Building a distributed application or infrastructure is tough. Many problems arise including security, communications, reliability, availability, serviceability, scalability and heterogeneity. OSF's Distributed Computing Environment helps solve many of these problems. See [#!Burback97!#], [#!Burback97a!#], and [#!DCE:1996!#].
Many organizations have distributed computing infrastructures where a large number of computers are connected together by a network. Powerful workstations are located in the offices of the employees serviced by even larger capacity servers. Applications take advantage of the farm of computers by splitting the apparition into client/server partitions, where the graphical user interface resides on the workstation and the application rules and databases reside on the servers. These applications can communicate with each other and share information.
Many problems arise in distributed application engineering and systems. Some of these include communication, authentication, authorization, data integrity, data privacy, sharing of information, heterogeneous environments, distributed management, consistency of time, reliability, availability, parallel execution, and graceful degradation.
The Distributed Computing Environment (DCE) is a software component provided by the Open Systems Foundations (OSF) and supporting companies. Together, they have built solutions to the distributed application problems.