Stepping up from its Challenge series of Distributed Computing Environment demonstration events, the Open Software Foundation is going to start addressing the perception that third parties are creating incompatible implementations and aiming at multiple development targets by branding products that successfully complete a Distributed Computing Environment certification programme. Certification includes conformance testing against Distributed Computing Application Programming Interfaces and protocols using the DCE Validation and Test Suite that examine DCE core services such as Remote Procedure Call, security, threads and directory and time services. After submitting results to the Software Foundation, vendors must also participate in one of the Software Foundation’s Interoperability Festivals and run other practical interoperability tests. The first I-Fest 94 ran over the last two weeks – AT&T Global, Digital Equipment Corp, Hewlett-Packard Co, Hitachi Ltd, IBM Corp, Santa Cruz Operation Inc and Transarc Inc put their DCE technology through the mill. The Software Foundation will be distributing beta source versions of DCE version 1.1 from mid-May for three months – final ships are due at the end of the year. It shipped DCE 1.0.3, with the Distributed File System, new Interface Definition Language compiler, configuration tool and component system tests at the end of last year for OSF/1, HP-UX, AIX and System V.4. It wants us to remember that vendors are going to be implementing DCE under a variety of proprietary operating environments too: DEC will bundle DCE with OpenVMS; IBM is to ship it under MVS and OS/400 by the end of the year and under VM in early 1995; Hewlett-Packard’s MPE/XL will get DCE this year; while Compagnie des Machines Bull SA, Hitachi and Siemens Nixdorf Informationssysteme AG have proprietary customer sites trying it out. In addition, Siemens Nixdorf is due to ship Distributed File System in its Sinix V1.02 Unix in October, DCE on Silicon Graphics Inc boxes was due last quarter, with DCE on Sony Corp’s News workstations due this quarter.