UNIX International Releases Initial Roadmap for Future Development of UNIX System V

Washington -- January 23, 1990 -- PRNewswire -- UNIX International today released the initial version of the UNIX System V Roadmap, outlining the strategic goals, plans and time frames for the future development of the operating system. The Roadmap represents the evolution of UNIX System V-based market requirements from systems manufacturers, systems integrators, software houses, end-users and academic institutions. The Roadmap and its process provides the entire open systems market with an unprecedented degree of security and strategic flexibility.

The Roadmap document was developed during the last year by UNIX International with the active participation of UI members and international standards bodies, and with input from X/Open. AT&T's UNIX Software Operation, which develops and licenses the software itself, announced that it already has begun development on most requirements specified in the Roadmap. The organization will review a multi-year requirements plan during the first quarter of 1990, and present UNIX International with a proposed development plan by the end of the first quarter.

"The Roadmap process represents an enormous step forward for the open systems market," said Peter Cunningham, president of UNIX International. "Our initial release offers an extraordinarily clear vision of the future of UNIX System V and we will continue to evolve and sharpen that vision. That means that all of the participants in the UNIX System V market will be able to make intelligent, informed decisions about their product development plans and information strategies."

"This is the first time that future requirements of an operating system have been formally defined by the users of the system and made available to all members of the industry," said Larry Dooling, president of AT&T's UNIX Software Operation (USO). "USO applauds UNIX International for developing such a complete and technically rigorous definition of the requirements."

The existence of explicit long-term requirements for UNIX System V offers a measure of security and stability as a development base that no major operating system ever has enjoyed.

Moreover, this cooperative system used to develop the Roadmap is unique in the computer industry, allowing UNIX System vendors, software developers, and users to play a decisive role in determining the future of the standard.

The requirements for UNIX System V are grouped in three categories, reflecting the general time frames anticipated for each set of features to be incorporated into a commercially available version of UNIX System V:

-- System V, Release 4 Enhanced Security -- The Roadmap's security requirement specification will be an enhanced security option for certain government and commercial systems and other environments which require a higher degree of security than that required by a typical System V user. The security features will add further safeguards against viruses, data corruption and unauthorized access, meeting or exceeding the military specification for a B2 rating. The requirements for this specification, developed by UNIX International, its members and USO, also will provide remote system administration functions and increased internationalization features.

-- System V, Release 4 Multiprocessing Plus -- A nine-month development process by UNIX International with input from the technical community has resulted in an advanced symmetrical- shared-memory multiprocessing architecture requirement, which will be the chief new capability of the operating system in this enhancement. The resulting multiprocessing requirements were released in a 40-page document to all UNIX International members in December 1989.

This enhancement will offer a standard UNIX System V multiprocessing architecture and technical structure that ensures a vendor-neutral path into the 1990s. The multiprocessing enhancement also will provide upward applications compatibility for independent software vendors and end-users alike.

The enhancement will offer a standard multiprocessing applications programming interface (API), which will significantly shorten the development cycle for UNIX System V- based products and reduce costs associated with porting UNIX applications across heterogeneous hardware platforms. This will allow software vendors to develop standard applications prior to product availability.

This System V, Release 4 technology enhancement also will expand the operating system's file management structure, expanding the system's high availability access to increasingly larger amounts of data. This capability is particularly important for sophisticated large-scale commercial data management applications such as database and transaction processing.

Roadmap-specified requirements for this enhancement also include an internationalized platform to support the simultaneous use of several national languages.

-- System V, Release 4 Network Computing -- Requirements include: new levels of network computing and distributed application support, enhanced systems administration and network management, object management support, ISO protocol support, interfaces for successive communications standards, and interoperability with proprietary networking systems. These features will provide a truly seamless network architecture for the industry.

The UNIX International Roadmap process specifies continual review of System V specifications to ensure that the ongoing evolution of the operating system remains open and corresponds to current and anticipated needs of the user community. Through this dynamic process, UNIX International works closely with AT&T's USO in driving the development of UNIX System V to shape the future of the information industry.

UNIX International is the independent open membership organization of UNIX System V users, vendors and developers chartered to direct the continuing evolution of UNIX System V. UNIX International members jointly create specifications for the UNIX Software Operation (USO), a separate business unit of AT&T. The USO is the producer and licenser of the operating system code. A nonprofit association formed in December 1988, membership in UNIX International is open to all organizations interested in fostering the standardization, continuing development and use of UNIX System V. The association's base of 132 members represents more than 80 percent of the total installed base of UNIX systems.


UNIX is a registered trademark of AT&T.

CONTACT: Stephen Payne of UNIX International/Parsippany, N.J., 201-263-8400; Steinar Hoistad of UNIX International/Brussels, 322 672 3700; Yumio Imamura of UNIX International/Tokyo, 813 5256 6958; Mark Metzger or Maureen MacGregor of Miller Communications for UNIX International, 617-536-0470/ 09:03 EST

Copyright (c) 1990, PR Newswire