The Idea of Openness at Work
Everybody sells "open systems" these days, don't they? To be against
openness would be more than politically incorrect; it would turn off potential
customers in droves.
True as this may be, anyone who has tried to find the facts among the competing
claims of vendors knows that open systems is a moving target, a term
used to suit purposes of widely varying intent.
Perhaps it is more useful to consider some examples of the changes in computing
that have been stimulated by the idea of openness. This month UniForum's
IT Solutions examines issues in technology and, yes, marketing that
reach from mission-critical solutions at the top of client/server architectures
to alternatives on the desktop.
Than Money Can Buy" presents case studies of how some user organizations
employ high-end Unix systems to handle jobs previously left to mainframes.
Changing Face of Midrange Platforms" examines how vendors of products
well-known as proprietary in the middle tier try to deal with the demand
for open systems.
Finds a Comfortable Niche" considers the outcome of efforts to
establish the Common Desktop Environment as an open desktop alternative
to Windows. It also looks at the maturing of the Single UNIX Specification
(née Spec 1170, UNIX '95).
We hope that these articles will add to your understanding of the state
of the art in this driving force in enterprise computing.