Many systems vendors have chosen to utilize the UNIX Common Application Environment (CAE) for their system platform. Listening to this group can sometimes be almost a religious experience. These folks are firmly convinced that an open systems approach is the way to go - and they are probably right. Unfortunately, UNIX does not enjoy the widespread acceptance of some of the other operating systems. However, with success of SAP, Baan, and other UNIX based applications, this is rapidly changing. Time will be the ultimate judge of wisdom of the proprietary vs open systems approach. Nevertheless, it is worth examining these ideas in greater detail since they truly make a tremendous amount of sense.
One of the goals of CAE is to provide program language compilers in the UNIX environment so the a single source program file will compile on any vendor's hardware. Currently the targeted languages are: C, COBOL, PASCAL, and ADA.
Another CAE tenet is providing a user interface which is the same on every UNIX technical platform no matter the hardware vendor. Currently, the goal is to make X-Windows the standard user interface environment. The powerful idea behind this approach is that UNIX can run on every platform from the mainframe to a personal computer and thus the same business client interface will exist on every machine. The advent of Windows 95 and NT Workstation, and the desire of many business clients to stick with the original operating system interface, makes this less likely.
Database Management Access
Again the idea here is to make the database access work the same on every machine with a common access language. Currently, the targeted standard database access languages for implementation are: SQL and ISAM.
The currently accepted CAE protocol is: OSI (which is the vendor independent network architecture supported by the International Organization for Standardization). What this means is that all of these diverse platforms (from different vendors) once networked, will be able to communicate to one and other through this standard protocol.