The OpenVMS Year 2000 Initiative addresses the VAX and Alpha base
operating systems and their layered products. This initiative is
founded on formal, comprehensive, and detailed analyses of OpenVMS
product code, followed by extensive testing.
This page provides a brief overview of the work we did to ensure Year
2000 readiness of the OpenVMS operating system. The procedures
described here apply to the following OpenVMS versions:
- OpenVMS VAX Version 7.1
- OpenVMS Alpha Versions 7.1, 7.1-1H1, 7.1-1H2
- OpenVMS VAX Version 6.2
- OpenVMS Alpha Versions 6.2, 6.2-1H1, 6.2-1H2, 6.2-1H3
- OpenVMS VAX Versions 5.5-2, 5.5-2H4
These are the only old versions of OpenVMS that are supported for the
Year 2000. Extended support of these versions is planned beyond the
All of the enhancements included in the Year 2000 kits have been
integrated into OpenVMS Version 7.1-2 and OpenVMS Version 7.2. In
addition, all new or revised code for these versions and for all
future releases is reviewed, certified, and documented by engineers
for Year 2000 readiness. Similarly, any code or bug fixes checked into
patch kits for the older versions of OpenVMS listed above and for all new
versions of OpenVMS are also reviewed and certified for Year 2000
After the code inspection, we updated four mixed-architecture clusters
in our OpenVMS test lab with the Year 2000 enhancements. Test environments
for OpenVMS Version 7.1 systems included DECwindows Motif and DECnet-Plus
for OpenVMS (Phase V). OpenVMS Version 6.2 and Version 5.5-2 systems ran
with DECwindows Motif and DECnet for OpenVMS (Phase IV).
For each version of OpenVMS that we investigated, we ran the full OpenVMS
regression test suite on these clusters and reviewed the output. This
regression test suite is the same series of tests that is run on every
major release of OpenVMS to ensure the integrity of the entire base
operating system environment. The regression test suite consists of
specific system service tests (including all time-related services),
stress tests, and many tests that exercise the overall system.
We specifically tested these clusters for the following dates:
- Roll over from December 31, 1999 to January 1, 2000
- Roll over from February 29, 2000 to March 1, 2000
- Roll over from December 31, 2000 to January 1, 2001
- January 3, 2030 (final test date)
In addition, ad hoc testing of certain components included other dates,
such as September 9, 1999 (9/9/99).
To augment the traditional set of regression tests, we did many additional
tests, including the following:
- Backup and restore of files (including a check of time stamps)
- Queuing print and batch jobs to hold over the tested dates
- Audit server tests
- DECwindows operations, including calendar, clock, and others
- RMS Journaling functions
- Job Controller functions
- LMF Licensing functions
- Account and password expiration
- DCL commands
- Crash dumps written and analyzed
- Cluster configurations: added a satellite, starting on one date and
finishing after the date rolled over
- XQP functions
- Magnetic tape ACP functions
- Matrix testing of a variety of installation scenarios
The results of our tests and investigations confirm that applications that
consistently use the 4-digit year representations that OpenVMS produces or
accepts as input will not be affected by the transition to the year 2000.
Since OpenVMS is one of the few operating systems that allows users to advance
system clocks to times in the future, you can test your own software now
for potential year 2000 problems. This web site also includes a document
that offers guidelines for conducting your own code investigation.
In all investigated versions of OpenVMS, we found the same, few,
trivial limitations in some older,
rarely used components. These limitations are eliminated when the OpenVMS Year 2000 kits are applied.
Because the OpenVMS Year 2000 modifications are minor, we chose to
distribute these changes in ECO kits rather than release new versions
of the software. Kits are available for all versions listed at the top
of this page. You can obtain these kits through the normal service
channels and over the World Wide Web from Compaq's Digital Services.
For more information about the kits, including kit names, refer to
the OpenVMS Kits web page.
For customer convenience, all of the OpenVMS Year 2000 kits, plus kits
for several layered products, are also available on media in an orderable OpenVMS Year 2000 Readiness Kit. (For information on the status of OpenVMS
layered products, read the summary of our investigation findings on the Web.)
For more information on OpenVMS and the Year 2000, check the links on the
OpenVMS Year 2000 home page.