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VAX RPG II Migration

VAX RPG II was developed internally by Digital Equipment Corporation in the early 1980's. The product was available for eight years and realized limited sales success. The product was dropped in 1992.

Migration RPG has been engineered to provide compatibility with VAX RPG II, thus easing the migration process from one to the other. Specific information on VAX RPG II and Migration RPG similarities and differences can be found in the Migration RPG SPD.

Migration Specialties has a good deal of experience converting VAX RPG II applications to Migration RPG. The process is reasonably straightforward and does an excellent job of preserving the functionality and business rules of the VAX RPG II applications. Programmers familiar with VAX RPG II will have no problems adapting to Migration RPG.

Converting from VAX RPG II to Migration RPG provides the following benefits:

  • Preservation of the applications
  • Preservation of RPG programming expertise
  • Access to modern programming constructs such as structured opcodes
  • Transition to a supported environment
  • The ability to run the applications on Alpha and Integrity processors without further changes
If you are still using VAX RPG II and want to stick with OpenVMS, then it's time to upgrade to Migration RPG. If you must retain your VAX RPG II applications, but need to replace your VAX hardware, then VAX emulation is your only alternative. for more information on VAX RPG II migration options.

VAX RPG II History

Originally released in 1984, VAX RPG II represented Digital Equipment Corporation's interpretation of IBM's successful RPG II programming language. Product updates continued through 1986 with the release of version 2.1. VAX RPG II survived in maintenance mode for several more years.

Unlike Migration RPG, which was designed from its inception to duplicate the functionality of IBM RPG II, VAX RPG II represented Digital's unique interpretation of the RPG II programming language. The product's strong points were its full screen editor and symbolic debugger interface, along with interactive screen support via FMS or DECforms. Its weakness was its poor compatibility with IBM RPG II. At best, VAX RPG II offered a subset of IBM RPG II functionality. This lack of compatibility doomed VAX RPG II's chances of becoming a mainstream programming language under OpenVMS.

That said, VAX RPG II did achieve limited market penetration and sites running the product on legacy VAX systems are still to be found. From 1985 through 1989, Digital's Massachusetts based IBM midrange migration team developed tools and supported migrations to both VAX RPG II and Migration RPG.

In 1989, Digital consolidated its competitive IBM midrange migration program in the Colorado Springs based Center for Migration Services. By then the fate of VAX RPG II was clear, so further development efforts were targeted solely at Migration RPG. Digital acquired full rights to Migration RPG from Richmond, Virginia based Native Software, Inc. at this time.

In 1992, Digital elected to drop support for VAX RPG II. However, instead of simply terminating the product and offering Migration RPG as its replacement, parties within Digital elected to transfer ownership of VAX RPG II to a third party. The third party did no further product development and soon dropped VAX RPG II entirely.


In 1991, in a classic case of corporate miscommunication, the Center for Migration Services was instructed to prepare for the transition of VAX RPG II customers to Migration RPG in anticipation of the retirement of VAX RPG II. As part of the program to ease customer transitions, Migration RPG compatibility with VAX RPG II was enhanced and Migration RPG was renamed VAX RPG. When at the eleventh hour the VAX RPG II transfer to a third party was announced, Migration RPG was reassigned its old name. However, by this time versions 1.0 and 2.0 of VAX RPG had already been released. Thus was created the confusion in product names that persists to this day. VAX RPG II is the product developed internally by Digital. VAX RPG is Migration RPG under a different name.

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