DCE (Distributed Computing Environment) definition

Contributor(s): Jack Keelan

1) In network computing, DCE (Distributed Computing Environment) is an industry-standard software technology for setting up and managing computing and data exchange in a system of distributed computers. DCE is typically used in a larger network of computing systems that include different size servers scattered geographically. DCE uses the client/server model. Using DCE, application users can use applications and data at remote servers. Application programmers need not be aware of where their programs will run or where the data will be located.

Much of DCE setup requires the preparation of distributed directories so that DCE applications and related data can be located when they are being used. DCE includes security support and some implementations provide support for access to popular databases such as IBM's CICS, IMS, and DB2 databases.

DCE was developed by the Open Software Foundation (OSF) using software technologies contributed by some of its member companies.

2) In computer data transmission, DCE (Data Communication Equipment) is the RS-232C interface that a modem or other serial device uses in exchanging data with the computer. For further information about the DCE interface and its relationship to the Data Terminal Equipment (DTE) interface, see RS-232C.

This was first published in April 2007

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