The Object Management Group (OMG) hopes to have standards available for object oriented analysis and design tools and methodologies by this time next year.
The standards body has just received six submissions from ,including a joint one from Rational Software and others such as Microsoft and Oracle, one from IBM with ObjecTime, and another from Platinum Technology.
Although the original request for proposals, which was issued last year, had only covered a format to enable data interchange between tools, all of the submitters supplied a far broader brief, that also covered methodologies. As a result, the standard being worked on will be broader in scope than was first expected.
So far, Rational?s submission of its Unified Modelling Language is tipped to be out in front.
Andrew Watson, architecure director at the OMG, said: ?As long as there is a diversity of methods we won?t get buy-in from customers. They?re intimidated by the work they have to do to understand the merits of the many tools and methods on the market. We hope at the end to have a more unified market and so increase uptake.?
He added that the OMG was hoping that, as in the car market, the functionality of different tools would converge in the long term, and ease of use and elegance would become the differentiators.
Mike Budd, analyst at consultancy Ovum, saw the move as "very positive".
?The problem is the technology has been rather poorly specified and is not particularly rigorous if compared to old structured methods. If the OMG insists on that rigour, the object world will be done a great service. But, at the moment, many of the specifications are too incomplete to be sure what code you?ll generate at the back end,? he said.
He added that it would be particularly beneficial to staff moving from one company to another because it meant they would not need to relearn different techniques and tools each time.
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