The DATATRIEVE Programmer

This page was created and is maintained by
Joe H. Gallagher
former Newsletter Editor and SIG Chair
of the

This web resource is dedicated to DATATRIEVE programmers, developers, and members of the DATATRIEVE and 4GL SIGs of DECUS who supported and promoted the DATATRIEVE programming language.


DATATRIEVE has been described as a query language, report writer system; a fourth generation language; and a system for managing data. It is all of that and more.

The Software Product Description for Version 7.2 of DATATRIEVE in PDF format is on the Compaq server for Alpha and for VAX. The Software Product Description of DATATRIEVE-11 has been dropped from the Mentec Web site.

DATATRIEVE is now a "Mature Product." Mature Product status means that no new features or functionality are being developed. As such, Compaq no longer offers product updates or right to new versions. However, Compaq does offer full remedial support with engineering backup under Mature Product Support. The backup engineering support now comes from Nashua, NH out of the OpenVMS Sustaining Engineering group.

DATATRIEVE and FMS are the two Mature Products which are to be ported to the Itanium family of processors.

What DATATRIEVE resources are available on the Web?

The 5 major manuals of Version 6 of DATATRIEVE are at the Warsaw Agricultural University site in Poland. Currently, there are no Version 7.2 DATATRIEVE manuals available to users on the Internet. If manuals become available, they are likely to be accessible via Compaq's Commercial Software page. If anyone knows of or should find a set of Version 7.0 or Version 7.2 DATATRIEVE manuals available on the Internet, please let me know.

Western Michigan University has a two-part introduction to DATATRIEVE. Part 1. Part 2.

There are VAX-Notes Conferences on the ENCOMPASServe machine. Relevant notes streams have been reviewed and indexed for your convenience.

DATATRIEVE questions in news groups via Google Groups -- old stuff and recent stuff

Departmental Accounting with DTR, a presentation at the 1995 Fall Symposium by Paul Waterstraat, describes an interesting DATATRIEVE application.

Also on the web are hundreds of resumes of individuals who have programmed in DATATRIEVE and several hundred Compaq web sites with legal notices that DATATRIEVE is a trademark of Compaq(Digital Equipment Corporation).

What DATATRIEVE patch are available from Compaq?

ECO02072 V6.2 and higher for VAX August 9, 1999
ECO02072 V6.2 and higher for Alpha August 9, 1999
What books and other printed material are there about DATATRIEVE?

The best hardcopy information on DATATRIEVE is material in the Wombat Examiner and the Wombat Examiner and 4GL Dispatch, the newsletter of the DATATRIEVE, DATATRIEVE/4GL, and 4GL SIG of DECUS published between July of 1979 and October of 1992. Only a few individuals have complete copies of the newsletter; they are not available through any library or the DECUS/Encompass office. A limited subset of the newsletters were submitted to the SIG tapes and a microfische of newsletter material was distributed at a DECUS Symposia. The articles on this site are the only materials from the newsletters which are currently available on the Internet.

Fourth-Generation Languages Volume II: Representative 4GLs, by James Martin and Joe Leben. Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, 1986. ISBN 0-13-329749-7. Pages 103-138. Barnes and Nobel has a listing for this book.

A Beginner's Guide to VAX/VMS Utilities and Applications, Second Edition by Ronald M. Sawey and Troy T. Stokes, ISBN 1-55-558066-1, published by Butterworth-Heinemann, December 1, 1991, is out-of-print and out-of-stock.

DATATRIEVE Abuser's Guide, by James Meade, ISBN 0880220724, April 1, 1985, published by Macmillan Computer Pub, paperback, is out-of-print and out-of-stock.

What DATATRIEVE resources are available at this site?

What are the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about DATATRIEVE? (Always UNDER CONSTRUCTION.)

Original newsletter articles on DATATRIEVE

Developing Applications in DATATRIEVE

Names and Addresses - A discussion of how to manage names and addresses.
The Date Data Type - Everything you want to know about this unique data.
High performance Menus - Creating menu driven applications.
DATATRIEVE as a programming language - Comparison of DATATRIEVE with FORTRAN.
Browsing under Program Control - Browsing without FINDs and collections.
Style and Convention - Field, domain, records, and table names and much more.
Generating Test Data - How to generate test data.
The Double Top N Problem - Analysis and discussion of a classic problem.

VAX-DATATRIEVE Graphics Internals - A large paper on the plot language and its internals and some new plots.

DATATRIEVE programming tips and techniques

How to summarize data - February 15, 1998

How to reset RUNNING COUNT - February 25, 1998
Who are the people involved with DATATRIEVE? (always UNDER CONSTRUCTION.)
DATATRIEVE, RMS, and a bunch of other things are Compaq Trademarks and Copyrights. Oracle Rdb is a trademark of Oracle Corporation.

Joe H. Gallagher, Ph. D.