Oracle on OpenVMS – revival

Can it be true?

Will there be Oracle on OpenVMS again? Meaning the “regular” (sorry) Oracle (12c) RDBMS on a revived VMS?

As many who have ever lived on OpenVMS have always known:

OpenVMS will never die!

OpenVMS can never die, becOpenVMSause it is still running way to many hidden, hyper-mission-critical environments.
The fact that these environments are hidden, combined with the fact nobody ever spent any marketing budget on OpenVMS at all, created a super solution nobody knows about. And you cannot love what you don’t know.

A lot has been happening around this tormented operating system. OpenVMS is indefinitely bound to Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) which was acquired by Compaq in June of 1998 and then merged into Hewlett Packard in May 2002.

Personally I have lost access to OpenVMS, and Oracle op OpenVMS, around 1995, when these systems were replace by HP Unix. I never fully recovered 😉

Until a few years ago I was introduced to a Alpha emulator, which creates a virtual machine with (obviously) an Alpha processor, which allows you to run OpenVMS. This was one step closer (back) to Oracle on OpenVMS.

Recently (like the day before yesterday, recently) I learned a number of new things! One is that the ongoing development OpenVMS will be take up by VMS Software Inc. (VSI).
But, more importantly, they will be creating new versions for mainstream hardware (such as x86)!! Wilm Boerhout of VX Company wrote an announcement about this not too long ago (article in Dutch)!

And now these rumors…

A porting of Oracle on OpenVMS!

Will we once again see the day that systems just won’t go down? Oracle environments with an uptime with like a dozen or two ‘nines’ behind the decimal-mark? Wouldn’t that be something?
Your own VMS server running an Oracle database with Oracle Application Express (APEX)? Wouldn’t that be something else? High time to clear some of your calendar and get (re)acquainted with this super OS!

A very special “thank you” goes to my dear friend Gerrit WoertmanOpenVMS Ambassador, who never seized to remain a link to the VMS World!!

If you are from The Netherlands, please also join Interexperience, to stay close to the game.

Live free or die

2 thoughts on “Oracle on OpenVMS – revival

  1. Hi Johnny !
    Oracle said (again) a few months back that they are working on Oracle 11.2 for VMS.

    It was scheduled a few (4-5) years ago, then they said they would only develop the client side (no DB server), and then there was this legal court affair between HP and Oracle. HP won (even though they don’t care much about VMS) and HP committed yet again to continue developing Oracle on VMS (and other HP OSes running on the Itanium chip). They had to promise as they lost in court.

    Since then nothing much happened but at the last VMS boot camp there was an Oracle Update (with official Oracle people speaking) and they said they should deliver it this year (2015). The documents on Metalink still show “Platform Desupported” though, so I don’t hold my breath. What they say and what they do can be different things.

    BTW I installed APEX in my db (on VMS) and that is all fine, but it’s not clear yet if I can connect (HTTP) to APEX. On Linux it works just fine after installation.

    1. Hi Syltrem,

      Thank you for your comment.
      From what I have learned is that HP is not the major player in getting Oracle back on VMS, but that Susan and her crew at VSI are, as you will probably know. As they have the real focus on VMS, I guess it is in better hands with them. With the activity to port VMS on x86, life-expectancy for VMS will go up with (a few) magnitudes, which is good news in any way.

      I am not sure about what I can disclose, but there are important developments around prerequisites to get Oracle to work on VMS, where possibly not to much effort (except support) is required from our friends at Oracle.

      Which version of Oracle are you running on your VMS-box and which technology are you using to access APEX? Drop me an e-mail and I can see in what way we can support you. Having APEX on VMS, as a first-off would be the best.


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