omniORB3 on OpenVMS platforms

attlogo6876_dk.gif (2280 bytes)

sideHome.gif (2321 bytes) sideDownload.gif (2450 bytes) sideDocumentation.gif (2512 bytes) sideFAQ.gif (2344 bytes) sidePatch.gif (2543 bytes) sideSearch.gif (2403 bytes)

This file contains information on building omniORB on OpenVMS (Alpha and and VAX) platforms.

Changes in 3.0.0 pre-release

New requirements

At least OpenVMS version 7.1 is now required. OpenVMS VAX and Compaq C++ 5.6 are still supported but Compaq C++ 6.2 is recommended (available only on Alpha).

Note that if you need to use Compaq C++ 5.6 you will need to apply the dec_cxx_5_6.patch located in the [patches] directory. A good port of patch for OpenVMS resides at:

Anyone wishing to port to OpenVMS 6.x is encouraged to try. See the file, readme.openvms_v6.

Python for OpenVMS must be installed prior to building the distribution. The minimum version is 1.5.2-V007b.

The following python logical names are used:

Logical name Definition
python_include pyvms_disk:[python.python-1_5_2.include]
python_olb pyvms_disk:[python.python-1_5_2.vms.o_'platform']

Note that release builds will utilize object libraries built with python configured for noDEBUG and THREADS (python_olb:*_d0t.olb) and vice versa (debugbuilds require python_olb:*_ddt.olb).

DEC C must be installed. This distibution has been tested with:

DEC C V5.7-004 on OpenVMS Alpha V7.1-2

DEC C V5.6-003 on OpenVMS VAX V7.1

Other versions of DEC/Compaq C may be possible, but note that VAX C will not work.

It is now required that an additional concealed, rooted logical name (`your-name' in this paragraph) be defined. This logical name must be defined so that the file that you are now reading resides in your-name:[000000]. In order to build the entire tree, set default to your-name:[src] and type "make export".

Note that `your-name' is user-selectable. You might wish to use something that indicates the omniORB version (e.g., omniORB300root). This logical name will need to be available for debugging. The remainder of this document assumes that the default device is `your-name:'.

New features

The omniORB for OpenVMS developement environment has been largely redesigned with the goals of making it easier to maintain.

It is no longer necessary to invoke make /macro=(initialize_mms=1) to prepare asource directory for building. The makefile system will now invoke a premake step in order to create the necessary dependency files.

Module dependency files now have the extension `.d', rather than `.mms'.

An autoconfig feature has been added that will automatically determine compiler, hardware, and operating system version. The results are written to [mk]platform.mms. This feature is enabled by default (autoconfig=1 in [config]config.mms). To reconfigure, perform a veryclean build of the entire directory tree. Afterwards, the file [mk]dirs.mms should be empty.

$(TOP) is no longer defined. It is assumed that [000000] is "top". $(EXPORT_TREE) and $(IMPORT_TREES) are no longer defined by default. Thus theymay be defined in other sub-trees such as directories containing contributed software.

The format of the descrip.mms file has changed. In addition to removing the definition of $(TOP), it now defines current as a "_" seperated list of directory names.

C++ files that need to be compiled should be listed in the MMS macro CXXSRCS which is a space seperated list. (CXXSRCS_x, x=0 to 9 are also available due to VMS draconian limits.)

Macros no longer should be quoted and should appear in a space seperated list. However, to pass an actual quote character, the quote should be quadrupled. For example,

DIR_CXXMACROS=tcpSocketVaxRoutines\ CONFIG_DEFAULT_LOCATION=""""omniCFG:omniORB.cfg""""


The premake step now invokes `MMS/macro=dir.mms...'. This qualifier is somewhat broken, in that it apparently recognizes only "-" as the continuation character and ignores .IFDEF statements. Thus:
        .IFDEF FOO
must be rewritten:
        .IFDEF FOO
if it resides in a dir.mms file.

Shareable images are now supported for all platforms. It is intended that future versions will be "upwards compatable" (see the OpenVMS LINK manual) but the mechanism for ensuring this is under development.

Changes in 2.8.0

To simplify linking, seperate omniORB floating point libraries are no longer required.

There are additional configuration parameters in [.config]config.mms.

Downloading the distribution

Refer to for downloading and unpacking the distribution.

Building the distribution

This distribution requires the use of MMS, although it should be possible to use the freely available MMK with minor changes (please contact [email protected] if you do this). It has been tested on Compaq C++ 6.2 for OpenVMS Alpha 7.1-2, and DEC C++ 5.6 for OpenVMS VAX 7.1. Some version of TCPIP Services (formerly known as UCX) is also required. Has not been tested with other transports such as multinet.

The MMS files assume the use of the MMS /Skip qualifier. You should define a "make" symbol as follows:

$ make=="mms/skip"

Define a concealed rooted logical so that this file resides in its [000000] directory. Set default to the [src] directory. E.g., supposing that this file resides in dua0:[omni.omniorb_300]:

$ define /trans=conc omniORB300root dua0:[omni.omniorb_300.]

$ set default omniORB300root:[src]

Before starting the build, you should review configuration settings by editing the file [config]config.mms.

You should now be ready to build. Just type 'make export'.

To build debug versions of the library and/or executables, type:

$ make/macro=(debug=1)

This will create libraries and executables with a "d" suffix. For example, omniORB3d.olb.

Setting up your environment

If your operating system is 6.2 or above, you should add the directory: mydisk:[myroot.bin.platform] to the logical name DCL$PATH (where platform is openvms_{alpha|vax}_6_{1|2} and mydisk:[myroot] is the d irectory containing the file you are reading). DCL$PATH should be defined as a search list logical.

If your operating system is 6.1 or below, you should define each of the executables in that directory as foreign commands. E.g.:

$ omniidl2=="mydisk:[myroot.bin.openvms_vax_6_1]omniidl2.exe"

You will also need to define the logical OMNICFG to point to an existing directory for name service configuration information. The omniNames server will use this directory.

You will need to create a file called "omnicfg:omniorb.cfg" to contain the nameservice IOR as described in the omniORB3 documentation. The file should contain:



Once you have created this file, you should startup the omniNames server as a detached process. This should be added to your system startup procedure.

Building omniORB3 applications

Include directories

With OpenVMS 7.1 and above you can use a single logical name (e.g., omni_include) to point to the [include] directory. You can then compile with /include=("./", "/omni_include") and the compiler should find the others.

With OpenVMS 6.x you may need to define some additional logicals:

$ define omniORB3 myroot:[include.omniORB3]

$ define omniVms myroot:[include.omniVms]

$ define omnithread myroot:[include.omnithread]

To link against the omniORB3 libraries, you should define the following logical name:

$ define omnilib mydisk:[myroot.lib.platform]

With the above definitions in place, you should add /include=("./","/omni_include")/exceptions to your CXX compiles.

The logical name omnilib is used as a convenience for the cxxlink command line.

To link against the shareable images, you should use the omnilib:omni_share.olb (or omnilib:omni_shared.olb) library. To run the resulting executable, you will need to redefine sys$share. E.g.,

$ define sys$share omnilib,sys$library

Alternatively, you can define a logical name for each of the shareable images contained in omni_shre.olb:

$ define omnithread_rt omnilib:omnithread_rt.exe

$ define omniORB3_rt omnilib:omniORB3_rt.exe

You may wish to use or adapt the development environment provided in the DCL and MMS files contained in [etc] to accomplish the above.

Floating point support

The CORBA standard mandates that an implementation should use the IEEE standard for floating point types (CORBA::Float and CORBA::Double). Since native IEEE floating point is not available on the VAX platform and to provide additional flexibility for the Alpha platform, these types are proxy types.

The omniORB3 for VMS development environment provides for different floatingpoint formats by allowing one of:

make /macro=(D_FLOAT=1)

make /macro=(G_FLOAT=1)

make /macro=(IEEE_FLOAT=1)

to explicitly build for D, G, or IEEE floating point support. The default is G_Float and D_FLOAT on Alpha and VAX, respectively (consistent with the CXX default). You do not need to supply these qualifiers when building the distribution.

Building the examples

You are strongly encouraged to try out the examples provided in [src.examples]. Go into [src.examples] and type 'make all' (where make is defined as above).

Study the documentations in [doc] (in the omniORB distribution) before you run any of the example programs.


You must read the omniORB3 and the OMNI naming service user guides. Follow the instructions in the guides to complete the configuration process.


omniORB is implemented using synchronous socket calls in threads rather thanasynchronous socket calls. Thus, performance of omniORB relies heavily on theability of the O/S to perform I/Os that block only the thread of execution (rather than the whole process) pending I/O completion.


For OpenVMS Alpha platforms, the best way to acheive this behavior is to use link with /Thread=upcalls. This requires at least 7.1 of OpenVMS. Ideally, you should upgrade (if necessary) to 7.1 or 7.2 and use /Thread=upcalls. If for some reason you cannot upgrade the O/S you can use the enhancement below.


The OpenVMS VAX platform (effectively) ignores the /Thread=upcalls (at least as of 7.2). Therefore you should use the enhancement below. However, since this enhancement relies on a DEC CRTL 7.0 feature, it requires using the backport libraries on versions of VMS prior to 7.1. Therefore, upgrading to at least OpenVMS 7.1 is advised.

The file [etc] file contains the source file Inclusion of this module into the omniORB object library is controled by the MMS macro, useTcpSocketVaxRoutines. This macro is automatically set if the platform is OpenVMS VAX 7.x.

For comments, feedback, etc, please see the 'Keeping in touch' page.
Copyright 2000 - AT&T Laboratories Cambridge