British Aerospace Airbus has begun a u1.5 million project to implement the world's largest Corba-compliant object request broker.
ICL, in partnership with CSC Computer Science Corporation, has won the five year contract to develop the object technology which will be used by 4,800 employees.
Francis Hayden, British Aerospace Airbus object strategy consultant, said: "ICL Enterprise Manufacturing won this contract because it (ICL) combined an in-depth knowledge of our industry with a strategy commitment to Corba."
The system is being designed to bring together legacy business systems running on a variety of hardware including Sun, Cray, IBM mainframe, VAX and HP. Using "wrapper" technology, legacy code will be accessed as Corba objects.
New business applications will be modelled using Select Software's Object Modelling Tool and prototyped in languages like Java and C++.
To the end user, these applications will be accessed from a wide variety of clients from VAX workstations to PCs.
A pilot project to test the feasibility of object technology has been underway for the past eight weeks. The pilot is using ICL's X.500 directory and the ICL DAIS object request broker to create a telephone directory for British Aerospace Airbus employees. The telephone directory will be extended to store more information about users, such as what applications they can access.
"We are delighted to be working with British Aerospace Airbus and CSC on this important strategic product," said Peter Smith, managing director, ICL Enterprise Manufacturing. "Creating flexible IT infrastructures is one of the biggest challenges in the manufacturing industry."
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