Microsoft has licensed its COM object technology to Iona, one of the key developers of Corba object brokers, bringing interoperability between the two competing object standards.
Iona is best known for its Orbix Object Request Broker, which is based on Corba (Common Object Request Broker Architecture). But on Monday, the company announced that it had licensed Microsoft's COM (Component Object Model) technology.
Iona is using the COM technology to develop OrbixCOMet Desktop, a client-side COM/Corba bridge, which it claims will allow Windows application developers to write applications that access Corba objects.
Developers will be able to use popular tools such as Borland Delphi, Microsoft Visual Basic or Sybase PowerBuilder to develop applications that run on Windows, but that access Corba objects on Unix systems, MVS mainframes or other systems that support Corba.
OrbixCOMet Desktop is a based on "COM/Corba Interworking Part B", the guidelines for COM/Corba interoperability that were defined by the Object Management Group.
It includes the Orbix object request broker. The software requires a Pentium or higher processor with at least 16Mbytes of Ram, and takes up 4-11Mbytes on the system's hard disk. A beta version is expected in february, with general availability in Q2. It will be priced at $495 per developer.
Iona is promising to follow up this release with a series of further OrbixCOMet products.
Seperately, Silicon Graphics is also licensing COM. It will include the technology in its Irix operating system, providing for easier interoperability between its Unix-based workstations and systems running Windows. Silicon Graphics has already announced that it is developing workstations running Windows NT.
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