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A queue is a construct in OpenVMS that helps process batch and print jobs. Jobs are organized in queues for sequential execution. Queues are controlled with queue managers. Information about queues is stored in the queue database.

Types of queues

There are generic and execution queues. Execution queues do the actual processing (printing or batch processing). Generic queues manage the assignment of jobs to execution queues.

Print queues

Print queues enable processing of jobs by a printer. There are generic and execution print queues. Each execution print queue is associated with a printer. Print queue properties include:

  • block limit (set with /BLOCK_LIMIT=(lowlim,uplim)) limits the size of print jobs that can be processed on an output execution queue. If a print job is submitted that contains fewer blocks than the lowlim value, the job remains pending until the block limit for the queue is changed.

Allows you to reserve certain printers for certain size jobs. You must specify at least one of the parameters. The lowlim parameter is a decimal number referring to the minimum number of blocks accepted by the queue for a print job. If a print job is submitted that contains fewer blocks than the lowlim value, the job remains pending until the block limit for the queue is changed. After the block limit for the queue is decreased sufficiently, the job is processed. The /NOBLOCK_LIMIT qualifier cancels the previous setting established by the /BLOCK_LIMIT qualifier for that queue.

  • default options for the PRINT command: BURST, FEED, FLAG, FORM, TRAILER (specified with the /DEFAULT qualifier)
  • device to be used for printing (specified with the /DEVICE qualifier)
  • mounted form for the queue (specified with the /FORM_MOUNTED qualifier). The stock of the mounted form must match the stock of the default form.
  • filename for the device control library (specified with /LIBRARY)
  • whether a form feed should be sent to a printer device when the queue starts (to suppress the initial form feed, use /NO_INITIAL_FF).
  • print symbiont for the queue (specified with /PROCESSOR)
  • whether the symbiont can concatenate (or block together) output records for transmission to the output device (specified with the /RECORD_BLOCKING qualifier). If you specify the /NORECORD_BLOCKING qualifier, the symbiont sends each formatted record in a separate I/O request to the output device. For the standard OpenVMS print symbiont, record blocking can have a significant performance advantage over single-record mode.
  • mandatory queue options, or job separation options that cannot be overridden by the PRINT command (BURST, FLAG, TRALER, RESET, specified with the /SEPARATE qualifier).
  • base priority of the symbiont process (specified with the /BASE_PRIORITY qualifier)
  • whether pending jobs in the queue are scheduled fpr printing based on the size of the job (specified by /SCHEDULE=SIZE)

Batch queues

Batch queues enable processing of batch jobs - command procedures submitted for execution in a batch process on your behalf. Batch queue properties include:

  • base priority (from 0 to 15, specified with the /BASE_PRIORITY qualifier) at which jobs are initiated from a batch execution queue. By default, jobs are initiated with the same priority as the base priority established by DEFPRI (usually 4).
  • default CPU time limit (specified with /CPUDEFAULT)
  • maximum CPU time limit (specified with /CPUMAXIMUM)
  • whether batch jobs executed from this queue can be swapped in and out of memory (specified with /DISABLE_SWAPPING)
  • job limit for the queue (speicified with JOB_LIMIT, default is 1)
  • working set extent for the batch job, the maximum amount of physical memory that the job can use.
  • working set default, the default number of physical pages that the job can use
  • working set quota, the amount of physical memory that is guaranteed to the job.

Displaying queues

You can display queues on your system with the SHOW QUEUE command.

Creating Queues

You can create queues with the INITIALIZE/QUEUE command.

Starting Queues

Queues need to be started to accept jobs. Commands to start queues normally reside in startup command procedures such as SYSTARTUP_VMS.COM.

There exist two types of queues depeding on the way they are initialized and started:

  • autostart queues are initialized with /AUTOSTART_ON and started with ENABLE AUTOSTART/QUEUES (a single command for all autostart queues)
  • non-autostart queues are initialized with /ON and started with START/QUEUE (one command per queue)

Stopping Queues

Queues can be stopped with the STOP/QUEUE command. When executed without qualifiers, this command only pauses a queue. To stop a queue completely, include one of the following qualifiers:

  • /NEXT stops the queue after all executing jobs have completed
  • /REQUEUE stops the current jobs and requeues them for later processing
  • /RESET abruptly stops the queue and returns control to the system

Deleting Queues

To delete a print or batch queue, use the DELETE/QUEUE command. In order to be deleted, a queue needs to be stopped.

Modifying Queues

You can change queue settings by stopping it and starting it while specifying the new qualifiers.