Salutation Press Releases

Media Contacts for the Salutation Consortium


DALLAS, June 24, 1996-The Salutation Consortium today announced the availability of Version 2 of the Salutation Architecture, a network interface specification that sharply increases the interoperability of intelligent peripherals, office machines, applications, and services. The enhanced Salutation Architecture allows a user to locate a particular resource on a network through the use of a broadcast query that is independent of network transport, hardware platform, and operating system software.

IBM, Novell, and leading Japanese manufacturers have voiced their support for the Salutation Consortium, which expects to demonstrate interoperable products at Comdex/Fall in November. Demonstrations of prototype products were recently staged at trade shows in Japan.

"The Internet is driving the industry to offer new opportunities for devices less capable and less costly than computers to access data," said James H. Barnett, Jr., managing director of the Consortium. "Vendors who incorporate the Salutation Architecture into products and services will extend the number of systems able to communicate with their products. With Version 2, the Salutation specification includes all the elements a developer needs to implement and support client applications."

The Salutation Consortium is an industry association formed in 1995 to create a standard interface for devices, applications, and services to exchange basic device characteristics and data formats. From an initial group of five members, it has grown to a membership of 35 organizations in the United States, Europe, and Japan.

In addition to network-wide query and transport independence, Version 2 of the Salutation Architecture includes support for voice technology, internationalization, and secure data transmission. The specification also adds support for IrDA and Versit standards.

Query for Network Resources; Transport Independence

A key enhancement to Version 2 of the Salutation Architecture is that it enables an application to locate a particular resource on a network through a broadcast query. A Salutation search can identify the location of a copier with legal-size paper, for example, or find the nearest color printer. Travelers using laptop computers could take advantage of this feature when they attach to a network in a copy shop or airline club facility.

Because the search feature does not depend on an administrator to maintain an address table of services, a network of Salutation devices provides additional capabilities to the user without increasing maintenance overhead for the network administrator. The broadcast command "slmQueryCapability" searches the network for requested functions and finds appropriate Salutation-equipped products to process a task.

Version 2 of the Salutation Architecture provides complete network transport independence, increasing the portability of applications written to the standard. It eliminates the need for a Salutation-compliant application to support different addressing schemes for transport protocols such as TCP/IP or IPX/SPX. Salutation supports standard Internet message formats as well as X.400, SMTP, and proprietary formats.

Underlying the new device independence and scalability features in Version 2 is Remote Procedure Call (RPC) technology as the lower layer protocol of the Salutation Architecture. The Consortium adopted Sun Microsystem's Open Networking Computing RPC.

Voice and Fax Document Systems

Salutation defines a new Functional Unit for voice message systems in Version 2. This capability enables office equipment to send a user voice messages over the telephone. A possible application of this technology would be for a Salutation fax machine to call a user and report a failed transmission or the arrival of a fax document. The specification supports devices that use stored messages and those that generate computer speech.

Updated Functional Unit descriptions for fax machines make possible new forms of communications using fax transmission for part of the data path. A user of a Salutation fax machine, for example, could forward an incoming fax image to another fax location and, using the new voice capability, request to be notified by phone when the delivery is complete. This new functionality makes use of the NSF (Non-Standard Facility) capabilities in the fax protocol standard.

Secure Data Transmission

Version 2 adds a user identification and password capability to the Salutation protocols used to initiate data transfer between devices and applications. This capability extends the ability of users to construct secure networks for business and commercial use, as well as to ensure privacy of communication.

Versit and IrDA Support

Version 2 exploits the synergy of Salutation with Versit, a global initiative formed by Apple, AT&T, IBM, and Siemens to offer new capabilities. The specification now encompasses the Versit Personal Data Information specification for address book data format. Versit's Bentogram/Simplegram specifies how different applications read and transmit "electronic business card" information. Using the Versit formats, Salutation-enabled equipment can exchange data with Versit-enabled equipment.

The Salutation Architecture now supports infrared communications, an increasingly popular way to link handheld devices and desktop computers. Version 2 incorporates the worldwide infrared connectivity standard developed by IrDA, the Infrared Data Association. Salutation extends the concept of ad hoc or "walk up" infrared links to include communications with office machines, as well. This technology would allow a person with a PDA, for instance, to "beam" an address to a fax machine via infrared directly from the address book on the PDA. "Beaming" the address is faster than manual dialing, and less prone to errors.


In Version 2 the Salutation Architecture expanded developer tools provided for building international language support into applications. Internationalization allows applications to deliver round-the-lock, location-independent access to information in multiple languages.

The Functional Unit description for a product now includes a code page attribute that specifies which character code is acceptable. In addition, recommended codes are now given in the Version 2 specification in order to converge on generally accepted code pages. These include ISO 8859-1 for Latin-1 countries, ISO 10646 level 3 (Unicode) for countries using double-byte character sets, and JIX X0208-1987 for Japan.

About the Consortium

The Salutation Consortium is a non-profit corporation with membership open to all interested companies, organizations and individuals. The Consortium is active in the United States, Japan, and Europe.

Member companies include manufacturers of computers, network services, information management solutions, and office equipment. They are Active Voice, APTi, Axis Communications, Brother Industries, Canon, Casio, Eastman Kodak, Fuji Xerox, Fujitsu, Hermes Enterprise Messaging, Hewlett Packard, Hitachi, Integrated Systems, IBM, Kobe Steel, Konica, Lexmark, Matsushita, Microware Systems, Minolta, Mita, Mitsubishi, Murata (Muratec), NISCA, Novell, Oki Data, Ricoh, Rios Systems, Rockwell, Sanyo, Seiko Epson, Sharp, Toshiba, Wind River, and Xerox.

The Salutation Architecture specification is available on the Consortium's web site (


Salutation Press Releases

Media Contacts for the Salutation Consortium