ActiveX Stakeholders Choose The Open Group To Drive Direction of ActiveX in the Future

REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 3, 1996 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that The Open Group has been selected by Microsoft® ActiveX
™
stakeholders to provide leadership in the evolution and deployment of ActiveX core technologies. A formal proposal will be made to The Open Group as a result of this decision. Voting took place in an industry meeting of ActiveX stakeholders and other companies on Oct. 1, 1996, in New York City. Representatives of more than 80 companies were present and participated in the decision.

The Open Group, created this year to act as the holding company for The Open Software Foundation (OSF) and X/Open Company Ltd., provides a worldwide forum for collaborative development and other open systems activities.

The Active Group, to be formed under the auspices of The Open Group, will manage the evolution of ActiveX technologies. It will take advantage of The Open Group services in the areas of development, branding, testing and licensing. The Active Group also will provide a forum for discussion and input on the direction of ActiveX.

Microsoft will provide specifications, source code, reference implementations and validation tests for ActiveX technologies to The Open Group.

The purposes of the Active Group are to manage the cross-platform evolution of ActiveX technologies, to improve interoperability with other environments and to incorporate a wider cross section of customers and industry in the evolution of these technologies. As part of the Pre-Structured Technology (PST) process aimed at providing collaborative development, the Active Group will work with The Open Group to drive future enhancements of the technologies.

Some of the key goals of The Active Group include these:

  • Promoting the availability and compatibility of ActiveX technologies across systems and architectures

  • Enhancing ActiveX interoperability with the Distributed Computing Environment (DCE)

  • Accelerating the evolution of ActiveX technologies through the collaborative development process

“I am delighted that The Open Group is the organization of choice for managing the evolution of the ActiveX core technologies,”
said Paul Maritz, group vice president, platforms group at Microsoft.
“I am confident that with its members’ experience in managing collaborative development projects, its licensing, testing and branding services, and its broad industry representation, The Open Group is the ideal organization for fulfilling this mission.”

“The technologies that Microsoft are providing fit exceptionally well with The Open Group’s interoperability mission,”
said Jim Bell, president and chief executive officer, The Open Group.
“We look forward to working with the steering committee and other ActiveX stakeholders to ensure interoperability, widespread availability and enhanced functionality of ActiveX on a broad range of platforms.”

The Active Group Organization

The newly formed Active Group will be composed of the following:

  • A steering committee. The steering committee will consist of system vendors, application vendors, tool vendors and customers. Its main tasks will include directing the development of associated technologies, creating and managing technology subgroups, and managing the porting of the technologies to a variety of platforms. To date, the following companies have agreed to participate as steering committee members:

    • Adobe Systems Inc.

    • Computer Associates International Inc.

    • Digital Equipment Corp.

    • Hewlett-Packard Corp.

    • Lotus Development Corp.

    • Microsoft Corp.

    • NCR Corp.

    • The Powersoft Division of Sybase Inc.

    • SAP AG

    • Siemens Nixdorf Informationssysteme AG

    • Software AG

The following companies have agreed to participate as rotating members for an initial one-year term: Borland International Inc., Sheridan Software Systems Inc., VideoSoft, Visio Corp. and Wall Data Inc.

  • Technology or market development subgroups. These groups will focus on the adoption and development of specific ActiveX technologies and cross-platform and interoperability issues.

  • Active Group members. These are general members who have taken or intend to take a license to the specification or a reference implementation under the general licensing terms.

New technologies, related to the original technologies provided by Microsoft, may be submitted to the steering committee, which will guide the future course of action.

Core ActiveX Technologies Provided

ActiveX is a set of technologies that integrate software components in a networked environment, regardless of the language in which they were created. This integration of components enables content and software developers to create interactive applications and Web sites easily. As a leading commercial object model, ActiveX has been widely adopted by corporate MIS and ISV communities and is used by millions of application and content developers today. Hundreds of ISVs currently market more than 1,000 ActiveX Controls.

Microsoft will provide the following technologies in the ActiveX collaborative development process:

  • Component Object Model (COM) and Distributed COM (DCOM). These provide the underlying object model that all ActiveX components use.

  • Microsoft remote procedure call (MS-RPC), including Microsoft Interface Definition Language (MIDL), excluding transports. This is an optimized version of distributed computing environment-remote procedure call (DCE-RPC) that provides scalability, marshaling and privacy, and support for pluggable network transports (protocols).

  • NTLM Standard Security Provider Interface (SSPI). This allows objects to be invoked securely, with user authentication.

  • Structured Storage. This provides a structured file format, which can be implemented on multiple operating systems.

  • Registry. Provides a database of ActiveX objects on a given system.

  • Monikers. Allows objects to be invoked and communication between objects to be maintained asynchronously.

  • Automation. Allows method invocation and
    “programmability”
    of objects.

More on The Open Group

Dedicated to the advancement of multivendor information systems, The Open Group is an international company composed of systems and software vendors, customers, governmental bodies and academic institutions. Under the umbrella of The Open Group, the Open Software Foundation (OSF) and X/Open Company Ltd. (X/Open) work together to strengthen and streamline the development process and availability of open systems. The organization provides a focal point for the development of international specifications and test suites, standards-based technologies, advanced open systems research, professional services and the management of internationally recognized brands for open systems. The Open Group’s brand mark is recognized worldwide and is a guarantee of compliance to open systems specifications. The Open Group is headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., with European headquarters in Reading, England, and offices in Menlo Park, Calif.; Washington, D.C.; Brussels, Belgium; Grenoble, France; and Tokyo, Japan.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
“MSFT”
) 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 and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. If you are interested in viewing additional information on The Open Group, please visit (http://www.opengroup.com/) .

Support From Members of the Active Group Steering Committee

“Moving ActiveX technology into The Open Group is an important step for enhancing the cross-platform viability of Microsoft technology. We are pleased to be a founding member of the steering committee that will help establish ActiveX as an open and cross-platform standard.”

– Jerry Barber

Director, Technology Integration

Adobe Systems Inc.

Media Contact:

Therese M. Bruno

(206) 470-7568

thebruno@adobe.com

“Borland views the ActiveX technologies as very key to the software industry, and we are encouraged and excited about this move toward third-party standardization. In particular, the move toward open, cross-platform standardization is most welcome to Borland.”

– Jonathan B. Rosenberg

Vice President, Enterprise Computing Development

Borland International Inc.

Media Contact:

Steve Curry

scurry@wpo.borland.com

“As a standing member of the Active Group steering committee, Computer Associates enthusiastically supports Microsoft’s efforts to provide the industry with core technologies through ActiveX. Computer Associates’ participation will benefit CA-Unicenter and Jasmine clients by accelerating the integration of emerging and existing standards for open object-oriented distributed architectures.”

– Sam Greenblatt

Vice President, Advanced Technologies

Computer Associates International Inc.

Media Contact:

Bob Gordon

(516) 342-2391

bobg@cai.com

“Digital has worked closely with Microsoft since jointly developing COM in 1993 and enthusiastically supports this decision to move the ActiveX core technologies to The Open Group.”

– Jim Totton

Director of Technology, Corporate Strategic Alliances

Digital Equipment Corp.

Media Contact:

Gladys Decelles

(508) 486-2861

Gladys.Decelles@ljo.dec.com

“HP congratulates Microsoft and The Open Group for teaming to place the ActiveX core technologies in an open industry forum. HP believes the Active Group’s open processes will be beneficial to enterprise customers and the industry, and we look forward to participating as a steering committee member.”

– Douglas R. Johnson

Manager, Computer Systems Strategic Programs

Hewlett-Packard Co.

Media Contact:

Gary McCormack

(970) 229-2370

gary_mccormack@hp.com

“NCR Corp. is delighted to join Microsoft and the ActiveX community in working with The Open Group to make one of the technologies important to electronic commerce more broadly available to our customers. NCR is a sponsor and founding member of The Open Group.”

– Dennis Roberson

Senior Vice President and CTO

NCR

Media Contact:

Kathy White

(803) 939-6287

kathy.white@columbiasc.ncr.com

“We are excited about the outcome of the first meeting for determining the direction of ActiveX into the world of open standards. We believe this will bring significant benefits to the customers and ISVs that have a strong investment in COM and DCOM technologies.”

– Bob Zurek

The Powersoft Division of Sybase Inc.

Media Contact:

Kathleen Quirk

(508) 287-1500

kquirk@powersoft.com

“The transfer of the ActiveX core technologies to the stewardship of The Open Group is a major step toward promoting interoperability between components across platforms.”

– Joseph Dour

Vice President, Product Development

Sheridan Software Systems Inc.

Media Contact:

Joseph Dour

(516) 753-0985, ext. 101

joed@shersoft.com

“Software AG, as the developer of DCOM for a wide range of enterprise platforms, looks forward to working with The Open Group to secure rapid adoption of the ActiveX core technology.”

– Charles P. Hogan

Vice President

Software AG

Media Contact:

Steven Vandor

(206) 453-5206

vandor@sagus.com

“The goal is to standardize the ActiveX technologies. Having The Open Group’s experience behind the consortium is the right step in the right direction.”

– Gustavo Eydelsteyn

President

VideoSoft

Media Contact:

Gustavo Eydelsteyn

(510) 595-2401

gustavo@videosoft.com

“Visio Corp. recognizes the benefits of the evolution of ActiveX into an open standard and therefore applauds the move for The Open Group to control the adoption, accessibility and future direction of the technology. Visio looks forward to serving on the steering committee of the newly formed Active Group to ensure the effectiveness and timeliness of interoperable ActiveX technologies.”

– Troy Sandal

Software Engineer

Visio Corp.

Media Contact:

Melissa Covelli

Waggener Edstrom

(206) 637-9097

melc@wagged.com

“Wall Data is extremely pleased to be a key participant in the process of moving the ActiveX core technologies into an open standard. As the first company to ship a commercial Windows® -based application built as a set of ActiveX Controls, we have firsthand knowledge of the benefits that ActiveX technologies offer customers and developers. We strongly support this initiative and are committed to sharing our hands-on experience in the ongoing effort to enhance ActiveX core technologies and ensure cross-platform interoperability.”

– John Wall

Founder and President

Wall Data Inc.

Media Contact:

Sue Whitcomb

(206) 814-9255

swhitcom@hq.walldata.com

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