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Issue No. 04 - April (1995 vol. 28)
ISSN: 0018-9162
pp: 49-55
Business software applications account for more than half of the industrial software pie, so it's not surprising that these applications are occupying the thoughts of IT managers, programmers, and analysts. These experts are thinking about them in terms of distributed computing. In its present-day form, distributed computing is actually client/server computing, which is just a step toward the decentralized, peer-to-peer collaborative computing utopia to come in the 21st century. The article outlines information technology as it evolved from the days of centralized mainframes to desktop PCs, and relates the impact on programmers of the new development technologies that accompanied the evolution. Several promising software ideas are examined, especially distributed software that's affecting everyone in computing because it is the economic engine propelling all software, and its underlying infrastructure called middleware. Middleware is key to the fortunes of software manufacturers because it will become the infrastructure of all applications, from home computers to large-scale enterprise computers. The two approaches discussed here are OLE/COM from Microsoft and Opendoc/DSOM from Component Integration Laboratories. In examining the driving forces behind industrial software and its ongoing evolution, the article defines a taxonomy for distributed computing, looks at the interoperability issues, explains the role of object technology, and describes the possible eventual outcome of client/server computing.

T. G. Lewis, "Where Is Client/Server Software Headed?," in Computer, vol. 28, no. , pp. 49-55, 1995.
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