Architecture Neutral Distribution Format

Architecture Neutral Distribution Format

The Architecture Neutral Distribution Format (ANDF) is a technology allowing common "shrink wrapped" binary application programs to be distributed for use on conformant Unix systems, each of which might run on different underlying hardware platforms. ANDF was defined by the Open Software Foundation.

As with other OSF offerings, ANDF was specified through an open selection process. OSF issued a Request for Technology for architecture-neutral software distribution technologies in April, 1989. Fifteen proposals were received, based on a variety of technical approaches, including obscured source code, compiler intermediate languages, and annotated executable code.

The technology of ANDF, chosen after an evaluation of competing approaches and implementations, was Ten15 Distribution Format, developed by the UK Defence Research Agency.

OSF released several development 'snapshots' of ANDF, but it was never released commercially by OSF or any of its members. However, after OSF stopped working on ANDF, development continued at other organizations.

For technical information on ANDF and developments outside OSF, see TenDRA Distribution Format (renamed from Ten15).

See also


  • Stavros Macrakis, "The Structure of ANDF: Principles and Examples", Open Software Foundation, RI-ANDF-RP1-1, January, 1992.
  • Stavros Macrakis, "Protecting Source Code with ANDF", Open Software Foundation, November, 1992.
  • Open Systems Foundation. "OSF Architecture-Neutral Distribution Format Rationale", June 1991.
  • Open Systems Foundation. "A Brief Introduction to ANDF", January 1993. Available at Google Groups

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