Microsoft Publishes ActiveX Protocol on the Web

REDMOND, Wash., May 2, 1996 — Microsoft Corp. today announced publication on the Internet of a document that describes the binary network protocol for DCOM – the Distributed Component Object Model – a key ActiveX
technology for building powerful Internet and intranet applications. (DCOM was previously referred to as Network OLE.)

“Component applications on the Internet today are tiny little islands in a huge sea of Web pages,”
said James Utzschneider, group product manager for server development at Microsoft.
“As the Internet evolves into an environment for distributed applications, these islands will need a fast and safe way to talk to each other. We are presenting DCOM as a solution for open consideration by the Internet community.”

This initial step will enable Internet developers and ISVs to participate in an open discussion of how to apply DCOM – a protocol that enables software components to communicate directly with each other across a network in a reliable, secure and efficient manner – to meet the evolving requirements for distributed applications on the Internet. DCOM is based on the Open Software Foundation’s DCE-RPC specification, and utilizes both its concepts and implementation. DCOM’s design enables it to be used across multiple network transports, including popular Internet protocols such as HTTP.

Because DCOM is an ActiveX technology, its design enables it to work with both Java
applets and ActiveX components through use of the Component Object Model (COM). For example, a developer could use Java to build a Web browser applet that calculates the value of a portfolio of securities, using DCOM to communicate stock values to the applet in real time over the Internet.

DCOM Fast Facts

  • DCOM was developed by Microsoft and is currently in beta testing with the Microsoft® Windows NT®
    4.0 operating system.

  • Microsoft plans to ship versions of DCOM later this year for Windows NT and the Windows®
    95 operating system.

  • Microsoft will begin a beta test of a Macintosh®
    version of DCOM later this year.

  • Software AG and Digital Equipment Corp. are porting DCOM to other operating systems, including multiple implementations of UNIX®

  • The Object Management Group is working on a specification for DCOM applications to communicate directly with CORBA-compliant object request brokers.

The DCOM protocol description was submitted as an Internet Draft according to the rules outlined in and in conformance with the format specified in RFC 1543,

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft, ActiveX, Windows NT and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Java is a trademark of Sun Microsystems Inc.

Macintosh is a registered trademark of Apple Computer Inc.

UNIX is a registered trademark in the United States and other countries, licensed exclusively through X/Open Company Ltd.

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