The Distributed Computing Environment (DCE) is a software system developed in the early 1990s by a consortium that included Apollo Computer (later part of Hewlett-Packard), IBM, Digital Equipment Corporation, and others. The DCE supplies a framework and toolkit for developing client/server applications. The framework includes a remote procedure call (RPC) mechanism known as DCE/RPC, a naming (directory) service, a time service, an authentication service and a distributed file system (DFS) known as DCE Distributed File System|DCE/DFS.
DCE was a big step in direction to standardisation of architectures, which were manufacturer dependent before. Transforming the concept in software for different platforms has been given up after a short period. Similar to the OSI model DCE was not granted success, the underlying concepts however prevailed.