Selection of Timeline Events
- OpenVMS Migration


This is a personal selection of some of our more interesting projects and events in our 30+ year history.

This icon Indicates a Migration Tool Debut.
This icon Indicates a Sector7 Office Opening.

Below is a small selection of the hundreds of migration projects we've undertaken since 1985.

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Established in Bedfordshire UK, October 1985

Oct 14, 1985
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Microsoft BASIC to C

Created out First Migration product a Microsoft BASIC to C translator. Sold exclusively to PC Software Manufacturers. Our First Client was Pegasus Accounting.

1985
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Produced first DEC translator to convert RSTS-E BASIC and BASIC+2 to C

It was this product that started Sector7 USA (in Austin texas). Texas Instruments Like many hardware manufacturers at that time has a number of Unix/Xenix computer systems. TI has the TI1300 (x86 running Xenix) and the TI1500 Motorola 68020. TI wanted to move CCI/Triad from DEC PDP11's to TI1300. They had a "Bake Off" for the best migration solution. Sector7 won the deal and never looked back.

1987
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First DEC VAX/VMS Migration

Rolfe and Nolan, a large financial software house, asked us a simple question: "You can do PDP11 BASIC+2, Can you do VAX BASIC?". Being young and naive and having no idea about project planning, we said "Sure, How hard can it be?". Then we found out that along with VAX BASIC came: system services (SYS$, LIB$, SOR$), RMS, DCL, Job and Print Queue Management. If we had been smart, we'd have said "No", but, we were young, we worked all hours and made it happen.

1987
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Sector7 Moved Headquarters to Austin, Texas

Sector7 Relocated Our Corporate Headquarters to Austin Texas. Our focus was on the VMS Installed Base; 50% of all VMS Server were installed in the USA, 35% in Europe, 15% in AP.

1987
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VAX BASIC, SMG, DCL, RMS, BATCH and PRINT Queues Go Live

In Late 1988, Rolfe and nolan went live and the first cut of the VX/TOOLS migration tool kit was established. We made mistakes (The S7 team want this to read "Discoveries" but then were definitely "Mistakes") with regard to future product development. One classic was using the same string descriptors that we used on the PDP-11 for VMS. This was not an issue if our clients only had VMS BASIC since the 'format' of the descriptor didn't really matter (to a certain extent). Later on when we started migrating C applications and our clients used the real VMS descriptor we realized that we were in for a big update. From this we learned a golden rule: If VMS does something one way - do it the same way or trouble will eventually come around. There's a reason VMS is one of the best operating system on the planet, it had great designers and a great company producing it. If they chose a way of doing things not doing it the same way will cause migrated applications to fail. So, we mimic exactly what VMS does. No arguments, no matter how odd the behavior may seem, it was done that way by DESIGN not by ACCIDENT.

1989
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DEC invited Sector7 to put DCL on OSF/1 CDROM

DEC OSF/1 Marketing was very excited to put our DCL onto their new UNIX; and mass mail the installed VMS base about how they can migrate to ALPHA OSF/1. The rest of DEC weren't as happy about the OSF/1 team trying to take away VMS users, and managed to "Lose" the response cards. DEC marketed OSF/1 as the "Best Unix" because it had Sector7's DCL.

DEC UNIX Flier 1
1992
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PROMIS MES Software

Sector7 Migrates PROMIS Systems (Toronto) FORTRAN, SMG, DCL, Queue's, RMS. The system is still in use today.

1995
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Toronto SUN

Sector7 Migrates Toronto SUN Postage and Mailing System.

1995
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DEC Professional

DEC sponsored Sector7 to write a piece on migration for DEC Professional. The words are still very applicable today.

DEC professional Front DECProfessional 1
DECProfessional 2 DEC professional Front
DECProfessional 4 DECProfessional 5
See PDF See Web Page

 

1995
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Chicago Stock Exchange

Sector7 Migrates CHX, more than 1 million lines of VAX BASIC, DCL, SORT, RMS, BATCH and PRINT. CHX sold their system internationally. The Migrated system was installed in over 12 international exchanges.

1995
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DEC Engages Sector7 to train migration Engineers in Bangalore

DEC contracted with Sector7 to train 40 DEC OpenVMS Engineers in migration competence. these were all top Level OpenVMS engineers and the course lasted for 10 days.

DEC India Training 1 DEC India Training 2
1995
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TDMS Release

Sector7 releases TDMS for UNIX. TDMS form files translated into Flexus SP2 COBOL Forms Manager,

1996
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SHAW Industries

Sector7 Migrates the largest carpet manufacturer in the world. VMS COBOL, MQSeries, Rdb to Sybase, TDMS to Flexus SP2.

1996
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Sector7 Opens Office in Australia

You simply cannot go wrong having an Office in Australia. They are great people. We completely enjoyed our Australia Office

1996
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Sector7 partners with IBM for "DEC Migration" programs.

IBM (also HP) partnered with Sector7 to provide migration tools and services from DEC VAX and ALPHA to the IBM RS6000.

1996
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VX/RTR Released

Sector7 migrated one of the Largest stock exchanges. Written in VMS C and using RTR (Digital's Reliable Transaction Manager) together with DECForms

1997
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Sector7 Opens Office in Stockholm, Sweden

We truly enjoyed have an office in Stockholm. We partnered with isite.se. If you ever visit Stockholm some "musty see's" are : The Vasa Museum, The Vasa ship capsized and sank in Stockholm 1628. After 333 years on the sea bed the mighty warship was salvaged and the voyage could continue. Today Vasa is the world's only preserved 17th century ship and the most visited museum in Scandinavia. The Cafe Opera definitely the place to see and be seen in Stockholm. Get here early, for those of us in boring software, we have to wait in line.

1997
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Sector7 Helps get E*Trade ready for the SPO

1997
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VX/CPP Released

Sector7's first VAX C to ANSI C translator.

1997
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Sector7 Contracts to Become IBM's "Migration factory"

IBM recognized that the key to low-cost low-risk migration is to keep the IP around in one group. IBM asked Sector7 if we could do "UNIX to UNIX" migration. At that time, Big iron was still king. with large servers costing $500,000 or more. If applications from HP/SUN could be ported "Quickly" and "Cheaply" then the cost of the server consolidation could be offset by the profit from the iron. Sector7 got into the large-scale server consolidation. in some cases such, as Honeywell, porting thousands of applications.

1997
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Harrah’s Entertainment WINet Application

More than 1 million lines of C, SQL.

1999
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Sector7 Opens New York Office

Sector7 Opened its New York Office Approx 4000 Sq Ft

North America
New York
590 Madison Avenue 14th Floor
New York, NY 10022 Phone: 212-745-2833

1999
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Sector7 Opens Toronto Office

Sector7 Opened its Toronto, Ontario Office

1999
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VX/PASCAL V1 (PASCAL to C) Telstra

Our First DEC PASCAL Translator. At the time C++ was just in its infancy and the C++ was not potable and didn't have the syntax or semantics to make it a good target language. We went with C, the product worked. Telstra went live.

1999
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Sector7 Migrates the 911 Fire and Ambulance Dispatch System for NEW York CITY.

Probably the most complex migration we have ever done. Coded in 20 year old PDP-11 assembler, they wrote their own real time operating system, and completely relied on the RTOS relocating 512 byte pages that contained the engine, Unit, and Routine Data. The PDP-11 was executing 13,000 page swaps a second. We decided to migrate the system to VAX VMS. The VAX had a 512 byte page size and this was critical in order to meet the schedule. When we got the code running on the VAX, it would only do 2,000 page relocation per second. This was because of the accounting that each MGBLSC went through before relocating a page. So, we wrote our own $QIO device driver to do the page relocations. This got us up to 60,000 per second. The system has finally been replaced (2016). Our system went live just before 9/11.

FDNY Migration 1 FDNY Migration 2
2001
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Fleet Bank.

COBOL: 2 Million Lines of Code, DCL, Print and Batch Queues, System Services, Rdb

2001
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Standard And Poors

Sector7 Migrated the S&P CUSIP and BOND system COBOL: 2 Million Lines of Code

2001
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Sector7 Migates T.D Ameritrade

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2002
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VX/COBOL Released

VX/COBOL is an excellent tool that will convert millions of lines of DEC COBOL to Fujitsu or Micro Focus COBOL. It is part of the Sector7 Continual Integration Suite and therefore will convert code time and time again with 100% efficiency.

2002
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Blockbuster.

FORTRAN: 1 Million Lines of Code. SMG, DCL.

2003
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Sector7 files 2 patent applications.

We decided to formalize mathematically the process of Costing a migration and also executing a migration. If we can mathematically write down the process, then we have a repeatable, scalable process. We filed 2 patents: 7,616,583 Method and program product for consolidating computer hardware resources [pdf], #8,869,124 Method and program product for costing and planning the re-hosting of computer-based applications [pdf]

2003
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IBM buys the Server Consolidation Business unit of Sector7

IBM decided that it was going to get into "cloud" computing and also Pay per Transaction. Effectively, you only pay for the capacity that you use. Those of us old enough to remember Computer bureaus realize that there are no new ideas, just recycled ones. However, the economics of hosting cloud solutions and also server consolidation and outsourcing all depend on application running on 1 computer type and the knowledge being scaled. IBM did not want to take the chance of its "Migration factory" going elsewhere so they acquired the people and the IP (and Patents) who were invoked in the UNIX to UNIX porting. IBM did NOT acquire the OpenVMS Capability

Oct 16, 2003
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Sector7 Migrates The Ford Time Work Oder System (TWOS)

As a subcontractor for IBM Global Services, Sector7 migrated Fords HP3000/MPE system to Red Hat Linux. TWOS was written in 'Transact' a 3.5GL written in about 1980. In addition to over 1 million lines of Transact, TWOS also make extensive use of MPE's intrinsic capabilities: IMAGE - a hierarchical database which we migrated to Oracle. 50 factories were migrated in all. For the first few factories we implemented a dual data strategy which kept the HP3000 up to date with the Linux Oracle system in case of a need to fall back to the original system. No fall back was required and all 50 factories went live within a year. The Ford team presented Sector7 with an "EASY BUTTON".

Easy Button

2005
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VX/RT High Speed AST Backplane Released

Sector7 migrated one of the Largest stock exchanges. Written in VMS C and using RTR (Digitals Reliable Transaction Manager) together with DECForms

2007
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e-speed

Another trading system. e-speed made extensive use of the lock manager. All instruments held as locks with AST's triggered on time outs and free'd locks

2009
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HH Gregg

Another interesting HP3000/MPE project. About 7 Million Lines of code, mostly in MPE COBOL (Sector7 have an MPE to Micro Focus Cobol Translator) but also including SPL, PASCAL, BASIC, IMAGE hierarchical database.

2010
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VX/PASCAL DEC Extended PASCAL to C++

Our best translator product to date. All our 30 years of experience went into making VX/PASCAL produce 'beautiful' maintainable output that also works!

2012
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DECForms IFDL to C++ Classes, ACMS TDF to Tuxedo

Re-release of DECForms and ACMS using more modern Linux/UNIX capabilities.

2014
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VX/SQLMOD SQLMOD to Pro*C Released

Converts Rdb SQLMOD to Oracle Pro*C

2014
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Financial 12M LOC Fortran

We are under a non disclosure so cannot make public the name of this Institution. This application has over 12 MILLION Lines of FORTRAN, over 250,000 lines of DCL

2014
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Electronics 2M LOC C, SORT, DCL, BATCH

We are under a non disclosure so cannot make public the name of this Institution. One of the largest distributors in the world/

2015
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Logistics 8M LOC COBOL

We are under a non disclosure so cannot make public the name of this Institution. This application has over 8 MILLION Lines of COBOL, over 80,000 lines of DCL, They continue to maintain on OpenVMS and send each release through the Sector7 Continual Integration process.

2014
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Insurance 4M LOC Fortran

We are under a non disclosure so cannot make public the name of this Institution. This 'world critical' application has over 4 MILLION Lines of Fortran, over 40,000 lines of DCL, They continue to maintain on OpenVMS and send each release through the Sector7 Continual Integration process.

2015
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Manufacturing 3M LOC Fortran

We are under a non disclosure so cannot make public the name of this Institution. In addition to Fortran, extensize use of QIO to control PLC's, DCL etc"

2015
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After 15 Years Sector7 finally updates the Web Site

Many customers have wondered why we only update the web site every 15 years. The answer is simple, We are Just Too Busy. However, when Google announced that you wont be seen in the ranking unless you are mobile friendly we figured that it was time. So, here it is. All "Responsive Design" .. Thanks twitter . great job with "Bootstrap". Everyone codes at Sector7, the CEO down. So, out came Dreamweaver and a bunch of web searching and its almost done. Your comments would be very welcome. Personally, I can sit and watch the Adobe Stock Photo's of 'Guys with Gears' for ever, and considering they are in the template for every page .. if you've made it to the time line you are probably sick of them.

May 16, 2016

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