DCE 1.1 New Features
General Availability: November 1994
OSF's Distributed Computing Environment (DCE) is a comprehensive set of
services that support the development, use and maintenance of
distributed applications. DCE allows diverse systems to work together
cooperatively and masks the technical complexities of the network.
Because DCE is independent of the operating system and network, it is
compatible with many diverse environments currently in place by users.
There have been three updates to DCE 1.0 since it was announced in 1991.
Due for release in November 1994, DCE 1.1 offers major enhancements to
DCE 1.0.x concentrating on the important areas of administration,
security, and internationalization, as well as many performance
System vendors have either announced or are currently shipping DCE on
all major computer platforms, including Unix, MVS, Windows, Windows NT,
MacOS, VMS, and OS/2. DCE 1.1 will help developers in building DCE
applications, and users in administering and working with applications,
resulting in accelerated adoption of DCE-based technologies.
Improved Administration Functions
- Single Administrative DCE Control Program (dcecp) -- provides a
consolidated user interface across DCE. It unites core DCE
administrative functions into one tool and allows remote administration
of DCE components. The control program includes a powerful scripting
language allowing portable dcecp scripts to be written to customize and
simplify administrative tasks.
- DCE Daemon (dced) -- enables complete remote administration
of DCE services and other applications, as well as their configuration
parameters. This includes startup, shutdown and status queries, as
well as secure remote management of per-host security data and cell
configuration information. It also provides secure administration of
endpoints to keep unauthorized users from removing access to servers.
- Serviceability Improvements -- enhances the diagnostic messaging
capabilities of DCE 1.0 by instrumenting services to capture more
information, and unifying the message format across all DCE components.
The DCE Control Program provides remote administrative commands to
control the generation and routing of messages based upon component and
severity. A new document, the DCE Problem Determination Guide,
provides an explanation and administrative action to be taken for
every error code DCE generates.
- Cell Aliasing -- enables cell names to be changed and allows cells to
have multiple names to reflect changes in an organization.
- Hierarchical Cells -- enables cells to be organized to match the
hierarchical structure of an organization. The key feature is that cell
names can now be registered in the Cell Directory Service (CDS) as well
as the DCE Global Directory Service (GDS) and Domain Name Service
(DNS). This feature paves the way for future support of transitive
trust, which will reduce the burden of security management between
- Security Delegation -- allows intermediary servers to operate on
behalf of the initating client while preserving both the client's and
servers' identities and access control attributes across chained RPC
- Auditing -- allows administrators to track security-related events
within DCEUs trusted computing base. New DCE 1.1 features also provide
interfaces for incorporating auditing functionality into programs.
- Extended Generic Security Service Application Program Interface
(GSSAPI) -- allows message passing applications to use DCE security
features. DCE 1.1 also extends GDS to use DCE security via the GSSAPI.
- Extended Registry Attributes (ERA) -- enables single sign-on across
non-Unix platforms and legacy applications by providing a secure way of
associating additional security information with users and groups.
- Extended Login Capabilities -- includes pre-authentication, password
management (strength-testing, password re-use, machine generation), and
allows applications to require access only from trusted machines.
- ACL Manager Library -- eases development of servers by providing
server writers with an ACL manager for use with all servers.
- Group Override -- customizes the group name mapping from host to host
to allow DCE to adopt to various operating system conventions.
- Internationalized Interfaces -- allows use of message catalogs for
all user-visible messages. It is now possible to supply message
catalogs to "localize" DCE programs by supplying DCE messages in other
languages. This work uses interfaces as defined in ISO C POSIX 1003.1,
1003.2, and XPG4, including a range of items such as support for
multibyte characters, collation, and date and time formatting.
- Character Code Set Interoperability -- allows development of RPC
applications which automatically convert character data from one code
set to another.
- IDL Compiler -- generates smaller, cleaner RPC stub code and
supports a number of new IDL constructs such as unique pointers, user
exceptions, and node deletions. It also supports flattening of complex
data structures, making them suitable for storage and transmission.
The IDL compiler is a key component for internationalization support.
- RPC Enhancements -- allows improved RPC throughput by providing
access to additional client sockets for times of peak usage, and
optimizes RPC runtime packets for transmission and fast transport
(e.g., FDDI, satellite).
Other New Features
- GDS Enhancements -- provides modifications to various GDS components
to improve ease of programming and administration.
- DFS/NFS Gateway -- allows Network File Server (NFS) access to
DCEUs Distributed File Server (DFS).
- DFS Delegation -- allows a file to be passed with the initiatorUs
- Subtree Operations -- allows large-scale administrative name changes
- Distributed Time Server (DTS) Enhancements -- provides for Remote
administration of DTS.
OSF provides support for the following reference platforms: HP 700
running HP-UX 9.0, RS6000 running AIX 3.2.4, PC486 running OSF/1 1.2,
and support for the MX300 running SINIX (SVR4-based platform).
Copyright (C) 1994 Open Software Foundation. All rights reserved.
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are trademarks of the Open Software Foundation, Inc.
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