Although Sun has denied claims that its new Java object request broker (Orb) does not scale, it has advised customers to use the products sold by commercial Orb vendors when developing any serious Java applications.
The move follows Sun?s decision a couple of weeks ago to axe its own C++-based Neo Orb, blaming lack of market share, and to migrate its user base to Visigenics' Visibroker offering.
Neo, which was originally launched in a blaze of glory in September 1995 as Distributed Objects Everywhere, has already been removed from Sun?s price list.
Colin Taylor, Sun?s business development manager for Java technologies, says the company is now focusing on its core technologies - Java and Enterprise Java Beans.
But, a potential licensee explained that Sun?s new Java Orb, which is due to ship in version 1.2 of the Java Developers' Kit by the middle of this year, had scaleability problems.
?It?s not nearly as scaleable as Visigenic or Iona, but it is the only Orb written in 100% Pure Java. The rest include C++ where Java is fragile in things like thread management," he said.
He added: "Sun?s working very hard on that. The problem is the Orb uses shared memory for Java thread management. This means it switches between threads when processing, which causes deadlock. Two different threads go after the same resource and that causes it to hang.?
The Orb, which is Corba compliant and includes support for naming services, has been rewritten from scratch in Java to make it as portable as possible.
A Java-to-IDL mapping tool, which enables developers to create the Java stubs and skeletons they need to integrate with a back end Corba application, will also be included in the new JDK.
But Sun?s Taylor, denied the Orb had a scaleability problem. ?Java has one threaded model, while a given platform may have another, so the problem may be in how the one maps to the other. But, we would always recommend that people go with the commercial Orb vendors when building big applications because they provide the ability to find objects using naming and offer load balancing. If a factory object, which can create others, becomes unavailable, the overall product can also start a new factory,? he said.
He added that the Orb was intended as a first point of entry for Java and Corba developers, who just wanted to try one out. It was also aimed at users wanting to build client Java packages that could communicate with back end Corba applications.
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