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Compaq ACMS for OpenVMS

Concepts and Design

Order Number: AA-PFVCD-TE

December 1999

This document describes Compaq ACMS for OpenVMS software concepts and the information needed to make design choices for a Compaq ACMS for OpenVMS system.

Revision/Update Information: This manual supersedes the Digital ACMS for OpenVMS Concepts and Design Guidelines, Version 4.2.

Operating System: Compaq OpenVMS Alpha Version 6.2 and above, excluding Version 7.0
Compaq OpenVMS VAX Version 6.2 and above, excluding Version 7.0

Software Version: Compaq ACMS Version 4.3 for OpenVMS

Compaq Computer Corporation Houston, Texas

December 1999

Digital Equipment 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 Digital Equipment Corporation or an authorized sublicensor.

© Digital Equipment Corporation 1999. All rights reserved.

Compaq, the Compaq logo, and the DIGITAL logo are registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

ACMS, ACMS Desktop, ALL-IN-1, Alpha, AlphaServer, DATATRIEVE, DEC, DECdesign, DECdtm, DECforms, DEC FORTRAN, DECnet, DECset, DIGITAL, MicroVAX, OpenVMS, PATHWORKS, Tru64, ULTRIX, VAX, VAX C, VAX COBOL, VAX DATATRIEVE, VAX DOCUMENT, VAX FMS, VAX FORTRAN, VAX RMS, VAX SMG, VAX 9000, VMS, VMScluster, VT, VT100, VT200, and VT300 are trademarks of Compaq Computer Corporation.

The following are third-party trademarks:

IBM is a registered trademark of International Business Machines, Inc.
ORACLE and Oracle are registered trademarks of Oracle Corporation.
Oracle CODASYL DBMS, Oracle CDD/Administrator, Oracle CDD/Repository, Oracle Rdb, Oracle SQL/Services, Oracle Trace, and Oracle Trace Collector are trademarks of Oracle Corporation.


The OpenVMS documentation set is available on CD-ROM.

This document was prepared using VAX DOCUMENT, Version V3.2-1n.

Contents Index


This manual describes the concepts necessary to understand transaction processing in general, and the Compaq ACMS Version 4.3 for OpenVMS (ACMS) system specifically. This manual also offers guidelines for the design of an ACMS application, including how to:

  • Analyze business requirements
  • Determine transaction processing functionality
  • Choose design options for specific ACMS functionality
  • Create design documents to guide the application development

This manual uses the AVERTZ company sample application to illustrate many of the concepts in the application design process.

Intended Audience

This manual is intended for those who:

  • Define the business requirements to be addressed by the application
  • Determine the design of the application
  • Program the application

You need not be an experienced ACMS programmer to use this manual. However, less experienced persons may benefit by first reviewing Compaq ACMS for OpenVMS Getting Started.

Document Structure

This manual contains nine chapters and three appendixes. The first chapter describes transaction processing and ACMS concepts. The remaining chapters describe the process of determining business requirements and designing an ACMS application. The appendixes are templates of documents used in the design process.

Chapter 1 Provides an overview of transaction processing (TP) concepts, ACMS application development concepts, and the ACMS run-time system.
Chapter 2 Explains how to design a transaction processing application using ACMS. It describes the role of the design process in the overall application development life cycle.
Chapter 3 Offers guidelines for describing the business problem that your ACMS application is going to solve.
Chapter 4 Provides guidelines for determining transaction processing functionality needed to meet the business requirements detailed in your Requirements Specification.
Chapter 5 Provides guidelines for mapping business functions and transactions to ACMS tasks.
Chapter 6 Provides guidelines for the detailed design of the tasks outlined for your application.
Chapter 7 Provides guidelines for mapping your defined transactions to step procedure implementations.
Chapter 8 Provides guidelines for designing DECforms menus and forms. This chapter also provides guidelines for designing non-standard ACMS user interfaces, such as customer-written interfaces created using the ACMS Systems Interface (SI) or Request Interface (RI).
Chapter 9 Provides guidelines for grouping tasks into task groups.
Appendix A Presents a Requirements Specification template.
Appendix B Presents a Functional Specification template.
Appendix C Presents a Programming Specification template.


ACMS and its components provide extensive online help.

  • DCL level help
    Enter HELP ACMS at the DCL prompt for complete help about the ACMS command and qualifiers, and for other elements of ACMS for which independent help systems do not exist. DCL level help also provides brief help messages for elements of ACMS that contain independent help systems (such as the ACMS utilities) and for related products used by ACMS (such as DECforms or Oracle CDD/Repository).
  • ACMS utilities help
    Each of the following ACMS utilities has an online help system:
    ACMS Debugger
    ACMSGEN Utility
    ACMS Queue Manager (ACMSQUEMGR)
    Application Definition Utility (ADU)
    Application Authorization Utility (AAU)
    Device Definition Utility (DDU)
    User Definition Utility (UDU)
    Audit Trail Report Utility (ATR)
    Software Event Log Utility Program (SWLUP)

    The two ways to get utility-specific help are:
    • Run the utility and type HELP at the utility prompt.
    • Use the DCL HELP command. At the "Topic?" prompt, type @ followed by the name of the utility. Use the ACMS prefix, even if the utility does not have an ACMS prefix (except for SWLUP). For example:

      Topic? @ACMSQUEMGR
      Topic? @ACMSADU

      However, do not use the ACMS prefix with SWLUP:

      Topic? @SWLUP

    Note that if you run the ACMS Debugger Utility and then type HELP, you must specify a file. If you ask for help from the DCL level with @, you do not need to specify a file.

    Help for the command procedures that set parameters and quotas is a subset of the DCL level help. You have access to this help from the DCL prompt, or from within the command procedures.
  • LSE help
    ACMS provides ACMS-specific help within the LSE templates that assist in the creation of applications, tasks, task groups, and menus. The ACMS-specific LSE help is a subset of the ADU help system. Within the LSE templates, this help is context-sensitive. Type HELP/IND (PF1-PF2) at any placeholder for which you want help.
  • Error help
    ACMS and each of its utilities provide error message help. Use HELP ACMS ERRORS from the DCL prompt for ACMS error message help. Use HELP ERRORS from the individual utility prompts for error message help for that utility.
  • Terminal user help
    At each menu within an ACMS application, ACMS provides help about terminal user commands, special key mappings, and general information about menus and how to select tasks from menus.
  • Forms help
    For complete help for Compaq DECforms or Compaq TDMS, use the help systems for these products.

Related Documents

The following table lists the books in the Compaq ACMS for OpenVMS documentation set.

ACMS Information Description
Compaq ACMS Version 4.3 for OpenVMS Release Notes+ Information about the latest release of the software
Compaq ACMS Version 4.3 for OpenVMS Installation Guide Description of installation requirements, the installation procedure, and postinstallation tasks.
Compaq ACMS for OpenVMS Getting Started Overview of ACMS software and documentation.
Tutorial for developing a simple ACMS application.
Description of the AVERTZ sample application.
Compaq ACMS for OpenVMS Concepts and Design Guidelines Description of how to design an ACMS application.
Compaq ACMS for OpenVMS Writing Applications Description of how to write task, task group, application, and menu definitions using the Application Definition Utility.
Description of how to write and migrate ACMS applications on an OpenVMS Alpha system.
Compaq ACMS for OpenVMS Writing Server Procedures Description of how to write programs to use with tasks and how to debug tasks and programs. Description of how ACMS works with the APPC/LU6.2 programming interface to communicate with IBM CICS applications. Description of how ACMS works with third-party database managers, with Oracle used as an example.
Compaq ACMS for OpenVMS Systems Interface Programming Description of using Systems Interface (SI) Services to submit tasks to an ACMS system.
Compaq ACMS for OpenVMS ADU Reference Manual Reference information about the ADU commands, phrases, and clauses.
Compaq ACMS for OpenVMS Quick Reference List of ACMS syntax with brief descriptions.
Compaq ACMS for OpenVMS Managing Applications Description of authorizing, running, and managing ACMS applications, and controlling the ACMS system.
Compaq ACMS for OpenVMS Remote Systems Management Guide Description of the features of the Remote Manager for managing ACMS systems, how to use the features, and how to manage the Remote Manager.
Online help+ Online help about ACMS and its utilities.

+Available on line only.

For additional information on the compatibility of other software products with this version of ACMS, refer to the Compaq ACMS for OpenVMS Software Product Description (SPD 25.50.xx).

For additional information about the 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@compaq.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 for information about how to order additional documentation:


To reach the OpenVMS documentation website, click the Documentation link.

If you need help deciding which documentation best meets your needs, call 1--800--ATCOMPA.


The following conventions are used in this manual:

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UPPERCASE Uppercase text indicates the name of a routine, the name of a file, the name of a file protection code, or the abbreviation for a system privilege.

In command format descriptions, uppercase text is an optional keyword.

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References to Products

The ACMS documentation set often refers to products by abbreviated names. The following product abbreviations are used in this documentation set:

Abbreviation Product
ACMS Compaq ACMS for OpenVMS Alpha, and Compaq ACMS for OpenVMS VAX
Ada DEC Ada for OpenVMS Alpha Systems, and DEC Ada for OpenVMS VAX Systems
C DEC C for OpenVMS Alpha Systems, and DEC C for OpenVMS VAX Systems
CDD Oracle CDD/Administrator, and Oracle CDD/Repository
COBOL DEC COBOL for OpenVMS Alpha Systems, and VAX COBOL for OpenVMS VAX Systems
DECforms Compaq DECforms
FORTRAN DEC Fortran for OpenVMS Alpha Systems, and DEC Fortran for OpenVMS VAX Systems
OpenVMS The Compaq OpenVMS Alpha operating system, and the Compaq OpenVMS VAX operating system
Pascal DEC Pascal, and VAX Pascal
Rdb Oracle Rdb
SQL The SQL interface to Oracle Rdb

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