HP DCE for OpenVMS Alpha and OpenVMS I64

HP DCE for OpenVMS Alpha and OpenVMS I64

Product Guide

Order Number: BA361-90002

January 2005

This guide provides an overview of the HP Distributed Computing Environment (DCE) for OpenVMS Alpha and OpenVMS Industry Standard 64 (I64) Version 3.2 and describes value-added features provided with HP DCE.

Revision/Update Information: This guide supersedes the Compaq DCE for OpenVMS VAX and OpenVMS Alpha Product Guide Version 3.0.

Operating System: OpenVMS Alpha Version 7.3-2 or higher
OpenVMS I64 Version 8.2

Software Version: HP DCE for OpenVMS Version 3.2

Hewlett-Packard Company
Palo Alto, California

© Copyright 2005 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.

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The information contained herein is subject to change without notice. The only warranties for HP products and services are set forth in the express warranty statements accompanying such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. HP shall not be liable for technical or editorial errors or omissions contained herein.

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Printed in the US


The HP OpenVMS documentation set is available on CD-ROM.

Contents Index


The HP DCE for OpenVMS Alpha and OpenVMS I64 Product Guide provides users of the HP Distributed Computing Environment (DCE) with the following information:

Intended Audience

This guide is intended for:

Document Structure

This guide is organized as follows:

Related Documents

For additional information about HP OpenVMS products and services, visit the following World Wide Web address:


For DCE specific documentation, visit the following World Wide Web address:


Reader's Comments

HP welcomes your comments on this manual. Please send comments to either of the following addresses:
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How To Order Additional Documentation

For information about how to order additional documentation, visit the following World Wide Web address:



VMScluster systems are now referred to as OpenVMS Cluster systems. Unless otherwise specified, references in this document to OpenVMS Clusters or clusters are synonymous with VMSclusters.

The following conventions are also used in this guide:
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.
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 device-name contains up to five alphanumeric characters).
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 type 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.

Case-sensitivity OpenVMS operating system commands do not differentiate between uppercase and lowercase. However, many DCE commands do make this distinction. In particular, the system configuration utility interprets names in a case-sensitive manner.

Chapter 1
Overview of HP DCE

Distributed computing services, as implemented in the HP Distributed Computing Environment (DCE), provide an important enabling software technology for the development of distributed applications. DCE makes the underlying network architecture transparent to application developers. It consists of a software layer between the operating system/network interface and the distributed application program. It provides a variety of common services needed for development of distributed applications, such as name and time services, and a standard remote procedure call interface.

HP DCE for OpenVMS Alpha and OpenVMS I64 provides a means for application developers to design, develop, and deploy distributed applications. This release supports both the OpenVMS Alpha and OpenVMS I64 systems.

1.1 Kit Contents

HP DCE for OpenVMS Alpha and OpenVMS I64 consists of the following distributed computing technologies:

1.2 Contents of Each Kit

HP DCE for OpenVMS has four kits available:

Note that the right to use the Runtime Services Kit is included as part of the OpenVMS license. The other kits each require a separate license. You must install a kit on each system that will use DCE services.

The following sections list the contents of each of these kits.

1.2.1 Runtime Services Kit

The Runtime Services provide the basic services required for DCE applications to function. The Runtime Services Kit contains the following:

1.2.2 Application Developer's Kit

The Application Developer's Kit is used by developers to build DCE applications. The Application Developer's Kit contains the following:

1.2.3 CDS Server Kit

The CDS Server kit provides the naming services necessary for DCE clients to locate DCE server applications. The CDS Server kit includes the following:

1.2.4 Security Server Kit

The Security Server kit provides the security services necessary for authenticated RPC calls between DCE client and server applications to function. The kit includes the following:

1.3 Platforms and Network Transports Supported by HP DCE

HP DCE is supported on OpenVMS Alpha Version 7.3-2 or higher and on OpenVMS I64 Version 8.2.

This version of HP DCE provides RPC communications over the following network protocols:

DCE on OpenVMS allows the user to select specific network protocols rather than defaulting to any on the supported list. You may restrict DCE to one or more specific protocols by setting the systemwide logical name RPC_SUPPORTED_PROTSEQS to a list of network protocols, delimited by colons. The following example restricts DCE to only TCP/IP and UDP/IP protocols (disabling DECnet):

$ define/system/exec RPC_SUPPROTED_PROTSEQS "ncacn_ip_tcp:ncadg_ip_udp" 

1.4 Online Help and Online Manual Pages

HP DCE provides online help for both the management of DCE services and the development of distributed applications. This DCL help is organized to maintain the reference page categories established in the OSF DCE documentation and online reference pages. These categories are user commands (1), application development support (3), driver and networking support (7), and administrative support (8).

To access the DCE reference information, use the HELP command. You can get extensive help on the following DCE top-level topics:


For example, to get help on DTS, enter the following command:


1.5 Restrictions When Using HP DCE

HP DCE Version 3.2 for OpenVMS Alpha and OpenVMS I64 does not provide all the functions of the full OSF DCE. The following components are not included in this DCE product; however, the full OSF documentation is included.

1.6 Threads

The threads interface is an important part of the architecture for DCE, and the DCE services rely on it. POSIX Threads Library (formerly DECthreads) is provided as part of the OpenVMS Alpha and OpenVMS I64 operating systems.

Refer to the Guide to DECthreads in the HP OpenVMS operating system's documentation set for information about threads.

1.7 Using RPC Without CDS or Security

To use RPC only, you begin a configuration as follows:


The DCE Configuration Menu is displayed. From this menu, choose the RPC_Only option. This option lets you use DCE RPC without a DCE cell. This option requires applications to use string bindings instead of the name service to find servers.

To communicate with an RPC server, an RPC client needs the server binding information. The server binding information includes the protocol sequences that the RPC server supports and the location (node name or node address) of the RPC server. When the RPC server is started, it registers its endpoints with the RPC daemon. It also exports the binding information to the name server if the name server exists. The RPC client then gets the binding information from the name server. When the name server is not available, the binding information must be provided to the RPC client through other mechanisms.

Users can incorporate in their RPC server code a mechanism for broadcasting the binding information on the network. However, this may not be a desired short-term solution. An easy workaround is for the users to pass the string binding to the RPC client and have the RPC client call the RPC routine to convert the string binding. In this case, the users who are running the RPC client need to know two things:

See the Test1 example program for an example of using RPC without CDS and DCE Security servers.

1.8 Unsupported Network Interfaces

DCE on OpenVMS supports the user deselection of network interfaces on each system in a DCE cell. Use the logical RPC_UNSUPPORTED_NETIFS, which points to a list of network interfaces delimited by a colon (:) that you do not want to use.

RPC at initialization parses the list of network interfaces defined with the logical RPC_UNSUPPORTED_NETIFS, and builds a global list of network interfaces for deselection by RPC. The global list of network interfaces is parsed to ignore the deselected interfaces.

1.9 Supported Network Addresses

DCE on OpenVMS supports the user selection of network addresses on each system in a DCE cell. Use the logical RPC_SUPPORTED_NETADDRS to point to a list of network addresses delimited by a colon (:) that you want to use.

At initialization, RPC parses the list of network addresses defined with the logical RPC_SUPPORTED_NETADDRS, and builds a global list of network addresses for selection by RPC. The global list of network addresses is parsed to use only the selected addresses.

1.10 Impersonating a Client

DCE Version 3.2 allows a server to impersonate a client. This means that the server may run with the security credentials of the client. The capabilities of the client belong to the server. Table 1-1 lists the APIs that have been added to support this functionality.

Table 1-1 APIs Used to Impersonate a Server
API Description
rpc_impersonate_client(binding_handle, *status) Called by the server to act as a client application with the appropriate rights granted to the server.
rpc_revert_to_self(*status) Called by the server to revert back to its original security context after impersonating a client.
rpc_revert_to_self_ex(binding_handle, *status) Called by the server to revert back to its original security context after impersonating the client.

1.11 Features of HP DCE Not Included with the OSF DCE

HP DCE for OpenVMS Alpha and OpenVMS I64 provides the following value-added features to help users develop and deploy DCE applications:

1.11.1 CDS Enhanced Browser

The CDS Enhanced Browser contains additional functions beyond those contained in the OSF DCE Browser. See the Enhanced Browser chapter for more information.

1.11.2 IDL Compiler Enhancements

The HP DCE IDL compiler includes the following features beyond those documented in the OSF DCE documentation:

See Chapters 12 to 15 for more information about IDL.

1.11.3 The RPC Event Logger Utility

HP provides the RPC Event Logger, which records information about operations relating to the execution of an application interface. See the chapter titled Application Debugging with the RPC Event Logger for details.

1.11.4 Name Service Interface Daemon (nsid) for Microsoft RPC

HP provides the name service interface daemon (nsid), also known as the PC Nameserver Proxy Agent, to allow RPC communication with personal computers running the DCE-compatible Microsoft RPC. The nsid enables an RPC application on MS-DOS, MS-DOS Windows, and Windows NT to perform name-service operations that are available through RPC, as if the RPC applications on the PC are directly involved in the full CDS namespace.

For more information on using PCs with DCE, refer to Distributing Applications Across DCE and Windows NT by Teague and Rosenberry.

Beginning with HP DCE for OpenVMS Version 3.0, you can use LDAP to access the name service interface daemon in addition to the previous communication methods. To use nsid with LDAP, you must configure the proper DCE environment using the DCE$SETUP.COM configuration program. Refer to the HP DCE for OpenVMS Alpha and OpenVMS I64 Installation and Configuration Guide for information on configuring DCE.

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