Standards Update, IEEE 1003.11: Application Transaction Processing

Jeffrey S. Haemer jsh at
Tue Oct 24 06:14:31 AEST 1989

From: Jeffrey S. Haemer <jsh at>


            An Update on UNIX* and C Standards Activities

                            September 1989

                 USENIX Standards Watchdog Committee

                   Jeffrey S. Haemer, Report Editor

IEEE 1003.11:  Application Transaction Processing Update

Bob Snead <bobs at> reports on the July 10-14, 1989 meeting
in San Jose, California:

1003.11 (application transaction processing, or TP) is one of two
recently approved working groups -- the other being P1003.10
(supercomputing) -- whose charter is to write an application
environment profile (AEP).  A profile is simply a list of pointers to
existing standards within the POSIX OSE (Open System Environment).
Where the group finds functionality missing from this set of
standards, the group may either commission its definition by some
other POSIX group or write a new PAR to request that IEEE create a
standard in the area.

This was our first meeting as 1003.11; the previous three meetings
were as a study group.  This study group was formed last year at the
Ft. Lauderdale meeting to investigate the feasibility of extending
POSIX into transaction processing.  In those first three meetings
there was consensus that POSIX should address transaction processing.

At this point, the TP group is reviewing existing standards in detail
to find out what's already been done.  To this end, they have split
into two subgroups, one to review models, the other to search out and
review other relevant standards.  There seems to be some consensus
that once we understand what is available, there will still be new
interfaces to define.

TP under Unix is currently sort of a funny domain.  Database vendors
believe that transaction processing is theirs.  They build TP
primitives into their products that let application developers define
transactions over modifications to data.  More and more UNIX
application developers want, instead, to write applications that bind
a group of modifications to data managed by assorted vendors products,
including multiple databases, screen managers and file systems.
Sensing this need, X/OPEN boldly chartered a group to define such
services.  In addition, ISO, some time ago, recognized the need for


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September 1989 StandarIdEsEEUp1d0a0t3e.11:  Application Transaction Processing

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services to define transactions which span heterogeneous open systems,
and began a group to define such services.  ISO also has groups
defining CCR (Commitment, Concurrency, and Recovery) and RDA (Remote
Data Access), each of which is an essential part of TP, especially
distributed TP.

Both efforts are pretty far along.  X/OPEN has defined a model and a
set of interfaces but, since they are not a real standards body,
referencing their work may present some problems for P1003.11.  The
ISO group recently resolved all outstanding objections to their model,
services and protocols.  What remains for us then is to place the
relevant portions of their work into a POSIX framework, filling in the

September 1989 StandarIdEsEEUp1d0a0t3e.11:  Application Transaction Processing

Volume-Number: Volume 17, Number 46

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