Computer industry appoints X/Open to manage single, common Unix specification

New York -- September 1, 1993 -- (Business Wire) -- X/Open, the independent company dedicated to realizing the benefits of open systems in the market, Wednesday announced its appointment by over 70 leading IT suppliers to manage the evolution of a set of common application programming interfaces (APIs) which will directly encourage the increased availability of open systems in the market.

The consequences of this announcement will help software developers and system vendors to reduce their costs and their time-to-market for new products. It will enable users of computer systems to choose from a wider open market for the systems of their choice.

X/Open has been appointed to formalize the industry-wide consensus surrounding the APIs and to manage the development of their specifications to meet future needs. In addition, X/Open will make available the benefits of its international branding program to systems which meet tests for quality and conformance.

X/Open President and Chief Executive Officer, Geoffrey Morris said, "We are delighted that the industry has recognized X/Open by appointing it custodian of this import specification. We will ensure that suppliers and users alike will have open access to it and to the tangible market benefits it will bring."

The effect of this announcement in the market will be to enable software developers to produce only one version of their products to run on any version of the UNIX operating system which supports the specification. With all major system suppliers committed to shipping products which include the new API, this effectively means that any software product meeting the API specification will run on anynclusion in XPG, X/Open's integrated open systems specification. Upon successful completion of this process, testing technology will be developed to verify system quality and conformance. Qualifying systems will be awarded the internationally recognized X/Open brand.

The specification will form part of an extended XPG4. X/Open Chief Technical Officer Mike Lambert explained how the functionality addressed by these APIs will benefit a wider group of software engineers, "Currently, XPG4 covers access to generic services which can be supported across a broad range of different operating environments," he said. "These new APIs will extend the value of XPG4 to a new category of applications which need access to those functions specific to the full functionality of UNIX-based operating systems."

The specification is expected to complete the Fast-Track process around the middle of 1994. System suppliers and software vendors will then be able to ship product which includes the approved APIs.

X/Open's Fast-Track process allows for scrutinization of the specification by all interested parties in the IT industry, including the X/Open User Council, the body representing over 70 international companies and government departments committed to open systems.

X/Open, founded in 1984, is a worldwide, independent, open systems organization dedicated to providing a unified path to open systems specification and implementation. This unification is achieved through the close cooperation and integration of input from users, vendors and standards organizations worldwide. The X/Open specification, which covers both interoperability and applications portability elements, is based on de facto and international standards. X/Open operates a test and verification process for products developed in line with its specification; and awards its brand as the mark of compliance.

CONTACT: X/Open Co. Ltd., Menlo Park Patty Donovan, 415/323-7992 or Regis McKenna Elizabeth Chaney or Craig Broadbent, 415/494-2030 10:59 ET SEP 1, 1993

Copyright (c) 1993, Business Wire