Open/36  Full Story

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Open/36's initial goal was to allows IBM System/36 applications and software products to be migrated to Open Systems. With over 70,000 users running on Open/36 today, our goal is now to make this investment from our customers into an investment for the future

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 Base Software
 New Features
 Additional Modules

Open/36 is a set of programs that allows IBM System/36 applications and software products to be migrated to Open Systems such as the IBM RS/6000 and the HP9000. Applications can be ported by either directly executing the System 36 load members (binaries) with the Open/36 Load Member Processor, or by recompiling the source programs into native Unix executables.

Open/36 provides a System/36 environment that existing supervisors and operators will feel comfortable in. This environment includes not only the same menu structure, workstation handling, and System/36 work-alike job, jobq and spooler support, but also VTOC, utility programs and system procedures, System 36 console, CNFIGSSP, sign-on and menu security. With the Open/5250 WS Controller cards, System/36 twinax terminals and printers can continue to be used from the new Unix machine.

S/36 applications can continue to be developed using the ported IBM System 36 RPG II and COBOL compilers, DFU and other products. Existing System/36 applications can be enhanced using new capabilities provided by Open/36, such as Database Support and Open ODBC.


Base Open/36 Software

The base Open/36 software package includes the following components:

  • Load Member Processor (LMP) - Virtually any RPG II or COBOL program compiled on the System 36 can run in Open/36, including those for which source code is not available and those which contain embedded assembler routines.

  • OCL and Control Command Interpreter - Open/36 includes a 100% compatible OCL interpreter. Unix commands may be executed from within the OCL procedures. Also, Open/36 contains all the commonly used SSP commands (CONSOLE, STATUS, TIME, etc...) and system procedures (such as ALOCLIBR, JOBQ, etc...)

  • Open/36 Migration Utility - Automates the process of transferring System 36 libraries, members, data files, and system configurations (including user IDs) to Open/36 via either 1/4 inch cartridge tape or a direct cable connection. It can also transfer other software it finds on your System 36, such as IBM DFU, and the RPG and COBOL compilers.

  • $Utility Programs - Open/36 contains the commonly used utility programs ($COPY, $CPPE, etc...) available on the System 36. They may be called by OCL statements as on the System 36. (Diskettes and reel tapes are not supported.)

  • #GSORT - A full implementation of S/36 #GSORT is provided. It can take advantage of the larger memory capacity of Unix systems to sort almost instantaneously.

  • Open POP - Our enhanced implementation of the IBM Programmer and Operator Productivity Aid (POP) provides a full screen editor (works like the System 36 FSEDIT), a library browser (works like the System 36 LIBR), a file browser (works like the System 36 FILE).

  • Source Level Debugger - Enables programmers to step through the RPG or COBOL source program while executing the related System 36 load member or Open/36 binary.

  • Workstation Support - Each terminal may have seven System 36 sessions running simultaneously. The operator may "hot key" between the sessions, and the screens for all sessions are continuously updated, regardless of which screen is being displayed.

  • DW/36 Migration Utility - You can easily transfer your DisplayWrite/36 text files to any RFT compatible word processor such as WordPerfect.

  • Open IDDU - Implements S/36 IDDU (including IDDULINK) with many new features to link ASCII files, RDBMS tables, ODBC server, and also permits Unix applications to access S/36 files and libraries under Open/36.


New Features

Open/36 has some exciting new features. Those features are part of our commitment in providing our existing customers the flexibility to extend the capabilities of their application and deliver to their end users what can be expected today.

  • Thin Client and Report Organizer let you improve the integration of your existing applications with Windows PCs. Thin Client greatly improves user responsiveness on PCs. It can also let you display a comprehensive GUI environment without changing a line of your RPG or COBOL programs. 

  • Report Organizer lets your Open/36 reports print using Windows spoolers in cooperation with all other Windows users. Its structured report archiving features may very well eliminate the need to physically print many of your existing reports. 

  • MOIT (Microsoft Office Interoperability Tools) provides the tools you need to tightly integrate your Open/36 applications with Microsoft Office and other ODBC compliant applications. MOIT contains several categories of capabilities. First you can use it to transfer Open/36 data or spool files to any Windows PC or the Report Organizer (RO). Similarly you can transfer data files to Open/36. You will find MOIT friendlier to use and faster than competitive products due to its tight integration with Open/36.

  • Data Protect, Virtual Machine and Hot Fail Over provide a great solution for high availability requirements. They allow mutually supporting machines to restart applications from a failed machine within a few minutes. You will also find Virtual Machine is a good solution should you need to consolidate distributed hosts to a single centralized one.

Additional Modules

Open/36 contains all the facilities necessary to run your applications. You can, however, use additional Open/36 modules to enhance your capabilities in specific areas. These independent modules are:

  • Open/5250 WS Controller cards attach System 36 Twinax Devices to Open/36 - Use when you want to connect your existing local System 36 twinax terminals and twinax printers with Open/36. The physical connection is accomplished with the Open/5250 Controller boards with one, two or four twinax ports. Each port handles up to seven twinax devices.

  • Remote Workstation Controller Software - Supports 5251-12, 5294 and 5394 type remote controllers. For connection to remote sites. Requires the appropriate SNA/SDLC adaptor for your Unix machine, and can often use the customer's existing modems.

  • Open RPG - Translates RPG source into C source programs, and then causes the native C compiler to produce executable Unix binaries. Eliminates many RPG II limits such as the 64K barrier, and permits up to 50 files open at once. Also allows C statements to be embedded directly in RPG Calculations specifications, and CALL/PARM for C and COBOL programs.

  • Open COBOL - Produces machine independent binaries used with Open/36. It also breaks the 64K program barrier and has been extended to include 'bug compatibility' using the IBMBUGS option of the PROCESS statement.

  • Open Query - A superset of System/36 Query with advanced features and greatly improved performance!

  • IDA (Image Design Aid) - Replaces the System/36 Screen Design Aid.

  • Multiple System/36 Support - Allows the replacement of multiple System/36 machines onto a single Unix host. File systems can be kept separate so no changes to file names or OCL procedures are required.

  • Database Support - Permits System/36 data in Open/36 to be accessed simultaneously by System/36 programs and RDBMS' such as Oracle, Sybase and Informix. S/36 applications remain unchanged! Can be used to link existing RDBMS applications to Open/36 data, develop new RDBMS applications to enhance or replace existing S/36 programs. Requires the purchase of current versions of Oracle, Sybase and Informix. (Available on certain Unix platforms only)

  • Open ODBC - Makes System/36 data in Open/36 accessible to ODBC clients such as Microsoft Excel, Lotus 1-2-3, MS Access, MS Visual Basic and others. Includes client software for MS-DOS PCs to build real client/server solutions. Allows PC users access to live Open/36 data, do spreadsheet analysis of Open/36 data, build graphical reports and consolidate information from different ODBC compliant sources such as RDBMS' with Open/36 data.

  • APPC Support - Provides support for APPC communications from within Open/36. Requires the appropriate SNA/SDLC adaptor for your Unix machine, as well as IBM's SNA Server software. Commonly used in networks with other IBM midrange and mainframe products.

  • Other Features available upon customer request - Further expand the capabilities of productivity of your users with: ASNA RPG 400, BPS RPG II 1/2, Handshake-Alliance software, Blue Iris Full Screen Editor.