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The X/Open Group dedicated to portability of European applications across the Unix machines offered by its members, plans announcements in the key areas of networking, transaction processing and security this year, technical manager Mike Lambert has been saying. Speaking at The Instruction Set Unix Directions conference, he said that the effort in the networking area – where the Group had to back off on early optimism to wait for standards definition work to catch up – would result in the publication of two trial use definitions during 1987. He refused to elaborate, but the Group has been working with others to arrive at protocol-independent interfaces at the level of the ISO CASE services and IBM’s SNA LU 6.2. X/Open has adopted the trial use idea – comparable with the IEEE trial use standards – to publish definitions not ready for inclusion in the Portability Guide. The first of the promised announcements, however, is likely to be at Comunix this month about the work in the transaction processing area, where X/Open contracted Data Logic to do a study. Lambert indicated that the general state of the market – little coherence and no dominant product – meant that it was early days yet. And in the security area, X/Open is involved in an effort to produce a commercial version of the US Department of Defense Orange Book defining security levels. While definitions are expected to map onto the US levels, he said that the jump between C2 and the much more rigorous B1 may mean that there is a place for further levels in between for commercial systems. Windowing is another area due for announcements before the summer. Finally the X/Open verification suite is in a late beta test phase.

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