Abbrev. for portable common tool environment. An international standard (ISO 13719) in three parts. Part 1 defines an abstract specification for a PTI (public tool interface) that includes access to an object management system including file contents, and facilities to support distribution, secure access, etc. Part 2 defines a binding to the C programming language. Part 3 defines a binding to the Ada programming language. The same definitions are also contained in the 3rd edition of ECMA standards 149, 158, and 162 respectively.
PCTE was originally developed by an ESPRIT project partially funded by the EEC in the 1980s. The current standard has evolved from the original specification under the influence of several international initiatives, and incorporates ideas from PCTE+ developed by NATO and CAIS–A developed by the US Department of Defense.