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Large Web Application

New Member

Large Web Application

My company has hired consultants that are recommending MySQL, Ruby on rails, Tomcat / Jboss, and Flex as the development environment to build a large web application. We are an OpenVMS shop. These development tools do not appear to cooperate with OpenVMS very easily.

The web app will be presenting many fields of medical data, updating records, doing lookups in response to user clicks, and offering may reports against the data. Can these tools work in an VMS environment?

Suggestions of tools that do cooperate well with OpenVMS.

Thanks in advance.
John Coogan
Honored Contributor

Re: Large Web Application


Last week in Bruxelles at the TUD Jean-Pierre Pieronne demonstrated some just such applications. His slides point to just what can be done.
I hope he will chime in (posting his name might be the trigger for that).

I am sure he will only be too pleased to help you get started!

(he is the maintainer of several open source products, naming Python here might be another trigger).

Success, and maybe next year YOU can do a presentatation on it!



Have one on me.

Don't rust yours pelled jacker to fine doll missed aches.
Honored Contributor

Re: Large Web Application


What issues are you experiencing?

- Bob Gezelter, http://www.rlgsc.com
New Member

Re: Large Web Application

Thanks for the responses. |-)

We have not started development yet. I just notice in the Ruby forums that OpenVMS is listed as unsupported. I am one of the team of programmers that will take on the task of learning some new web dev tools. My VMS knowledge is also limited, we have an operations department that maintains the boxes. But as a company we are highly invested in our current systems running OpenVMS.

We have little web development knowledge at this time, hence the need to hire a consultant. Our medical data processing has been done for years through distributed and locally installed applications. Our new contract requires that clients access and edit data via the web to a SQL database maintained here.

We prefer to stay with what we have already invested in hardware wise. So, what developmet platforms are stable and supported on OpenVMS for a project like this?

Thanks again,
Trusted Contributor

Re: Large Web Application


I can't speak about RoR (except that Ruby on OpenVMS is looking for a new maintainer)

But I can probably give a few informations about MySQL and Python.

Port of MySQL on OpenVMS is, now, a HP project, but I continue to collaborate. You may expect an 64 bits HP kit for IA64. I will probably continue to deliver 32 bits kit for AXP.

But if you want a rock solid and high performance dababase my best advice is to choose Rdb.

Python on OpenVMS is actively maintains on OpenVMS and include access to many OpenVMS specific features (system services, RTL, Rdb, Indexed files, etc...).

Also the latest Python for OpenVMS distribution (not yet announced, but alrady online) includes the Web framework Django which is, probably, the leading Web Python framework. Something like RoR but for Python.
Python for OpenVMS also include Flex interface. Directly or thru Django.

Also if you want a high performance Web server with very good integration with OpenVMS I suggest that you evaluate WASD.For example take a look at the article:
University of Malaga Hits 2 Terabytes!

More info on http://www.vmspython.dynds.org/ and http://www.vmsmysql.dynds.org/

vmspython and vmsmysql will move to
http://www.vmspython.org/ and http://www.vmsmysql.org/ probably before the end of the week.
Honored Contributor

Re: Large Web Application

What is being recommended is a web platform that is typical of the consultant industry.

Run the costs. Find out if that'll be cheaper than using OpenVMS. Compare the costs with implementing and then maintaining an OpenVMS "native" implementation.

Apache and Tomcat and Java are available via HP, albeit these tend to be down revision. There are community ports of Ruby and Rails, though these are (per the outgoing maintainers) stale and somewhat limited. MySQL is certainly around. Flex and AIR are not.

You may find it appropriate to use servers as front-ends for your OpenVMS applications, and link over to the data on the OpenVMS servers via ODBC or other and more buzz-phrase-compliant mechanisms. The other costs will be around the application upkeep, as you'll likely be learning Ruby and the other technologies -- staffing and costs and training which has both its upside and its downside -- to maintain the application.

Trusted Contributor

Re: Large Web Application

Hi John,

[My company has hired consultants that are recommending MySQL, Ruby on rails, Tomcat / Jboss, and Flex as the development environment to build a large web application. We are an OpenVMS shop.]

I'm surprised they didn't go the whole hog and tell you to use Linux and then maybe RMI the VMS data over :-)

Seriously though, I am absolutely astounded that, moving into 2009, a VMS customer can still not get an official recommendation for web-application development from HP. (If this was comp.os.vms I would say more, but let's get back to your problem)

[These development tools do not appear to cooperate with OpenVMS very easily.]

You don't say what development tools, languages, databases/RMS that you are currently using on VMS, but let me introduce you to examples of one of your options: -


Username: TIER3_DEMO
Password: QUEUE

Don't enter anything for the name and just click the 'go' button to retrieve some data. Then hover over the Flex graph and click on it to drill-down into the data.

All example source code (including client MXML and server COBOL)is available at: -

DEMO_FLEX.COB and DEMO_FLEX_SQL.SQLMOD look up an Rdb database for the employees table.

Integrated VMS Authentication, transparent Multi-threading and network communication. All you have to do is provide 6 User Action Routines in any VMS 3GL. You can also access your Tier3 Servers from other VMS boxes, stand-alone PC applications of, in fact, anything that can talk TCP/IP or DECnet.

See Tier3_031.pdf for documentation.

Please contact me if you'd like to know more.

Cheers Richard Maher

PS. Here's another example of a VMS Queue Lookup client: -

Trusted Contributor

Re: Large Web Application

Hi(again) John,

Forgot to mention that if you have any trouble running those examples then please make sure that you have: -

1) Javascript enabled
2) Java Applets enabled
3) Can't be behind a Firewall that forbids all unknown outgoing connections
(otherwise open-up 5255)
4) Must be running SUN's JRE 1.4.2_13 or later (1.6 is advised)
5) Must be running Internet Explorer (6 or later) or Firefox (Apparently works with Safari when properly configured and has been seen running on Opera. The first Chrome beta still had issues)

If need be, turn on the Java Console (Settings/Controle pannel/Java
Plug-in/Console on) and, if using Firefox, the Error Console.

It is worth noting that as of 1.6_10 SUN now supports WebStart/JNLP deployment with Applets. IE: It will check which versions of the JRE are available and with automatically offer a download if there is an incompatibility.

Adobe Flex has always offered this functionality (See code included with FlexBuilder) but I left it out for brevity.

Please also note that Flex (and now also Microsoft's Silverlight!) offer their own intrinsic native socket support. I personally feel it is rudamentary at best which is why, for the examples' sake, I chose to deploy Java Sockets and then use the FABridge (or MS HTML Bridge) for communicating between JavaScript and the graphic tool.

Anyway please look at the stock-standard COBOL code and shareable images that constitue the entirity of your server development. If you can find an easier way to incorporate your rich herritage of VMS Code, Data and Business rules into a Web-App without sacrificing security or performance then I suggest you take it!

And in case it wasn't obvious from the examples, here are some things you *WON'T* need on your VMS server: -

. No Apache, WASD, OSU
. No Java (or its garbage-collector)
. No WSIT, BridgeWorks, DCE/RPC, ONC/RPC
. No ACMS (or its rediculous workspaces/restrictions)
. No Tomcat
. No XML (Unless you want to) or WSDL
. No JSP, ASP, Perl, PHP, Python, CGI, Ruby, RoR
. No cma, pthreads, or any other threads
. No NetBeans or Eclipse

Cheers Richard Maher

PS. Other Interesting developments include: -

SUN rewriting the JRE implementation for Applets so they get seperate JVMs and interfere less with the Browser's EDT.

HTML5 has a suggested (and rubbish) implementation of WebSockets that we should and probably support, but I wouldn't recommend every using it.
Honored Contributor

Re: Large Web Application

Last week in Bruxelles at the TUD Jean-Pierre Pieronne demonstrated

I really wrote that? What was I drinkink/smoking?

Jean-François, je m'excuse mille fois! Quelle erreur a faire!

(actually, maybe I drank too few coffees, and I do not smoke at all)


Have one on me.

Don't rust yours pelled jacker to fine doll missed aches.