The Worldwide Association of NT User Groups (WANTUG) will hold a half-day, in-depth training workshop for developers and ISVs at UniForum '97 on Mar. 11 that explores two areas of interest for Unix and NT professionals: porting Unix applications to Microsoft Windows NT and ActiveX technologies.
This workshop has been added to the UniForum '97 lineup in San Francisco because developers and IS managers are increasingly seeing a mix of Unix and NT in the real world. Most IS shops still need the obvious advantages of Unix--performance, clustering, scalability, robust systems management tools, widespread applications support and the ability to handle very large databases. As the NT environment matures, however, it is meeting some of those same challenges, and its other strengths are becoming more apparent: low cost, integration with Microsoft's desktop applications and easy administration.
More and more sites are looking to closely integrate the two environments to enable application, data and file sharing between NT and Unix clients and servers. If your site is one of these, then this workshop and the information it contains will be of great interest to you and your enterprise. Registration information is available by going back to the UniForum home page and clicking on the UniForum '97 banner.
Porting in-house Unix applications to NT is still relatively rare, and is considered to be a fairly radical approach.
Porting Applications to NT
At this point in the evolution of NT, porting in-house Unix applications to NT is still relatively rare, and is considered to be a fairly radical approach. Unix-to-NT porting hasn't taken off yet because NT hasn't been mature enough to handle the robust Unix applications used at most IS shops. With the release of NT 3.5 and 4.0, the situation is changing.
This portion of the workshop will address how to deal with many of the factors that determine the difficulty of porting Unix applications to NT, including:
- Complexity and number of lines of code in an application
- How closely it adheres to Unix programming standards
- How dependent the code is on a particular flavor of Unix or hardware architecture
- The complexity of the interclient communications code
- The differences between character-based and GUI-based applications
ActiveX is a set of technologies that integrates software components in a networked environment, regardless of the language in which they were created. This integration enables content and software developers to easily create interactive applications and Web sites. The Component Object Model (COM) and Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM) are the foundation of ActiveX, which addresses the development of Internet and intranet applications.
This segment of the workshop will present the core ActiveX technologies, including:
- COM and DCOM, the underlying distributed object model for ActiveX
- The Microsoft remote procedural call
- NTLM; Standard Security Provider Interface
- Structured storage, a rich transaction-based hierarchical file format
- Registry, a database of COM components and their configuration information
- Monikers, which provide for persistent, intelligent names
- Automation, which allows objects to expose the functionality of high-level programming languages and scripting environments
WANTUG will also be on the exhibit floor with an informational booth and is expected to play a role in the Windows NT Partners Pavilion at the show.
Coordinating these events for WANTUG is its president, Charles Kelly, who is also executive director of the Advanced Systems User Group in Annandale, VA. Kelly is also a computer scientist at the National Science Foundation (NSF).
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