Open Software Foundation Makes True Interoperability A Reality

HANNOVER, Germany, March 13, 1991 -- PRNewswire -- The Open Software Foundation and five of the world's leading computer vendors provide the industry's first proof that computers with different hardware architectures and operating system software can be combined on a network to function as a single, stand-alone computer to share the task of processing application programs.

In an unprecedented demonstration at the CeBIT '91 computer show, taking place in Hannover, Germany, March 13 - 20, the OSF will show how its Distributed Computing Environment (DCE) extends the life cycle and increases the value of virtually every computer currently installed in organizations throughout the world.

The demonstration involves computers from Groupe Bull, Siemens-Nixdorf, Digital Equipment, Hewlett-Packard and IBM. A local area network of computer workstations from the five companies -- each running the OSF(tm) DCE -- will be connected to data from the New York Stock Exchange. The OSF DCE software will then consolidate the processing power of all the computers on the network and enable each system to automatically act as either a client or server to retrieve and process stock market information, and display it in real-time simultaneously on each workstation.

The participating vendors' workstations will be based in their respective booths at CeBIT. The systems will be connected on an Ethernet network, running Market Minder, an off-the-shelf financial application program to be distributed across the network, with each computer processing a portion of the program simultaneously. The workstations will display the retrieved data using the Motif(tm) graphical user interface.

"The demonstration fulfills the long-sought promise of open systems computing," Reilly said. "People talk about the network being the computer, but until today, those were hollow words full of promise, but very little substance. This demonstration provides substance and unlocks the door to what open systems computing is really about. We only included five systems here, but the actual environment could consist of thousands of computers -- mainframes, workstations, personal computers -- from virtually any vendor running most any operating system, including proprietary system software. And each of those systems could be in a different location in the world."

Since its announcement in May 1990, the DCE has been widely acclaimed as the best solution for taking full advantage of the entire processing power of every computer on the network. A 1990 report on mid-range computers by the Gartner Group, a market research firm based in Stamford, Conn., said: "We believe that the Open Software Foundation's Distributed Computing Environment will emerge as the de facto standard for client/server computing by 1993, and this applies not only to Unix environments."

Technology Summarized

DCE is a layer of software -- sometimes called "middleware" -- that resides between the computer's operating system and the application program running on the computer. It is designed to distribute application programs across multiple computers on a network to take advantage of the combined processing power and unique capabilities of each computer. Instead of having one computer fully occupied by one large, complex application, OSF's Distributed Computing Environment subdivides applications into smaller sections and then assigns those sections to the first available computer on the network that is best suited for processing the application segment.

End-users in an organization that installs DCE will realize that their work is processed easier and more efficiently than ever before. But they are completely insulated from the complexity of the network, because of the design of DCE.

OSF's Distributed Computing Environment was made available in a series of "snapshot" versions beginning in July 1990 after the Foundation selected the technology for inclusion in the DCE after evaluating submissions from throughout the industry. Snapshot versions allow OSF members early access to technology in order to develop product plans and define integration strategies in advance of the general availability of the final version, thereby reducing their time to market. A kit for software developers became generally available to anyone in the industry in January 1991, and the fully integrated technology will be available later this year.


NOTE: OSF, OSF/Motif, DCE and Open Software Foundation are trademarks of the Open Software Foundation, Inc.

UNIX is a registered trademark of AT&T.

CONTACT: Donna Ruane of Open Software Foundation, 617-621-8772

Copyright (c) 1991, PR Newswire