US Government Guidelines Now Include Mac OS X & Linux

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A major change in government recommended and accepted technologies has been unveiled by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Among its many other powers and responsibilities, the OMB oversees the Federal Enterprise Architectureis Technical Reference Model (TRM), which is a set of guidelines for which computer platforms and technologies should be used within the US federal government.

Government Computer News reported earlier this week that both Linux and Mac OS X have been added to the newest version of the TRM, version 1.1. Version 1 of the TRM came out in June of this year, and included Java 2 Enterprise Edition, Java 2 Micro Edition, Microsoft .Net and Windows 2000, a list that shut out both Linux and the Mac. The newest version rectifies that. From the introduction of the new version of the TRM:

SUMMARY OF CHANGES ? VERSION 1.0 TO VERSION 1.1
The TRM Version 1.1 constitutes a minor revision to the TRM Version 1.0. Nomenclature revisions were made to provide consistency between illustrations, diagrams, and definitions throughout the document. Specifications previously dissected into a 5th layer have been merged into the Specification layer of the TRM. The specifications affected by this merge are Database Access, Privacy, Message-Oriented Middleware, and Object Request Broker. Mac OS X and Linux have been added to Supporting Platforms Service Category of the Service Platform and Infrastructure Service Area.

SUMMARY OF TRM VERSION 1.1
The TRM, as illustrated in Figure 2, outlines the standards, specifications, and technologies that collectively support the secure delivery, exchange, and construction of business and application components (Service Components) that may be used and leveraged in a Component-Based or Service Orientated Architecture. The TRM identifies the core technologies that support the Federal Government information technology (IT) transition towards interoperable e-Government solutions.

Appleis specific mentions come in the descriptions of Platform Dependent and Platform Independent technologies. From the report:

Platform Independent - Defines the operating systems and programming languages that are able to execute and run on any platform or operating system. A platform is the underlying hardware and software comprising a system.

  • Java 2 Platform Enterprise Edition (J2EE) - Sunis J2EE and Microsoftis .Net are the two dominant distributed computing architecture frameworks. J2EE provides portability of a single language (Java) over multiple operating systems and hardware platforms.
  • Linux - Linux is an open source operating system that runs on multiple hardware platforms. With the ability to run on many platforms, including the PC and Macintosh, Linux has become an alternative to proprietary systems.

Platform Dependent - Defines the operating systems and programming languages that are able to execute and run on a specific platform or operating system. A platform is the underlying hardware and software comprising a system.

  • Windows 2000 - Also known as "Win2K" and "W2K," it is a major upgrade to Windows NT 4. Launched in February 2000, Windows 2000 comes in one client and three server versions. Windows 2000 looks like Windows 95/98, but adds considerably more features, dialogs and options.
  • Windows.Net - Microsoftis .Net and Sunis J2EE are the two dominant distributed computing architecture frameworks. .Net supports a wide range of languages but is primarily tied to the Microsoft Windows operating system and Intel hardware.
  • Mac OS X ? Mac OS X is Appleis UNIX based operating system based on industry standards. Launched in March 2001, OS X has advanced built-in security functions and complete interoperability with both internet standards and Microsoft products.

You can see the full report, which is available as a downloadable PDF (link courtesy of Government Computer News)

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