Planning Your HP 3000 Future

End of Life Announcement

HP has announced that after the end of 2006, they will no longer support the HP 3000.

Robelle Continues Support for MPE

The HP 3000 platform has a lot of friends and supporters, Robelle included. Even after 2006, we are certain there will be 3rd party support for the machines. Just recently HP cancelled support on the 10-year old 9x7 line. And immediately a lively business sprung up to provide 3rd party maintenance for those systems. For MPE software support, there are also talented vendors offering quality service. Robelle plans to support the 3000 with improved Qedit and Suprtool products and service as long as we have customers.

No Rush To Migrate, Until You Are Ready

Here is a Robelle Press Release: Migrating an application can be complex, expensive and risky. There is no rush to move before you are ready. Robelle will help you extend the life of your 3000s and make your eventual migration easier as well.

Robelle Software Also Runs on HP-UX

There has been a lot of interest in HP-UX recently, given the possibility of converting MPE systems into HP-UX systems. HP-UX is Hewlett-Packard's in-house version of UNIX; it runs on the same hardware as the MPE-based HP 3000 systems, but is actually available on a much wider range of hardware. Both Qedit and Suprtool will be useful to an MPE user selecting to move some applications to HP-UX:

Qedit has been working on HP-UX for over 10 years, providing the same user interface and full-screen editing as on MPE.

Suprtool for HP-UX supports access to Eloquence (an IMAGE-like database), Oracle,and regular flat files, and includes the same components as Suprtool for MPE: Suprlink for combining data from several sources in a flexible and lightning fast manner and STExport for exporting data into whatever format the importing program requires.

Easing Migration with Suprtool

Migrating with Suprtool/UX and Suprtool/MPE: Painless Data Transformation, No Programming Required, Slash Migration Costs,

Rock Solid Reliablity. Click the link above for technical application notes on transforming data with Suprtool.

What is an hp e3000?

The Hewlett-Packard HP e3000 is a highly reliable, easy to use, mainframe and/or super-minicomputer. It can support from a few up to thousands of users. The operating system is MPE/iX (MultiProgram Executive, posIX compliant). [Allegro]

For comprehensive links to all things "3000" on the Internet to aid in "homesteading" (i.e., keeping your 3000 alive), visit Robelle's HP 3000 Resource Page.

For numerous helpful links on migrating, visit Robelle's migration web center.


"HP Says It's On Target for e3000 Phaseout"

From an article in ServerWatch magazine:

Schneck said the company is aware that customers will likely continue to use the platform past its December 31, 2006 end-of-support date. To that end, he said HP will "allow access to existing patches, key docuementation and some . . . technical content." At this point, he said, the company hasn't finalized plans for distribution of that material. He also said the company intends to remove barriers to the creation of platform emulators by third party developers, though he couldn't comment on the nature of HP's "fairly immature" plans in that area except to say the company will make the process "as simple as we possibly can."

3rd Party Support Options

Profile/Interview: Gilles Schipper

As customers start working on plans and solutions for alternative support for their HP 3000's it is important to note those people who have been in the business of providing independent 3rd-party support for HP 3000's for many years.

Neil Armstrong, Robelle's Suprtool Architect, realized recently that he knows well the individual with the longest experience of providing MPE support in competition with HP. That person is Gilles Schipper.

Neil writes: I had the pleasure of working with Gilles, during my days in Toronto. I learned a great deal from Gilles, and not just technical things and system management, but also how to deal with customers and provide excellent customer service.

My favourite Gilles story is one from the early days. Gilles was recently out on his own having left HP and a customer called him in frustration, dealing with some performance problems.

After having recently bought some more memory, HP had come and installed the memory, but the promised performance gain had not happened. They asked Gilles to take a look. Gilles quickly found that the memory was installed, but the system had not been re-configured with the new memory size. It is this attention to detail that Gilles taught me to take when approaching a problem and in dealing with customer concerns and problems in everyday business and has helped me to this very day.

I recently interviewed Gilles to bring myself up-to-date on what services he offers, and how November 14 has impacted him: read the entire interview.

Interview: Mike Hornsby on 3000 Software Support

Mike Hornsby of Beechglen answers questions from the NewsWire about continuing software support for HP 3000s:

Our goal is to take care of the customer, as if we were them, knowing what we know. Our motto is 'anyone can call about anything anytime'. Our support is immediate, like having a ‘phone a friend’ who can answer the question or solve the problem more than 95 percent of the time on the first call.

An example was a customer who was frustrated at having to dial in every night to check in on a credit card upload job. We showed her how to use a freeware e-mail client from Telemon to e-mail her pager if the job failed. The special experience is that we take care of our customers as if they were family.

OpenMPE: Alternatives for MPE Software Support

The OpenMPE web site contains a list of companies that provide MPE support as an alternative to HP.

ICS Group: 3000 Hardware Support

The ICS Group announces continued independent maintenance for HP 3000 systems:

We will continue to provide hardware support for our beloved 3000 and partner with the gurus at Allegro to provide software support.);

Hardware Maintenance: Atlantic Tech Services

David Mason ( points out that

Atlantic Tech Services (ATS) is a hardware maintenance company and has been servicing the 3000 line since 1984 and will continue to do so.

ATS is located in NE Ohio, between Akron and Cleveland. It started as a regional maintenance company, but has grown into a multi-office company with coverage extending throughout the United States. Add them to your list of alternatives to HP for maintaining your HP 3000 hardware.

OpenMPE: Alternatives for HP 3000 Hardware Support

The OpenMPE web site contains a listing of companies that provide hardware support for the 3000, alternatives to HP.

Consulting Assistance

Robelle's Consultant Directory

Robelle has built a list of consulting resources for our customers - people who know the HP 3000, Suprtool and Suprtool-based applications. We will feature them on our home page as we discover them, and catalog them on our Consultants Corner as well.

An Alternative: the Eloquence Database

Eloquence is an IMAGE-like database that runs on HP-UX, LINUX and Windows NT/2K. It is owned by HP Germany and supported by a 3rd party, Markmeier.

Robelle Tech: What Is Eloquence?

This Robelle Tech column in the 3000 NewsWire describes a possible migration option for some HP 3000 sites: an IMAGE-like database that works on HP-UX and has been in development and use for many years.

HP CSY Suggests Eloquence for Migrating

The 3kworld web site has a report on Dave Wilde's (HP CSY R&D manager) presentation at the Solutions Symposium. Most of it was about the features of the upcoming MPE/iX 7.5 release. However, he also endorsed using Eloquence to migrate applications from MPE to HP-UX.
As far as IMAGE/SQL alternatives go for customers who would benefit from keeping their “Image-calls” and do a “one-step at-a-time” approach, he said that he is committed to promoting Eloquence to fill that need. He said that it’s “likely the best approach,” and that “the product is very solid and very strong …”

About Suprtool and Eloquence

This page describes the current state of integration between Suprtool and Eloquence (released into production in Suprtool 4.6 as of March 2002), and has links to Eloquence resources on the Internet.

Articles About Planning Your 3000 Future

NewsWire: Interview with eXegeSys' Paul Dorius

About the future of manufacturing software and the HP 3000, from the 3000 NewsWire.

eXegeSys Selects ViaNova from Denkart

eXegeSys will use Ordina Denkart's ViaNova 3000 software and services to transfer the HP e3000-based eXegetic eRP suite to a wide range of open system platforms.

NewsWire: Homesteading the 3000

From the 3000 NewsWire:

In the few days since HP's surprising announcement about ending its support of the e3000 in five years, a host of companies are coming forward with announcements of their mission to light the system's windows indefinitely. Many of these companies began their business lives with the system, so there's no lack of expertise on hand -- and more than a few could go toe-to-toe with HP's experts on any day. ... Third-party support is one of the traditions for the HP 3000 market — something that customers will be able to rely upon to give them time to decide how their transition will develop.

Report from the Solutions Symposium

Ken Robertson (, formerly of Robelle but now with AD Technologies, reports on the first day of the Solutions Symposium:

The Symposium is going well... it's only been one day long so far. Our Trans/port product [migration of HP 3000 code to other platforms] is being well received, and some people, especially those who need to do spl to c++ are quite interested. AcuCorp is also very interested in our V/Plus to AcuCobol solution. I was surprised to find that my talk, scheduled at 6:00 PM, had the room filled to capacity with several people standing. About 80-100 people attended my talk.

HP's main thrust is migration. They are pretty non-specific about guidance, but they have scheduled "webinars" for the last Tuesday of each month addressing different topics. This series runs through July.

There are now three platinum partners with HP to facilitate migrations - Lund, MB Foster, and Speedware Corp. MB Foster proposes offering a "bumper to bumper" solution. Speedware is actively working on a Transact to Speedware conversion, for those folks who want to stick with a 4GL. I'm not sure how Lund fits in, as I missed their talk so that I could chat with Ron Seybold, a most interesting person to talk with!

HP announced support for fibrechannel 3000's, but didn't announce any new machines.

HP is pushing the Eloquence database, and it has been ratified by SIG Image. They do admit that there are improvements to be made, and that they are only targetting small to medium businesses.

There are several companies, including DISC, who are offering Image to SQL wrappers. I will be investigating these offerings soon. Duane Percox has done some timings for some wrappers that his firm QSS wrote, and discovered that for a fairly small database of 12,500 records, a program's run time went from 3 cpu seconds to 10. His approach sounded intelligent, leaving the master records in an Image DB with the details in a SQL database. If the program had been less intelligent, perhaps it would have taken even longer to execute.

. It is very clear that most attendees are at this conference to learn about migration.

Well, I'm off to more sessions. I'll keep you posted!

~ ken ~

CSY lays out their New Migration Programs and Services reports on the presentation by CSY Product Marketing Manager, Loretta Li-Sevilla, focusing on CSY's New (e3000) Migration Programs and Services. A number of new programs were announced: click the link to read about them.

NewsWire: Conversion Deadlines Extended

Ron Seybold reports from the Solutions Symposium:

The first deadline in the HP campaign to move customers off the 3000 slipped here in California, when attendees at the Interex e3000 Solutions Symposium learned they now have three extra years to purchase 3000-to-HP 9000 conversion kits for their N-Class and A-Class 3000s. The announcement was one of several designed to motivate more customer acceptance of HP-UX platforms. Separately, channel partners at the conference reported HP has told them it will not be hurrying customers to migrate.

OpenMPE and MPE Emulation Options

OpenMPE Report from Solutions Symposium

Jonathan Backus reports from the recent HP conference:

We emphasized that OpenMPE is NOT "open source", but rather a "Closed Source, Open Community" and that OpenMPE is not in the business of trying to talk companies out of migrating. OpenMPE is in the business of giving the community the choices they desire.

OpenMPE Group

OpenMPE has been incorporated, has a board of directors, and a web site:

OpenMPE seeks to be the custodian for the MPE/iX Operating System that is at the center of the MPE community. To that end, OpenMPE Incorporated was formed as a entity co-operatively run by the users and vendors of MPE/iX and is in the process of seeking non-profit status. OpenMPE work to provide for the care and upkeep of the MPE/iX Operating system (and related software). That way it continues to be available to the companies using MPE/iX for all their important functions and to the vendors for the selling of their software and services.

NewsWire: 3000 Experts Examine Emulator Project

From the 3000 NewsWire: Engineering talent with more than 14 years experience developing parts of the RISC-based HP 3000 operating system, utilities and applications is taking a closer look at emulation for the system this month — and waiting for HP to make a statement on supporting such a project.

Gavin Scott: Choosing a Path for the 3000

The 3000 NewsWire has an interview with Gavin Scott of Allegro about possible future options with the HP 3000, including the feasability of an emulator that would allow old applications to run on new hardware:

The second path would amount to a “life extension” for MPE, but probably not a great deal of growth. This road would involve options such as software to emulate the HP e3000 hardware on, say, a Windows or Linux system, allowing one to run the existing PA-RISC MPE/iX operating system and all its applications on cheap PC-class hardware, third-party support to replace the HP Response Center, and some minimal maintenance of the operating system itself (perhaps even without source code) to keep it running indefinitely with today’s functionality.

... From an MPE point of view, I believe it will be the second or middle path that turns out to be the most useful, if HP will permit it to happen. If HP will allow it, then various companies will make it possible for people who want, need or must keep running MPE applications in 2007 and beyond to do so indefinitely.