(Nikkei BP Group)
(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)
| Japan, U.S., European Firms Agree on Gateway Standards
March 9, 1999 (TOKYO) -- Fifteen companies reached an agreement to establish
standard specifications for gateways to connect portable information
terminals to the Internet.
|The companies include Alcatel SA of France, IBM Corp. of the United States,
Philips Electronics NV of The Netherlands and Toshiba Corp. of Japan.
They announced that the Open Service Gateway Initiative (OSGI) was set
up on March 1 for drawing up standards.
The 11 other founders are Cable and Wireless Plc. of the UK, French electric-power
company Electricite de France, Ericsson AB of Sweden, Enron
Communications, Lucent Technologies Inc., Motorola Inc., Network
Computer Inc., Oracle Corp., Sun Microsystems Inc., Sybase Inc. and
Northern Telecom Ltd. (Nortel Networks of Canada).
The target of standardization set by OSGI is gateway servers connecting
portable terminals and digital home appliances with the Internet. This
type of server is called Open Service Gateway (OSG). OSGI will set specifications of frameworks used to develop software to be run on target
equipment with Java.
The OSG defines data and resource management functions and security functions
for software developed with Java-based frameworks.
The member companies will also develop client software capable of using
those OSG functions with Java independent of specific hardware. With
those functions and software, various types of equipment can be connected
with the IP-based Internet.
Tentative specifications will be made public in May 1999 at the earliest,
and the first version is to be fixed by this summer.
For the core application programming interface (API) for the OSGs, it
is necessary to specify interface conditions for two or more programs
to exchange services through the OSGs. The interface for using data
management functions will be optional.
Also optional will be APIs used to connect with various industrial standards
such as Jini, HAVi and Bluetooth. In addition, development of APIs to
connect with Universal Plug and Play, proposed by Microsoft Corp. in
January 1999, has been also planned.
The purpose of the foundation of OSG is to find new markets for digital
household electrical appliances, which are regarded as potentially surpassing
the PC market in terms of scale.
For this purpose, they are going to establish new industrial standards
for servers with features advanced enough to control and unify equipment
using cables, wireless and infrared data communication systems.
(BizTech News Dept.)
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