Last week the Open Group Research Institute – the former Open Software Foundation Research Institute – made its DCE Web technology generally available. Departing boss Ira Goldstein describes DCE Web as a new value proposition, which uses DCE, Distributed Computing Environment, to secure protected access control of any Internet protocol. DCE Web intercepts any code […]
Last week the Open Group Research Institute – the former Open Software Foundation Research Institute – made its DCE Web technology generally available. Departing boss Ira Goldstein describes DCE Web as a new value proposition, which uses DCE, Distributed Computing Environment, to secure protected access control of any Internet protocol. DCE Web intercepts any code and puts in into a ‘hardwired’ channel done in software. DCE Web provides secure access to documents and services running on Distributed Computing Environment servers over the Web. Specifically the Software Foundation has enabled DCE naming, security and access control mechanisms to be deployed over the Web. An interface module enables browsers to interact with servers via Distributed Computing Environment. It will work with off-the-shelf browsers and won’t require source code alterations. The Software Foundation claims existing Web applications can be implemented for DCE Web using a tool kit without changing existing protocols or interfaces. DCE Web components include the WanD (Web and DCE) Web server which supports standard TCP/IP-based HyperText Transfer Protocol plus the Software Foundation’s own DCE Remote Procedure Call. Other protocols, including Telnet, File Transfer Protocol and Simple Network Management Protocol have already been demonstrated using DCE Web. DCE Web can function as a stand-alone Web server or as an add-on to existing Web servers. A Secure Local proxy provides secure DCE Web access from client browsers. The Security Domain Gateway integrates Web protocols such as SSL with DCE Web. DCE Web has been in development for a relatively short time; after a year of US Department of Defense funding and a year of industry money, companies such as Dascom Inc are already shipping product. Industry support came from NCR Corp, Computer Protocol Labs (now Dascom), Digital Equipment Corp, Gradient Technologies Inc, Hewlett-Packard Co and the University of Michigan. Meantime Gradient has already released its implementation of DCE-Web as WebCrusader (UX No 588). It is now integrating WebCrusader with Spider Technologies Inc’s NetDynamics Java development system. The work should be complete in October. Gradient has already got Siemens Nixdorf Informationssysteme AG distributing its entire Distributed Computing Environment-based product line. Gradient also offers PC-DCE and Mac-DCE enabling Distributed Computing Environment applications to be accessed from Microsoft and Apple desktops. In addition to its JavaLite Java operating system which Goldstein describes as a software version of a Network Computer, other projects the Research Institute has underway include Jade, effectively Java for Distributed Computing Environment. The idea is to enable DCE clients and servers to be written in Java and make existing Distributed Computing Environment applications accessible from Java applications. Between the fourth quarter and the end of next year the Institute will modify the DCE Interface Definition Language compiler to generate Java stub code and provide access to the Distributed Computing Environment application programming interface through a set of Java classes modeled on Hewlett-Packard’s OODCE. Indeed Jade is ef fectively the Java equivalent of OODCE, which might just as easily be called C++ for DCE. Deliverables will include a DCE Interface Definition Language to Java mapping specification, an abstract Remote Procedure Call class specification; a DCE Inter face Definition Language to Java compiler; and a DCE run-time environment encapsulated as Java native methods. TurboJ is a project exploring the compilation of Java on the fly. The idea is to create code that is more efficient than can be achieved w ith just-in-time compilers. TurboJ will compile groups and classes rather than individual methods. The Institute will also make its improved Java garbage collection mechanism to Java licensees. Other collaborative work includes a project sponsored b y Oracle to create document version control over DCE Web that also enables annotation. The Institute has 100 staff and it recently signed two new agreements with the European Commission.