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Migrating Automation Point from OS/2 to Windows NT or Windows 2000

This document discusses differences between Automation Point under OS/2 and Automation Point under Windows NT or Windows 2000. All references to the Windows NT platform within this document are intended to include the Windows 2000 operating system.

The intended audiences are administrators and users that are familiar with Automation Point for OS/2 who will now be working with Automation Point for Windows NT.

There are a few differences between running Automation Point under OS/2 and under Windows NT. They include:

  • Hardware and software requirements
  • Installation
  • Authorization Codes
  • Voice processing and modem access
  • Migrating REXX programs from OS/2
  • Automation Point directory structure
  • Visual REXX is not available on NT; Object REXX is available
  • Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) is not available on NT; A sample utilizing ActiveX is provided
  • ANPAGE to Notification Manager database conversion utility

The following sections provide more information about these changes.

Hardware and Software Requirements

The minimum hardware and software requirements for Windows NT are different from OS/2, and, of course, some of the adapter cards require NT-specific device drivers.

Microsoft's Web site provides a list of certified and supported hardware for the Windows NT and platforms. You should have an NT-certified PC that is at least a Pentium II 233 MHz, with 128 MB RAM, and a 4 GB hard drive running Windows NT 4.0 (SP6) or Windows 2000. Some features may require a more powerful workstation. Chapter 1 of the Getting Started guide describes the product's hardware and software requirements in more detail.

3270 Sessions

Automation Point now supports up to sixteen 3270 sessions on one PC. Up to four of the sessions can use IBM-mode I/O addresses on either IBM or Attachmate Advanced coax 3270 adapter (ISA) cards and the remaining sessions can use 3270 PCI Adapter Cards from either Attachmate Corporation or IBM. Refer to the Getting Started guide for more details. You can contact IBM and Attachmate, at their respective Web sites, and

Serial Communications Adapter Cards

If Windows NT does not directly support the serial communications adapter card that you used with OS/2, contact the manufacturer of the board for an appropriate device driver. Install the card and device driver according to the manufacturer's instructions. Reboot the PC and test the ports to verify that they are working properly.

We have tested Automation Point with the following serial communications Adapter Cards: Digi PC/8e, DigiCHANNEL PC/16E, Digi AccelePort®-Xem PCI, Comtrol Hostess 550/8 and Comtrol Hostess 550/2.

You can contact Digi International and Comtrol Corporation for more specific card details and sales information at their respective Web sites, and

Dialogic Voice Card

Refer to the Getting Started guide for a complete list of supported cards.


Automation Point now comes with a graphical program for installing the entire product or selected client components of Automation Point on a given workstation. Refer to the Getting Started guide for detailed information.

Automation Point Desktop

Icons on the Automation Point Desktop cannot have focus under NT as they do under OS/2. The highlight on an icon only means that it is selected. You cannot type into an iconized window under Windows NT.

NT creates and displays case-sensitive file names, but accesses files as if the file name is uppercase. Automation Point will create file names using lower-case characters unless you have specified otherwise. This case-sensitivity should not adversely affect file usage in Automation Point. However, it may require changes to REXX programs using the STOPREXX command, as described in the section on REXX below (NOTE: Automation Point does not support long file names.).

Directory Structure

The Automation Point directory structure has changed. Automation Point now uses sub-directories under the CAAP directory. The BIN directory contains the executable code. The RUNTIME directory contains the runtime files. The SAMPLES directory contains sample files. The DOC directory contains documentation.

VIO and VDM Sessions

There is very little difference in the functionality between VIO and VDM sessions on the NT platform, so we suggest that you try using a VIO session. Both types of sessions use the same keycode file, VIONT.SCN. If you have a customized keycode file under OS/2, you should make similar changes to customize the VIONT.SCN file. Do not just copy the customized OS/2 keycodes file to the NT platform. The Windows NT task list always includes VIO and VDM sessions on the Automation Point workstation.

Profile Parameter file (AXCPARM.PRM)

The DIAL and COMMLINK parameters are not used under NT. For paging, refer to the VOX Page command.

The REMOTE parameter is not used under NT. Remote access to the Automation Point workstation is automatically enabled with the installation of Automation Point's Server Components.

Customized Scan Code files

You can use any customized scan code files from the OS/2 platform under NT.

Customized Keyboard files

Keyboard files customized under OS/2 may or may not work properly under NT. It is certainly safer to re-customize the keyboard file provided with NT. However, if you have a highly customized keyboard file, you might try it under NT, taking care to test each keystroke before you put the file into production.


Before you port your customized rules from OS/2 to NT, check for the DIAL and DIALSAY rules keywords and convert the statements to start a REXX program that uses the appropriate VOX commands. Also, check the file for DOSCMDS that run command files directly under OS/2. If the command file contains only batch file statements, change the file extension to BAT to run under NT. If the command file is a REXX program, use ASOREXX to run the program.

Authorization Information

Automation Point now uses CA registration information. One license code is required to use Automation Point and a second license code is required for 3270 sessions. Refer to Chapter 2 of the Getting Started guide for information on the authorization statements. Note that Notification Services requires a base Automation Point license code.

Automation Point Services

The PPQ and VOX command environments and the ASOTRACE facility are now services under NT. Other Automation Point services provide remote IP access and access to the TNG command environment.

Global Variable Environment

The GLV environment does not need to be started separately on the Windows NT platform. The GLV environment is built-in to the REXX language shipped with Automation Point.

Program to Program Queues

If you want PPQ on the Windows NT platform to interoperate with PPQ under OS/2 for either Automation Point or CA-Inform, be certain that compatible NetBIOS protocol stacks are configured on both ends of the PPQ transport session.

OS/2 Transport Compatible NT Transport Note
OS/2 NETBIOS (NetBeui) Nbf This is the most efficient LAN protocol. It is not routable.
OS/2 NETBIOS over TCP/IP (TcpBeui) NetBT This can be routed over a WAN.

NOTE: A PPQ shared queue cannot have the same name as the system (computer) name because under Windows NT or 2000, NetBIOS registers the system name on the network. By default, the PPQ name uses the first 8 characters of the system name (PPQ names are only 8 characters long). This means you must verify that the first 8 characters of the system name are unique for PPQ usage, because if they are not unique, you will have to change the PPQ name.

Voice Processing and Modem Access

Voice processing and modem access are different under NT than under OS/2. The DIAL and DIALSAY rules keywords and the DIAL command are now obsolete under NT. Voice and modem services are provided with VOX commands, similar to that provided with CA-Inform for OS/2. The VOX Verifyuser command is not available in this version of Automation Point.

The ANPAGE Alphanumeric Paging Application is not available on the NT platform. As an alternative, either use Notification Manager or directly use the VOX page command.

To use the paging capabilities of the Notification Server without a voice card, the Dialogic voice drivers do not need to be installed. When you enable the Notification Server via Configuration Manager, do not select the "Use Voice Card" check box. You can now use the VOX Page command for alphanumeric paging.

ANPAGE to Notification Manager Database Conversion Utility

The NMAPCOPY.REX utility, in the RUNTIME directory, is provided to convert the information in the ANPAGE database to records in the Notification Manager database. This allows you to convert to Notification Manager for issuing page requests without having to manually reenter your paging information in the Notification Manager database.

AS/400 Manager

When migrating from OS/2 to Windows NT with Automation Point's AS/400 Manager application, you need to do a complete install and customization of the application. Whereas the OS/2 version supported a coax connection, the Windows NT version supports the superior TN3270 connection. This requires Attachmate's Extra! software rather than the more expensive 3270 adapter card. Configuration on the Windows NT version is done through a GUI. For more information on AS/400 Manager refer to Automation Point's AS/400 Manager Guide.

Migrating REXX Programs

The REXX language is not a component of the Windows NT operating system. However, Automation Point includes ASOREXX which is available on the Automation Point workstation or on a client workstation where the PPQ component is running. To run a REXX program (myrexx.cmd) from a command prompt, type ASOREXX MYREXX.

ASOREXX provides REXX functionality. If no file extension is specified, ASOREXX searches first for CMD and then REX.


Converting OS/2 programs so they also run under NT:

  • ASOREXX does a more complete syntax check of the entire program before starting the program than does OS/2. Manually run REXX programs ported from OS/2 to test for syntax errors before putting the program into production.

  • OS/2 returns rc=30 to indicate that the environment is not available. NT returns rc=-30. Also, if the environment is not available when the program starts under WINNT, it will never be available so a program cannot start an address environment and then access it. If the program must start an address environment, it should then start another program to access the environment.

  • Check the OS/2 REXX programs for REXX extensions such as call RxFuncAdd which are not available under NT. Add logic that will only call RxFuncAdd when the program is running under OS/2. You will also need to write subroutines using only functions available under NT to replace all the calls to the OS/2 REXX extensions.

  • Replace calls to SysSleep (which is an OS/2 extension to REXX) with RxxSleep. The following code fragment is an example of REXX code that will run under both OS/2 and Windows NT.
    call sleep 5 /* Function: Sleep * Purpose: insert a timed delay into the program */ SLEEP: parse source os . fn sfn . parse arg nval if datatype(nval) <> "NUM" then nval = 1 if os="OS/2" then call SysSleep nval if os="NT" then call RxxSleep nval return

  • If the REXX program contains ADDRESS CMD statements that starts a REXX program, change the line to use ASOREXX to run the REXX program. The following code fragment illustrates this:
    if os="OS/2" then ADDRESS CMD myrexx parms if os="NT" then ADDRESS CMD "ASOREXX" myrexx parms

  • The GETREXXL command, which is used by STOPREXX to terminate REXX programs, returns the name of the file that is running, followed by the argument string. Because file names under NT can be of mixed case, you should convert the data to uppercase before searching for a file name. The following code fragment will stop all instances of the LPAR3090 program:
    "GETREXXL" do i=1 to GETREXXL.0 parse upper value GETREXXL_NAME.i with rxexec rxargs If rxexec = "LPAR3090" then do "STOPREXX" GETREXXL.I end

  • Add SIGNAL ON HALT logic to the REXX program to assure clean termination of stopped REXX programs. For example:
    Signal on halt HALT: exit

  • When writing and testing new REXX programs, consider using REXX interactive tracing (TRACE ?r) to assist in debugging the program. However, turn off the interactive trace before putting the program into production. For example:
    where = ADDRESS() if where = "AXC" then trace off else trace ?r

ASOREXX provides the following built-in functions that are not available under OS/2:

CHDIR The CHDIR function changes the current working directory for the process in which the REXX program is running.

Syntax: CHDIR(directory) Example: rc = chdir("/winnt35")

CUSERID The CUSERID function returns the current user ID.

Syntax: CUSERID() Example: nt say cuserid()

GETCWD The GETCWD function returns the full path name of the current working directory.

Syntax: GETCWD() Example: dir = getcwd()

GETENV The GETENV function returns the current setting on an environmental variable. If the environment variable specified by string is not set, GETENV returns a null string.

Syntax: GETCENV(string) Examples: say "The windows NT directory is: getenv("windir")  computername = getenv("COMPUTERNAME")

JUSTIFY The JUSTIFY function adds pad characters between words in a string of blank-delimited words to justify both margins.

Syntax: JUSTIFY(string, length %7B, pad] ) Example: str = "Four score and seven years ago" ostr = justify(str,40) /* ostr will be  "Four score and seven years ago"*/

LOWER The LOWER function converts characters in a string to lower case.

Syntax: lower(string) Example: low = lower('ABCD') /* the value of low will be 'abcd' */

PUTENV The PUTENV function sets the value of an environmental variable.

Syntax: PUTENV(string) Example: rc = putenv('MYVAR=MYVALUE')

RxxSleep The RxxSleep function sleeps for a specified period.

Syntax: RxxSleep(5) Example: rc = RxxSleep(5)          call RxxSleep 5

UPPER The UPPER function converts characters in a string to uppercase.

Syntax: upper(string) Example: up = upper('abcd') /* the value of up will be 'ABCD' */

Automation Point also supports IBM's Object REXX for Windows NT. For details on this refer to the Getting Started guide.

If you have any questions or problems, please call Automation Point Technical Support at 1-412-494-1304. Outside of North America, please contact your local Computer Associates Support Center.