【Hitachi】 VOS K

 VOS K was a small/medium OS for M-620, M-630 and M-640. Design of the OS placed top priority on ease of use and high speed in order to enable utilization by people in practical business divisions who had no professional computer know-how. Equipped with a relational database as one of its basic functions, the OS adopted a virtual data space control method to achieve high speed. It provided the 4th generation language EAGLE/4GL, which achieved program productivity 10 times that of COBOL. In addition, it realized Distributed Department Computer Connection (DDC) that enabled the user to use VOS on the host to develop, manage and operate VOS K.

  Hitachi announced VOS K in July 1988 and started shipping it in December 1988.

 In order to provide an easy-to-use, high-performance operating system that enabled a network to be easily built, VOS K had the following functions incorporated into the basic structure of the system.

(1) Relational database function
The previous system used a relational database in conjunction with various file functions, such as an indexed file and a structural database. Therefore, it was important for the user to decide which of these file functions to select according to the business operation, and such decision-making placed an extra burden on the user. Furthermore, if the file function were different, the user had to manage the same data in separate files. To avoid this problem, the file functions of VOS K were unified only for the relational database in order to achieve multiple functions and ease of use.
(2) Interactive control function
In many cases, when operating or executing a business task on a computer system, interactive, man-machine methods are advantageous in terms of ease of use. With VOS K, interactive processing was positioned as the basic environment for job execution, and the batch-processing environment was also designed to be an interactive processing environment. This made it possible to issue instructions to the system using a single command language.
(3) Extended HNA communication control function
By using an extended HNA as the network architecture, Hitachi aimed at supporting various communication networks, international standards and various use applications of networks, and realized a network system that corresponded to a broad range of use applications, from a local network to a wide-area network.

 In addition to being positioned as a conventional "OS for small-scale host computers," VOS K served as an "OS for departmental computers," which were being installed in various company departments. In each case, the OS was required to be user-friendly, and to facilitate use even by people engaged in practical business operations.
  In developing VOS K, Hitachi aimed at realizing a "YES" Computer (Y: do it Yourself; E: Easy to use; S: high Speed),” which could be easily used even by individuals working on practical business operations who had no computer know-how.
 Figure 1 shows how VOS K was positioned in terms of its role as a YES Computer.

Figure 1

Figure 1 "Roles of YES Computer"

  VOS K had the following features:

Feature Description
Y:do it Yourself
Provides tools useful for computerizing your jobs
  • 4th generation language EAGLE/4GL, which increases productivity of the information processing department.
    EAGLE/4GL achieves productivity approximately 10 times greater than COBOL in both development man-hours and development steps.
  • OA HOAPSERV, which supports office automation in practical business departments
E:Easy to use
Achieves a highly operable system in all aspects including system startup/operation, data inputting and use of the host computer
  • Unified and systematized command languages
  • A file system with logical volumes and a hierarchical directory structure
  • VOS K's business operation development/operation functions with VOS3
  • Self-learning system STEP
    A program for self-learning VOS K, and a system that consists of a manual and data and enables the user to learn the OS in approximately two days
S:high Speed
Realizes a high-performance system that rapidly searches for necessary information and responds to workstations
  • Virtual data space control VDSA, which achieves a high-performance RDB.
    It supports increased performance of hardware assets (CPU, storage), and has a control system dependent on the CPU/storage as opposed to the previous disk-dependent system
  • Improved response to workstations

 Figure 2 shows the effects of EAGLE/4GL. The development man-hours and the development steps were both reduced to approx. 1/10.

Figure 2

Figure 2 "Effects of EAGLE/4GL"

 Figure 3 shows the self-learning system STEP, which was provided as one of the means to realize "E (Easy to use)." This was a system consisting of programs, a manual and data for self-learning VOS K, and allowed the user to learn the OS in approximately two days.

Figure 3

Figure 3 "VOS K self-learning system STEP"

Cover of manual for VOSKSample descriptions from the manual for VOSK