On September 7th, 1995 the DCE Users Group of Michigan
met at the University of Michigan's Center for Information
Technology Integration (CITI). The meeting was sponsored by
the Client/Server Exchange, a joint
partnership of IBM and the University of Michigan, promoting
open, client/server computing.
Hosting the meeting was Janani Janakiraman of U-M/CITI.
Attendees: Kizzmett Collers - Detroit Edison, Brad Smart
-Northern Telecom, Diana Noble - U-M, Al Johnson -
Chrysler,Steve Freeman - IBM, Mark Pettovello - Ford, Ben
Hess -CITI, Duncan McRae - Ford, Bob Brandt - Ford, Dave
Stacer -Ford, Derek Brink - Gradient, Paul Frisch - EDS, Lisa
Wyatt- EDS, Brian Sullivan - EDS, Janani Janakiraman - CITI.
The agenda of the meeting was as follows:
- Choosing of a scribe:.
- Discussion of topics for future meetings.
- Open Environment Corporation
- Open Discussion
- OSF Developers Conference
The next meeting will be on Thursday, November 9, 1-4pm.
The proposed agenda is:
- MVS/DCE Experiences.
- Selling DCE internally.
- Perhaps one or 2 vendor updates, if we can get them to
- Other suggested topics:
- Have individual members give updates of what
their companies are doing with DCE.
- CORBA and DCE.
Brad Smart - Northern Telecom, is taking the minutes for
Review of list of topics:
- MVS/DCE - Maybe, if we can ever get anyone here to
- Selling DCE internally
- International issues (DES encryption, etc.)
- Ask other vendors to present (IBM has already made a
presentation, perhaps,HP, SUN, DEC, etc. would come).
Members were asked to contact their favorite vendor to
Question was asked by Janani: Should we go with bi-monthly
meetings until we have a large enough volume of topics to justify
meeting monthly again?
Should we as a group get involved in participating in a DCE
cell with other regional user groups. The Denver group is heading
up an effort to do this. The question was asked: what would we
use it for? It was hard to see any advantage over standard WWW
capabilities at this time.
Gradient - Derek Brink
DCE Products overview.
Platform coverage: Windows, UnixWare, Macintosh
Gradient is primarily a "client" company, although
they are getting more into the "server" end of things
lately. They rely on the other vendors,: IBM, HP, DEC, for the
larger DCE servers.
DCE Release timeline.
- OSF sets the pace
- One year ago they supported Windows 3.1 only. (1.02)
- Windows/NT (1.03) released June '95 (client &server)
- Win/95 (1.03) release is imminent (within 60 days of
- Macintosh for MacOS 7.5 (1.1) release is due by YE'95
(68K and PowerPC - client only)
- DCE (1.1) for WIN/NT & Win/95 by 2Q96 various SYS-V
clients and servers, as well.
PC-DCE/16 - 16 bit Windows version
- Implemented as a DLL (~2M virtual)
PC-DCE/32 - 32 bit windows version
- First complete release of DCE secure core (client
&server) for Win/NT.
- Based wholly on OSF source code.
- 32 bit implementation takes full advantage of pre-emptive
- Integrated with Windows/NT services sub-system.
- For MacOS 7.5 (client only, no server)
- Interoperate with Netware
- Novell provided initial funding.
- Phase I.
- Client access to Netware services.
- Application Development tool for MS/Windows platforms.
- Optimized for MS/Visual Basic
- Provides "OO" view of DCE functions.
- Has IDL back-end (VIDL) which generates Visual Basic
interface code from IDL.
DCE and WEB Integration
- Security seems to be driving the market for proprietary
- Windows + MAC = about 72% of the "browser"
- Large growth in corporate use of WWW.
- DCE-WEB will provide 6 of the 8 attributes of security;
authentication, privacy, etc.
- Provides value added features to WWW access, such as
- Supports existing web browsers, unmodified, using HTTP or
S-HTTP, via a DCE Web "proxy" on the client.
- DCE Web Server is a full HTTPD implementation, supporting
DCE-RPC in addition to HTTP and S-HTTP.
- Replaces existing Web servers.
- Provide access control within the corporate
- DCE client and DCE-WEB proxy required on every
desktop using a Web browser, and needing access
to DCE-WEB server.
- Prior arrangement between corporations and
business partners, similar to EDI.
- Provides security and scalability.
- Initial development funding via OSF Research
- Advanced Technology Offer availability. Gradient
will market after first year?
- Server replacement and proxy for existing browsers
- Multiprotocol server (01/96)
- Web management tool kit (04/96)
- Proxy to support existing web servers (08/96)
- Analysis of transactional application extensions
(05/96)(Decision as to whether or not to apply resources
to this area).
- This is a "killer" application of DCE.
- The "window of opportunity" (for Gradient) is
- Have received excellent early customer feedback.
- Is an excellent "strategic fit" for Gradient.
Questions to Derek from members:
- Q: What about a DFS client?
- A: Gradient is partnering with other companies on this
one. Are evaluating possibilities at this time. Transarc
is working on DFS for Windows/NT.Macintosh - is unknown
at this time. Gradient would need a strong business case
in order to pursue it.
End of Gradient presentation.
Just before the break, a discussion about the OSF Developers
- Some of the presentations at the conference were very
good, others were real duds.
- IBM had one of the most impressive presentations.
- DECs client presentation was good.
Open Environment Corporation (OEC)
- A product suite to make DCE easier to use.
- DCE was never intended to be an application development
- OEC is a pioneer in open distributed computing.
- Software component development based on "intelligent
- Architectural vision.
- OEC is a member of OSF and OMG.
- Was a "spin-off" from the Cambridge Technology
Group (CTG) in 1992.
- "Business and technology must work together".
- Revenues have increased from $3.3M in 1992 to a projected
$28M in 1995.
- Have been moving from primarily an education provider toa
- Suite of products under the name "Entera".
- About 150 customer companies, presently.
- Largest production application presently supported has
- Education is still a key component of what OEC does, with
a wide variety of "courseware" available.
- Solution services are also provided via a team of
Overview of 3 tiered architecture
- Presentation layer
- Business logic layer.
- Data management layer
- Fat client versus fat server must be evaluated.
- Breaking the scalability barrier via the 3 tiered
architecture and DCE-based C/S.
- Implementation of the 3 layers can be done in parallel.
- RPC is used exclusively for communication between the 3
Entera - supports the entire application life cycle,
-Development / Runtime /Management.
- RPCmake - stub compiler.
- Generates stub code in the native
language being used.
- Easy interface across network and
- SQLmake - ANSI SQL.
- Generates IDL from SQL.
- Eliminate the need for SQL imbedded in
the application code.
- TPmake - code generator for transactional
- Scripting tools
- For integrating legacy applications with
C/S (3270 and VT100)
- Allow access to legacy systems and
databases as if they were RPC servers.
- RPCdebug - interactive debugger.
- All interfaces can be tested before
client code is developed.
- Supports DCE, or TCP/IP can be used via a
proprietary RPC environment.
- "Instant" migration from TCP/IP support
to native DCE by simply recompiling and linking
- Both the DCE and proprietary environments include
RPC, Directory services, and Security.
- Provides central management of all
- Creates a fault tolerant environment.
Entera and DCE
- Coexist easily.
- Added values.
- Automates the use of DCE services.
- No need to call DCE API.
- Makes DCE "transparent".
- Sensible default DCE behavior.
- Doesn't preclude native DCE API usage.
- Server initialization
- 10,000 lines of initialization code you
don't have to write.
- Secure, reliable, robust server applications.
- Directory services.
- Manages server binding.
- Automatic load balancing.
- Client caching of binding handles.
- Security services.
- Sets up and maintains security context.
- DCE compliant management of ACL data.
- Extends language support beyond C/C++
(includes COBOL, PERL, Visual Basic,
Excel macros, etc.)
- Asynchronous RPC support is built in.
- Applications can continue while an RPC is
- Multiple concurrent RPCs.
- True multi-tasking is provides for
- Callback and polling interfaces are
- Interruptable RPC provided for Windows.
- Process management for non-threaded
- Added value for Management Services.
- Configuration options are setable at run
- DCE options need not be hard
- Applications can be
"tuned" for their
environment at any time.
- Log file management.
- Centralized application monitoring.
- Added value for access services.
- DCE adapter available.
- Small footprint adapter code for
Mac, DOS/Windows, OS/2 clients.
- Provides DCE directory services
and security without DCE client
DCE Users Group of Michigan (DUGM)
Author: Janani Janakiraman