk to any system; MQ is available for OpenVMS and just about every other OS too. You may need to modify the COBOL application to send and receive MQ messages, however.

     

    Hope this helps a bit. Good luck with the project!

     

    Andrew

    amclar at optusnet dot com dot au

     

    Saturday, November 6, 2010 5:55 AM
  • Thanks alot for the reply, really it has good details.

    I have checked the environment, and really it is not that smooth. The OpenVMS has only Serial interface, and doesn't have TCP/IP connectivity; which is the first obstacle.

    What I need is to access the data, and the data is stored in RMS files "Record Management Service" what I am currently thinking of is data scraping, but I need to find an emulator that supports the HLLAPI, in order to have .NET to communicate with; which is something not related to HIS.

    If you have any guidance for me, I would be more than thankful for your help. Thanks again

    Saturday, November 6, 2010 10:22 PM
  • RMS? Wow, there's a name I haven't heard for a long time :-)

     

    The Connx adaptors I mentioned certainly read RMS files, but they'd need some kind of network interface (eg TCP/IP). If the only way to access the VMS box is via serial lines, then you're probably right - terminal emulation and screen-scraping may be a good way to get the data.

     

    The term "HLLAPI" is usually used for 3270 screen-scraping. HLLAPI is the name used by IBM to describe the screen-scraping API included in the PC-3270 package for DOS, back in the 1980s. So to scrape VT-100/220/320 terminal streams, don't look for HLLAPI, as such - just look for "screen-scraping".

     

    I haven't tried this with any specific packages myself; but a couple of .NET screen-scraping software products you could look at are PowerTCP from Dart Communications; and ZephyrCorp's Passport terminal emulator. I just hope they still support serial comms! There are probably several other packages out there as well.

     

    Hope this helps a bit!

     

    Andrew

    Sunday, November 7, 2010 1:57 AM
  • Thanks Alot Andrew, I will have a look for these 3rd party tools; however, I believe I will be facing another issue, since the data I will be sending/Reading is in arabic language, so I don't know if these emulators handle arabic characters.
    Sunday, November 7, 2010 8:10 AM
  • Hmm, yes ... if it wasn't difficult enough getting the VMS data, now you have language issues as well! I hope they are paying you well :-)

    I've worked on many multilingual issues on Windows and IBM mainframe, but never on VMS ... I'd guess VMS uses some form of ISO-8859-6, to represent Arabic script in 8-bit ASCII. There may be a reasonable level of support for this character set in VT-100/220/320 emulators for Windows, because the same terminal protocol is used for OpenVMS and Unix (and several other platforms too). So the data stream is quite widespread, internationally. And Arabic is one of the 6 official United Nations languages (along with Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish). Once you get the data into .NET it's okay, because then it is all Unicode.

    An interesting project. It sounds possible, I think it can be done. Ask your boss for more money - you deserve it!!

    Cheers

    Andrew

     

    Sunday, November 7, 2010 9:35 PM
  • Hi Mohs_Stic, I was out searching for the answer to a customer question having to do with Biztalk and CONNX and found your post. I see that this post is quite dated, and you have probably already moved on, but I actually work for CONNX and have an answer for you. - CONNX can handle connecting from Windows to OpenVMS RMS tables without TCPIP. We can also connect to OpenVMS from many flavors of Unix and Linux. The two ways that we can connect to RMS data on OpenVMS are TCPIP and DecNET. If you don't have TCPIP configured on your OpenVMS server, you will have DecNET. We also support connecting to VSAM, CISAM, DISAM, DB2, RDB, DBMS, MSSQL, Oracle, MicroFocus, and many other databases. If you still have a need to connect to OpenVMS, contact us for a free evaluation. Thanks, Steve Clark Support Manager CONNX Solutions support@connx.com (we also have multi-language support.)
    Monday, January 23, 2012 3:59 PM