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November 8, 1995


By CBR Staff Writer

The Salutation Consortium, the industry grouping formed to develop specifications for interconnecting the intelligence in office equipment (CI No 2,719) – has released the final version of its open interface for connecting copiers, printers, facsimile machines, applications and services. The specification defines a capability exchange protocol and application programming interface designed to be independent of both hardware and operating system software. Using a client-server model, the group claims that the specification enables any device to initiate or respond to queries about data formats and device characteristics, the idea being that the client device can then be set toadjust its interaction automatically in response. The group has also developed optional elements, intended for implementation in devices and applications, to provide compatible packet management or job control functions for interoperability. IBM Corp – which has led the initiative – simultaneously announced the first product to support the architecture, a tool kit, Salutation Manager, designed to enable other manufacturers to develop Salutation-compliant products. It is said to enable devices, applications and services to discover and use each others’ capabilities on NetBIOS, TCP/IP, and XPF. It runs under Windows 3.1 and OS/2 2.1, but is said to be convertible for use on other systems through the source code. For its part, Novell Inc said it will use the specification as the basis for information exchange between NetWare Distributed Print Services-based devices. The consortium said it plans to release an enhanced version of the specification early next year, which will provide increased interoperability and further discovery technology. The group may also expand it to provide an interface to speech messaging and telephony equipment. Additionally, support for the Personal Data Information specification that was developed by the Versit consortium (CI No 2,648) is planned, and the group is considering offering support for an Internet-friendly format. It is in discussions with the MultiFunction Peripherals Association to this end. Both the specification and information about the IBM Salutation Manager can be found on the Salutation Consortium’s Web site at

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