In the preferred Japanese approach of sharing development costs and effort right up to the competitive starting gun, six of the top computer companies, Fujitsu, NEC, Hitachi, Toshiba, Oki and Mitsubishi Electric, have agreed to share the development of Japan’s open systems interconnection standard functions. The results will be presented to the International Standards Organisation once they have been tested. Nippon Telegraph & Telephone will join the group with observer status, and the partners are aiming for public testing of the protocols this autumn. The development effort is being shared as follows: NEC will work on the FTAM file transfer management functions FTAM; Hitachi will handle the office document transfer management functions – Open Document Architecture, and a standardised message transmission format called ODIF; Fujitsu will look after remote database processing and retrieval functions; which leaves Toshiba, Mitsubishi and Oki to pick up anything the others have forgotten. The effort is a crash program by Japan’s POSI to catch up with the European SPAG group and the US Corporation for Open Systems.
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