Welcome to the PrimeBase 4.5 Open Server

Copyright © 2008, PrimeBase Systems GmbH. All rights reserved.


1. Overview
2. Documentation and Support
3. Installing and Running the Server
3.1 Post Installation Setup
3.2 Starting and Stopping Servers
3.3 Developer and Demo Versions
4. Getting Started
5. Description of Contents


1. Overview

Welcome to PrimeBase 4.5

PrimeBase is a development platform for the production of client/server and web applications. It consists
of 3 main products: the PrimeBase Database Server, the PrimeBase Application Server, and the PrimeBase Open Server, all of which are based on open standards.

The PrimeBase Database Server is a relational Database Management System (DBMS) for Mac, UNIX
and Windows platforms. The PrimeBase Database Server supports all common database access
standards (PBT, SQL, ODBC, JDBC, PHP, Perl, RealBasic, EOF and DAL) and protocols (TCP/IP,
Shared Memory and Appletalk).

The PrimeBase Application Server allows rapid development and deployment of Web applications. The PrimeBase Application Server has many features that make implementing a Web application simple and efficient, including: an object-oriented programming environment and framework and multi-processor capabilities to ensure unlimited scalability.

The PrimeBase Open Server allows the PrimeBase Application Server or other applications using the PrimeBase Virtual Machine to connect to alternate data sources via PrimeBase Open Server plug-ins oaded by the PrimeBase Open Server. For example the Oracle plug-in enables you to access an Oracle database, or by loading the ODBC plug-in you will be able to access data servers via their ODBC drivers.

2. Documentation and Support

Some of the PrimeBase documentation including reference manuals and user guides is provided in PDF (Portable Document Format) and may be read and printed using Adobe Acrobat available, free of charge, from http://www.adobe.com. Other documentation is provided in HTML format and can be viewed with any browser.

Should you still have problems with the installation of this software, or you have any other questions then you are free to contact us by telephone at ++49 3890440 or via e-mail: support@PrimeBase.net. If you have general support questions that may be interesting to the entire PrimeBase community, then we suggest you visit our Web-site, www.PrimeBase.net, and join our mailing list.

3. Installing and Running the Server

Before starting the PrimeBase Open Server please read the license agreement at the end of this document. Only proceed to use the PrimeBase Open Server if you are in agreement with the terms of this license.

If you have not already done so, we recomend that you create a new user (by convention called 'primebase') on your system for the PrimeBase software. Ensure that you have a least 20 MB of free disk space in the user's home directory.

Under Windows, simply unpack the archive to install the server. Under UNIX a shell script called "Install_PrimeBase" is provided to install the server.

You must run this script as user "root".

You will be asked where you want to install the server (choose a location in the home directory of the user primebase), who the owner of the server should be, and whether the server should be started at boot time.

3.1 Post Installation Setup

In addition to the actual server installation, the installer places global resources in the location called $PRIMEBASEHOME. This is by default '/usr/local/primebase'.

After running the installer we recommend that you add the following path to your system PATH:


This is the default location of all the PrimeBase executables.

3.2 Starting and Stopping Servers

Before you can start the open server you must have a PrimeBase Open Server plug-in in the "setup/plugins" directory. The plug-in that the PBOS will use is determined by the environment variable 1505 in the PBOS's environment file 'pbos.env'. Use the PrimeBase environment editor 'pbee' to set this variable. If the variable has not been set then the PBOS will try to load a plug-in  called 'pbosrv.so'. The PrimeBase Open Server loads the plug-in automatically on startup.

You may use 'pbctl' to start, and stop any server installed on your machine, and to make changes to the installation. Enter 'pbct -h' for more information on 'pbctl'.

Alternatively you can use the 'start_open_server'  shell script to start the server and 'stop_open_server' to stop the server.

To attach a console to an openserver running in the background, start the console (pbcon) program or use the 'open_server_console' script. The console executable may be started from any directory on the server machine.

You can then enter '#help' for help on the console commands.

You may enter CTRL-R to detach the console, leaving the server running in the background.

3.3 Developer and Demo Versions

The software in this directory will run for a limited period only. The activation information, including the expiry date is stored in the file 'pbos.key' in this directory.

When the demo period has expired the open server will still start but will run for a limited time and then automatically shutdown.

You may request an extension to this demonstration period for development purposes by sending an e-mail to support@PrimeBase.net. Please state the nature and duration of your project.

We will send you a new 'pbos.key' file. To activate the open server, replace the file in this directory and restart the open server.

4. Getting Started

After you have started the open server you may access it using any PrimeBase client application such as the PrimeBase Application Server 'pbas', the PrimeBase Automation Client 'pbac', or a third party application via the PrimeBase Virtual Machine. Applications access the open server in the exact same way in which they would access a PrimeBase Database Server with the exception that when setting up a connection definition using 'pbac' the brand will be 'Open Server' instead of 'Database Server'. Depending on the plug-in that the open server is using, driver specific connection options may also be specified while setting up the connection. Refer to the plug-in's documentation to see what options may be required.

By default the open server will publish itself with the name 'OpenServer'.

Once connected the clent application treats the PrimeBase Open Server as if it were a PrimeBase Data Server. How much of the PrimeBase Data Server's functionality or what additional functionality is supported by the PrimeBase Open Server  is determined by the Open Server  plug-in which has been loaded.

The Open Server  can optionally display the commands that it is executing. By default this option is turned on. You can deactivate this option by setting the 'Command Tracing' variable in the 'pbos.env' file to '0' using 'pbee' (PrimeBase Environment Editor). You can also toggle this option on and off using the commands 'set tracing_on()' and 'set tracing_off()' executed by an application connected to the open server.

The Open Server character set: You can set the Open Server character set by setting the environment variable 388 in the Open Server environment file to the name of a PrimeBase Unicode file. The Open Server doesn’t do charter conversion itself but it needs to report the character set of the data being returned to the client so that the client can do the correct charter conversion when required. The character set to use is plug-in dependent but will normally be the native charter set for the platform on which the Open Server is running. The PrimeBase Unicode file specified must exist on the client application's Unicode directory for conversions to take place. If no Unicode file is specified in the Open Server's environment file then the client will accept the data as is without doing any conversions.

By default the Open Server come preinstalled with the ODBC plug-in.

5. Description of Contents

An Open Server instalation directory contains the following:

start_open_server       - A shell script used to start the Open Server up in
                                             the background.
stop_open_server      -  A shell script used to stop the Open Server running
                                           on this location.
open_server_console  - A shell script used to connect an interactive console
                                            to the Open Server running in this location.

documentation.html    - this HTML file contains links to the PrimeBase
                                            documentation installed on your machine.

setup/                              - directory containing environment, configuration
                                            files for PrimeBase Enterprise Applications.
setup/plugins                - directory containing the PrimeBase Open Server
setup/pbos.env           - the open server's environment file containing
                                           system parameters.