Microsoft has launched a website to promote its component object model (Com) programming technology.
Developed with ComponentSource, a provider of Com component catalogues, the site features a collection of tools, comments, discussion groups, directories and articles about Com-based component development technologies.
Com allows developers to create reusable software components and competes with Enterprise Java Beans.
The website also allows users to search and view more than 80 categories of 2500 Com components from 300 authors.
Sam Patterson, chief executive of ComponentSource, said the site will help establish a centre of expertise on Com technologies. "For over half a decade we have worked to establish the global open market for software components with industry initiatives designed to spur the supply of off-the-shelf component expertise," he said.
Microsoft also recently launched the Microsoft Windows DNA Com component authoring program to help boost the number of components for the software giant's distributed internet architecture environment. The program aims to increase the supply of server-based components.
The use of components in software development is expected to explode, according to some analysts. Giga Information Group predicts that the market for third-party components based on Com will balloon to $3bn by 2001, from $670m in 1998.
Fellow research company Gartner also predicts that by 2003 at least 70 per cent of the total number of new applications will be built primarily from building blocks such as software components and application frameworks.
Gartner analyst Michael Blechar said: "The future of application development lies with an open architecture that facilitates component choice, assembly and integration."
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