The Object Management Group (OMG) has devised a branding scheme for compliance with its Corba standard. This is in response to user complaints about the lack of interoperability and portability between different suppliers? supposedly compliant object request brokers (Orbs).
The OMG expects to see a testing suite, being developed by the Open Group standards body, by the third quarter of this year. The Open Group will undertake compliance testing, but the OMG will deal with branding itself. Successful suppliers will have the right to put a 'Corba 2 compliance' sticker on their product boxes.
Andrew Watson, architecure director at the OMG, said: ?It doesn?t matter whether Orbs are 95 per cent or 99 per cent Corba-compliant. If they?re not portable or interoperable, it?s just as bad for the customer, and people so far have just had to rely on vendor assertions. Users have been in the situation where they had to run evaluation tests themselves, but we want Orbs to be an off-the-shelf commodity product.?
He added that the OMG was taking affirmative action to ensure there was no repeat of the Unix wars. ?With Unix, the problems emerged years before, but they became so entrenched there was no going back. We?re ensuring that doesn?t happen by introducing testing and branding early in the cycle and our work is well underway,? he said.
The project has been financed to the sum of #1.5 million by Iona Technologies, Sun, IBM and the European Commission.
But Annrai O?Toole, technical director of Iona Technologies, said: ?This is a maturing industry and there have been teething problems, but the major interoperability problems have been solved. The real issue is server-side portability, which was not specified in Corba 2, although client-side portability was.?
He added that the OMG was currently in the process of drawing up standards on server portability for Orbs and expected to ratify standards within the next three months.
However, no decision had yet been made on whether to call the resultant specification Corba 3 or simply make it an addendum to Corba 2, he said.
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