HomeNewsAcademicAdministrativeSystemsSuny Links
CornerAcademic Support ITEC HomeCorner
[OpenVMS documentation]
[Site home] [Send comments] [Help with this site] [How to order documentation] [OpenVMS site] [Compaq site]
Updated: 24 May 2001

OpenVMS Version 7.2 New Features Manual

OpenVMS Version 7.2
New Features Manual

Order Number: AA--QSBFC--TE

January 1999

This manual describes the new features associated with the OpenVMS Alpha and OpenVMS VAX Version 7.2 operating systems.

Revision/Update Information: This manual supersedes the OpenVMS Version 7.1 New Features Manual

Software Version: OpenVMS Alpha Version 7.2
OpenVMS VAX Version 7.2

Compaq Computer Corporation
Houston, Texas

January 1999

Compaq Computer Corporation makes no representations that the use of its products in the manner described in this publication will not infringe on existing or future patent rights, nor do the descriptions contained in this publication imply the granting of licenses to make, use, or sell equipment or software in accordance with the description.

Possession, use, or copying of the software described in this publication is authorized only pursuant to a valid written license from Compaq or an authorized sublicensor.

Compaq conducts its business in a manner that conserves the environment and protects the safety and health of its employees, customers, and the community.

© Compaq Computer Corporation 1999. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks of Compaq Computer Corporation: Alpha, Compaq, AlphaServer, AlphaStation, ATMWORKS, Bookreader, CI, DEC Ada, DEC Fortran, DEC VTX, DECchip, DECdirect, DECevent, DECmcc, DECmigrate, DECnet, DECserver, DECSWITCH, DECthreads, DECUS, DECwindows, DIGITAL, DIGITAL UNIX, EtherWORKS GIGAswitch, HSC, HSJ, HSZ, IAS, InfoServer, LAT, MicroVAX, MSCP, OpenVMS, PATHWORKS, POLYCENTER, RSX, RSX-11M, RSX-11M-PLUS, StorageWorks, TA, ThinWire, TMSCP, TURBOchannel, ULTRIX, VAX, VAX C, VAXcluster, VMS, VMScluster, VT, XMI, and the Compaq logo.

The following are third-party trademarks:

Adobe and POSTSCRIPT are registered trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated.

IEEE is a registered trademark of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.

Intel is a registered trademark of Intel Corporation.

Java is a trademark of Sun Microsystems, Inc.

MEMORY CHANNEL is a trademark of Encore Computer Corporation.

Motif is a registered trademark of the Open Software Foundation, Inc.

Netscape Navigator is a registered trademark of Netscape Communications Corporation.

NT and Windows NT are trademarks, and Visual C++, WIN32, Windows, and Windows 9 registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation.

All other trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective holders.


The OpenVMS documentation set is available on CD-ROM.

This document was prepared using VAX DOCUMENT, Version V3.2n.

Contents Index


Intended Audience

This manual is intended for general users, system managers, and programmers who use the OpenVMS operating system.

This document describes the new features related to Version 7.2 of the OpenVMS Alpha and OpenVMS VAX operating systems. For information about how some of the new features might affect your system, read the release notes before you install, upgrade, or use Version 7.2.

Document Structure

This manual is organized as follows:

  • Chapter 1 contains a summary of the new OpenVMS software features.
  • Chapter 2 describes new features of interest to general users of the OpenVMS VAX and OpenVMS Alpha operating systems.
  • Chapter 3 describes new features that are applicable to the tasks performed by system managers.
  • Chapter 4 describes new features that support programming tasks.
  • Chapter 5 provides an overview of the Compaq Galaxy Software Architecture on OpenVMS Alpha.
  • The appendix lists the new messages for OpenVMS Version 7.2 from the Help Message database.

Related Documents

For additional information on Open Systems Software Group (OSSG) products and services, access the following OpenVMS World Wide Web address:


Reader's Comments

Compaq welcomes your comments on this manual.

Print or edit the online form SYS$HELP:OPENVMSDOC_COMMENTS.TXT and send us your comments by:
Internet openvmsdoc@zko.mts.dec.com
Fax 603 884-0120, Attention: OSSG Documentation, ZKO3-4/U08
Mail Compaq Computer Corporation
OSSG Documentation Group, ZKO3-4/U08
110 Spit Brook Rd.
Nashua, NH 03062-2698

How To Order Additional Documentation

Use the following World Wide Web address to order additional documentation:


If you need help deciding which documentation best meets your needs, call 800-DIGITAL (800-344-4825).


The following conventions are used in this manual:
Ctrl/ x A sequence such as Ctrl/ x indicates that you must hold down the key labeled Ctrl while you press another key or a pointing device button.
PF1 x A sequence such as PF1 x indicates that you must first press and release the key labeled PF1 and then press and release another key or a pointing device button.
[Return] In examples, a key name enclosed in a box indicates that you press a key on the keyboard. (In text, a key name is not enclosed in a box.)

In the HTML version of this document, this convention appears as brackets, rather than a box.

... A horizontal ellipsis in examples indicates one of the following possibilities:
  • Additional optional arguments in a statement have been omitted.
  • The preceding item or items can be repeated one or more times.
  • Additional parameters, values, or other information can be entered.
A vertical ellipsis indicates the omission of items from a code example or command format; the items are omitted because they are not important to the topic being discussed.
( ) In command format descriptions, parentheses indicate that you must enclose the options in parentheses if you choose more than one.
[ ] In command format descriptions, brackets indicate optional elements. You can choose one, none, or all of the options. (Brackets are not optional, however, in the syntax of a directory name in an OpenVMS file specification or in the syntax of a substring specification in an assignment statement.)
[|] In command format descriptions, vertical bars separating items inside brackets indicate that you choose one, none, or more than one of the options.
{ } In command format descriptions, braces indicate required elements; you must choose one of the options listed.
bold text This text style represents the introduction of a new term or the name of an argument, an attribute, or a reason.

In the HTML version of this Conventions table, this convention appears as italic text.

italic text Italic text indicates important information, complete titles of manuals, or variables. Variables include information that varies in system output (Internal error number), in command lines (/PRODUCER= name), and in command parameters in text (where dd represents the predefined code for the device type).
UPPERCASE TEXT Uppercase text indicates a command, the name of a routine, the name of a file, or the abbreviation for a system privilege.
Monospace text Monospace type indicates code examples and interactive screen displays.

In the C programming language, monospace type in text identifies the following elements: keywords, the names of independently compiled external functions and files, syntax summaries, and references to variables or identifiers introduced in an example.

In the HTML version of this Conventions table, this convention appears as italic text.

- A hyphen at the end of a command format description, command line, or code line indicates that the command or statement continues on the following line.
numbers All numbers in text are assumed to be decimal unless otherwise noted. Nondecimal radixes---binary, octal, or hexadecimal---are explicitly indicated.

Chapter 1
Summary of OpenVMS Version 7.2 New Features

OpenVMS Version 7.2 leverages existing capabilities and provides significant new functionality and features. Some of the most significant new OpenVMS Version 7.2 features include:

  • Compaq Galaxy Software Architecture on OpenVMS Alpha
  • Seamless integration between OpenVMS and Windows NT
  • Premier OpenVMS Clustering---includes increased cluster performance for large-scale databases and easier system management with cluster-wide logical names
  • Java Development Kit
  • Extended File Specifications support
  • TCP/IP Services for OpenVMS---new and improved. Based on the UNIX kernel
  • Enhanced system management
  • New network support for Gigabit Ethernet
  • Base infrastructure support for Fibre Channel as a storage interconnect
  • Ongoing improvements---to boost operating system performance, reliability, and availability
  • Year 2000 readiness

OpenVMS Version 7.2 includes all the capabilities of OpenVMS Version 7.1 and the OpenVMS Version 7.1-1Hx hardware releases.

Table 1-1 summarizes each feature provided by OpenVMS Alpha and OpenVMS VAX Version 7.2 and presents these features according to their functional component (general user, system management, or programming).

Table 1-1 Summary of OpenVMS VAX and OpenVMS Alpha Version 7.2 Software Features
General User Features
DCL Commands and Qualifiers A new DCL command has been added:
  • SET PREFERRED_PATH---Provides a command line interface to the preferred path QIO function.

In addition, changes have been made to several DCL commands and qualifiers to support Extended File Specifications, Hierarchical Storage Management (HSM), and clusterwide logical names.

Documentation Three new OpenVMS manuals have been added to the documentation set: the OpenVMS Alpha Galaxy Guide, the Guide to OpenVMS Extended File Specifications, and the OpenVMS Alpha System Analysis Tool Manual.

For Version 7.2, the OpenVMS Documentation CD-ROM supports a dual OpenVMS and Windows-based PC format.

MIME Interpretation and Composition Editor The MIME Interpretation and Composition Editor utility (MICE) allows you to read and compose MIME-encoded mail messages.
System Management Features
BACKUP utility The OpenVMS Version 7.2 BACKUP utility contains the following improvements:
  • A new BACKUP qualifier (/NOINCREMENTAL) allows you to back up modified directories in one operation without additionally having to save all the files and subdirectories within them.
  • Improvements to BACKUP performance
Bitmap limits increased Beginning with OpenVMS Version 7.2, the limits of storage and index file bitmaps have been increased.
DECnet installation choices Beginning with OpenVMS Version 7.2, the OpenVMS Alpha and OpenVMS VAX installation menus now include both DECnet-Plus and DECnet Phase IV as networking software choices. During the OpenVMS installation or upgrade, you are given the option to install either DECnet-Plus or DECnet Phase IV.
Deferred memory testing on AlphaServer 4100 computers To speed up the time between system power-on and user login, the system manager can now defer a portion of memory testing on AlphaServer 4100 computers. This option limits the console to a minimum amount of memory testing and leaves the rest for the operating system to test.
DIGITAL Server MIB (DSM) subagents implemented on OpenVMS (Alpha only) OpenVMS Alpha Version 7.2 implements the DSM subagents on the AlphaServer 800, 1000, 4000, 4100, 8200, and 8400 systems. With the DSM subagents, you can remotely determine and manage important information such as:
  • Firmware revision numbers
  • Base system descriptions
  • FRU (field replaceable unit) information and descriptions
  • Processor and cache status
  • Interface configurations
  • Environmental conditions in the system enclosure that might be detrimental to the hardware
Ethernet and Fast Ethernet Support (Alpha only) OpenVMS Alpha Version 7.2 provides run-time and boot support for the DE500-BA PCI Ethernet network interface card (NIC) and for the DE500-FA PCI Fast Ethernet network interface card. The former supports a maximum distance of 100 meters; the latter supports a maximum distance of 2000 meters.
Extended File Specifications (Alpha only) Extended File Specifications is a file handling environment that eliminates many of the file naming restrictions currently imposed by OpenVMS. This environment provides consistent file handling across both OpenVMS and Windows NT systems in a PATHWORKS environment.
Fast Skip for SCSI tape drives There is a new qualifier for the SET MAGTAPE command, /FAST_SKIP, that allows you to skip by file mark or by record. The options are: PER_IO (default), ALWAYS, and NEVER.
FastTrack Web Server (Alpha only) FastTrack Web Server for OpenVMS Alpha provides a way to create, build, publish, and serve Web pages and applications.
Fibre Channel support (Alpha only) Fibre Channel is an ANSI standard network and storage interconnect that offers many advantages, including high speed transmission, long interconnect distances, and support of multiple protocols.

OpenVMS Alpha will support Fibre Channel as a storage interconnect for single systems and as a shared storage interconnect in multihost OpenVMS Cluster systems. This support will become available shortly after the release of OpenVMS Version 7.2.

Firmware revision checking (Alpha only) OpenVMS Alpha Version 7.2 provides enhanced firmware checking for systems during a boot operation. When you boot the OpenVMS Alpha operating system CD-ROM, the system now automatically checks the version of console firmware (including PALcode) that is running on your computer.
InfoServer Service Listing (ISL) OpenVMS Version 7.2 offers system managers a quicker way to view and select services from a Compaq InfoServer. Service information is now grouped by server and displayed alphabetically.
LANCP Commands to Manage Classical IP over ATM (Alpha only) On Alpha systems, Define Device and Set Device have a new qualifier for Classical IP, and a new keyword for the /CLIP qualifier.
MONITOR utility: TCP/IP support added The Monitor utility has been enhanced to be able to use either TCP/IP (if available) or DECnet as its transport.
OpenVMS Cluster Systems The following are new OpenVMS Cluster features:
New CIPCA adapter support A new CIPCA adapter has been qualified since the release of OpenVMS Version 7.1.
Clusterwide logical names Clusterwide logical name support includes new attributes for the $TRNLNM and $GETSYI system services and a change in behavior for the $CRELNT system service which allows easier system management of an OpenVMS Cluster.
Gigabit Ethernet as a cluster interconnect (Alpha only) Gigabit Ethernet is supported as an OpenVMS Cluster interconnect for OpenVMS Version 7.1--2. The same support will be available on OpenVMS Version 7.2 soon after its release.
Intra-cluster Communications (ICC) The ICC system services are a new applications programming interface (API) for intra-cluster communications.
Lock Manager performance improvements The enhanced lock manager software improves performance of applications that issue a large number of lock manager requests. The enhancements also improve application scaling.
MEMORY CHANNEL MEMORY CHANNEL enhancements include support for larger configurations, new MEMORY CHANNEL hardware, and more robust performance.
Multipath SCSI support (Alpha only) Multipath SCSI support in OpenVMS Alpha provides failover from one path to a device to another path to the same device. Failover is provided between multiple direct SCSI paths. Failover between direct SCSI paths and MSCP served paths will be available soon after the release of OpenVMS Version 7.2. Multiple paths to the same device increase the availability of that device for I/O operations and increase performance in certain configurations.

Multipath support is available for parallel SCSI configurations. Shortly after the release of OpenVMS Version 7.2, multipath support will also be available for Fibre Channel configurations.

SCSI OpenVMS Cluster system supports four nodes With the introduction of the SCSI hub DWZZH-05, the maximum number of nodes in a SCSI multihost OpenVMS Cluster system has been raised from three to four.
Ultra SCSI configuration support OpenVMS Version 7.2 supports Ultra SCSI operations in single-host and multihost configurations.
Warranted and migration support OpenVMS Alpha Version 7.2 and OpenVMS VAX Version 7.2 provide two levels of support, warranted and migration, for mixed-version and mixed-architecture OpenVMS Cluster systems.
OpenVMS Management Station OpenVMS Management Station makes it easy to manage disk storage devices across multiple OpenVMS Cluster systems.
OpenVMS Registry To allow OpenVMS and Windows NT to interoperate, Compaq has provided a registry on OpenVMS.
PCI Gigabit Ethernet support (Alpha only) OpenVMS Alpha Version 7.2 provides run-time support for the Digital PCI-to-Gigabit Ethernet adapter. This adapter incorporates a new technology that transfers data at a rate of one gigabit per second---ten times the rate of a Fast Ethernet adapter. Gigabit Ethernet technology addresses congestion experienced at the backbone and server levels by today's networks.
PCSI qualifiers Beginning with OpenVMS Version 7.2, the POLYCENTER Software Installation (PCSI) utility has two new qualifiers that you can use with a number of PRODUCT commands.
RMS CONVERT Utility Enhancements The CONVERT utility has many enhancements for OpenVMS Version 7.2.
SYSMAN RESERVED_MEMORY New and modified subcommands and qualifiers have been added to reserve a block of contiguous page frame numbers (PFNs).
System parameters OpenVMS Alpha Version 7.2 introduces several new system parameters.
Tape density support enhanced (Alpha only) Enhanced tape density support permits the selection of any density and any compression supported by a tape drive.
TCP/IP services With OpenVMS Version 7.2, the DIGITAL TCP/IP Services for OpenVMS Version 5.0 product replaces Version 4.2 (also known as UCX). Version 5.0 completes the change initiated several releases ago when the product name changed from ULTRIX Connection (UCX) to DIGITAL TCP/IP Services for OpenVMS. Several new TCP/IP features, including a new kernel and support for the gateway routing (GATED) daemon, are available in this release.
Year 2000 readiness OpenVMS Version 7.2 includes all the Year 2000 enhancements that shipped in the Year 2000 enhancement kits for OpenVMS Version 7.1 and Version 7.1--1H1. These Year 2000 enhancements are the result of a rigorous and comprehensive analysis of the entire OpenVMS operating system, including extensive OpenVMS testing.
Programming Features
Additional network adapters (Alpha only) OpenVMS Alpha Version 7.2 offers support for the following new adapters:
  • ATMWORKS 351 adapter (for communication over an ATM network)
  • DE500-BA and DE504-BA adapters (for communication over a PCI Ethernet network)
  • DE500-FA adapter (for communication over a PCI FastEthernet network)
  • DEGPA-SA adapter (Alpha only---for communication over a PCI Gigabit Ethernet Network)
Clusterwide logical name support Clusterwide logical name support includes new attributes for the $TRNLNM and $GETSYI system services and a change in behavior for the $CRELNT system service.
COM for OpenVMS COM (Component Object Model) is a technology from Microsoft that allows developers to create distributed network objects. DIGITAL and Microsoft jointly developed the COM specification. First released as NetOLE (Network Object Linking and Embedding) and then renamed DCOM (Distributed COM), the COM specification now includes network objects. COM for OpenVMS is an implementation of the Microsoft code that supports the COM draft standards.
Common file qualifier routines New common file qualifier routines (UTIL$CQUAL) allow you to parse the command line for qualifiers related to certain file attributes, and to match files you are processing against the selected criteria retrieved from the command line.
DECthreads DECthreads for OpenVMS Version 7.2 contains the following new features:
  • Yellow zone stack overflow---area of memory that enables applications to catch stack overflow conditions and attempt recovery or terminate gracefully
  • Read-write locks---allows many threads to have simultaneous read-only access to data while allowing only one thread to have write access
  • Improved debugging support
DIGITAL DCE Remote Procedure Call (RPC) Beginning with OpenVMS Version 7.2, Remote Procedure Call (RPC) functionality is integrated into the operating system. RPC provides connectivity between individual procedures in an application across heterogeneous systems in a transparent way. Using RPC, an application can interoperate with either DIGITAL DCE or Microsoft RPC applications.
Fast I/O and buffer objects for global sections (Alpha only) As of OpenVMS Alpha Version 7.2, VLM applications can use Fast I/O for memory shared by processes through global sections. In prior versions of OpenVMS Alpha, buffer objects could be created only for process private virtual address space.
Fast Skip for SCSI tape drives If you access your tape drive via your own user-written program, you can use a new modifier, IO$M_ALLOWFAST, to control the behavior of the IO$_SKIPFILE function.
Fast Path support (Alpha only) Beginning with OpenVMS Alpha Version 7.1, Fast Path supports disk I/O for the CIXCD and the CIPCA ports.
High-Performance Sort/Merge Utility (Alpha only) The high-performance Sort/Merge utility for OpenVMS Version 7.2 supports the following:
  • Threads
  • Indexed sequential output file organization
  • Output file overlay
  • Statistical summary information
Intra-Cluster Communications Intra-cluster communications (ICC) provides new system services that form a supported applications programming interface (API) to the existing interprocess communications services (IPC). This allows application program developers to create connections between different processes on the same or different systems within a single OpenVMS Cluster.
Java Development Kit (Alpha only) The Java Development Kit is now a standard component of the OpenVMS operating system. This kit can be used to develop and run Java applets and programs on OpenVMS Alpha systems.
Kernel threads enhancements (Alpha only) Kernel threads enhancements include the increased number of threads per-process, the ability to change the base priorities of all kernel threads with one call, and detection of thread stack overflow.
OpenVMS Debugger enhancements The OpenVMS Debugger includes the following features with OpenVMS Version 7.2:
  • New client/server interface---This new interface allows you to use Windows-based client applications to debug programs that reside and run on OpenVMS VAX or Alpha systems.
  • Support for C++ Version 5.5 or later (Alpha only)---OpenVMS Version 7.2 provides you with the ability to debug C++ programs with the OpenVMS Alpha Debugger.
  • New DECthreads command---When debugging programs that use DECthreads Version 3.13 or greater, you can directly access the DECthreads debugger with the PTHREAD command.
OpenVMS RTL Routine LIB$GET_LOGICAL For OpenVMS Version 7.2, the RTL Routine LIB$GET_LOGICAL provides streamlined access to the $TRNLNM system service.
Record Management Services enhancements RMS includes the following enhancements for OpenVMS Version 7.2:
  • Support for Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) format---RMS and FAL now support the 128-bit UTC format for the exchange of date and time information about files.
  • Support for a new file length hint attribute---RMS under some conditions now maintains file length hint data (record count and user data byte count) that may be retrieved by users using an item list XAB.
  • The Analyze/RMS_File Utility has a new qualifier: /UPDATE_HEADER.
  • The XAB$_UCHAR_PRESHELVED item for file user characteristics for item list XAB (XABITM) of RMS is available.
  • Global buffer performance enhancement---RMS global buffer hashing replaces the sequential buffer lookup with a hashing scheme that improves performance for lookups in the global cache.
Scheduling processes with soft affinity (Alpha only) In OpenVMS Alpha Version 7.2, the scheduling algorithm for soft affinity has been improved.
Security features (Alpha only) OpenVMS Alpha Version 7.2 contains the following security changes:
Persona support Includes changes and additions to the $PERSONA system services to support Windows NT-style security semantics.
Per-thread security Allows each thread of execution within a multithreaded process to have an individual security profile.
Shared address data (Alpha only) Using shared address data saves physical memory by reducing fixup CPU time and I/O for fixup during image activation. Performance is improved because of the reduced demand on physical memory with shared images.
System Dump Analyzer enhancements (Alpha only) SDA includes the following enhancements for OpenVMS Version 7.2:
  • Enhanced SDA commands---Many new qualifiers were added to the SHOW and VALIDATE commands.
  • SDA CLUE Dump Off System Disk---SDA CLUE allows the system dump file to be written to a device other than the system disk.
  • SDA extensions---OpenVMS Alpha SDA extensions expand the functionality of the System Dump Analyzer with the addition of new routines.
System services Several new system services have been added and others have been modified to support OpenVMS Version 7.2.
Compaq Galaxy Software Architecture on OpenVMS Alpha
Compaq Galaxy Software Architecture (Alpha only) OpenVMS Alpha Version 7.2 introduces a model of computing that allows multiple instances of OpenVMS to execute cooperatively in a single computer. With Adaptive Partitioned Multiprocessing (APMP), many processors (and other physical resources) are partitioned in order to run multiple instances of operating systems.
OpenVMS System Messages
New system messages This appendix alphabetically lists and describes new messages that can occur before the system is fully functional; that is, when the Help Message database is not accessible.

Next Contents Index

[Site home] [Send comments] [Help with this site] [How to order documentation] [OpenVMS site] [Compaq site]
[OpenVMS documentation]

Copyright © Compaq Computer Corporation 1998. All rights reserved.


ITEC bullet Buffalo State College bullet Twin Rise 200 bullet 1300 Elmwood Avenue bullet Buffalo, NY 14222 bullet (716) 878-4832
[ Home ] [ Academic Support ] [ Administrative Support ] [ Systems Support ] [ News ] [ SUNY Links ]

E-mail ITEC: scacad@itec.mail.suny.edu