Hitachi Software has launched what it claims is the world's first transaction monitoring tool to integrate tightly with Corba, allowing developers to build NT and Unix-based transaction systems relatively easily.
Traditionally, transaction processing has been the reserve of mainframe-class computing.
Hitachi said its new middleware software, TPBroker, integrates with a Corba-compliant Object Request Broker (ORB), enabling it to deliver the level of high-availability and scalability required to run transaction processing applications on Unix and Windows NT.
When a system failure occurs, the Hitachi transaction processing monitor has been designed to reactivate automatically and recover suspended transactions.
Tony Jones, European business manager at Hitachi, said: "TPBroker can be incorporated into any Corba-compliant application without the need for major code changes."
TPBroker is designed to ensure secure transaction processing for intranet and Internet applications. Rather than build monolithic applications, the ORB allows developers to create a series of distributed objects which link together to achieve the same result.
"Hitachi Software is allowing users to take their core transactional applications from the mainframe and run them in a highly open, secure and robust distributed environment," said Jones. "Tight integration between the ORB and the transaction monitor allows developers to build objects which support transaction processing."
Jones added that a corporate developer could build a Corba-compliant object which other developers could access and treat as just another object in their C++ applications, irrespective of where the object actually resides, be it a Unix or an NT-based system.
Although TPBroker supports C++, tools such as Visual Basic and Borland Delphi are also supported via C++ APIs.
Hitachi is working on adding direct support for Sun's Java and Microsoft's ActiveX to TPBroker at a later date.
A developer licence for TPBroker is priced at u8,000 per development machine.
John Sniadowski, an analyst at Bloor Research, said people are now beginning to realise that for Corba to become a reality it needs to tie in with mainstream technology such as transaction processing. "Corba needs to come of age." He explained that in the past, Corba, like other standards, had suffered because of the lack of real world applications.
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