Microsoft is laying the foundation to provide interoperability between its Microsoft Transaction Server (MTS) and rivalling software based on the Corba (common object request broker architecture) specification.
In a move seen by analysts as a bid to gain access to enterprise customers, applications running on a wide variety of platforms and architectures will be able to pass transactions with MTS, which is based on Microsoft's Component Object Model (COM) technology.
"TIP provides two channels, if you will," Maloney said. "One is used for transmitting the data and the other is used for transferring the information about the transaction."
At the TechEd developers conference, Microsoft announced a strategic partnership with object request broker (ORB) vendor Iona Technologies, to enable transactions started in Iona's Orbix Object Transaction Monitor (OTM) to be completed in MTS, and vice versa.
Similarly, Microsoft plans to work with Digital to provide interoperability between MTS and Digital's ACMS transaction technology.
However, some analysts believe Microsoft's partnerships with the Corba community - and consequently, the Java community to some extent - is simply a gambit to fracture unity.
For instance, the Gartner Group reported in January that Microsoft's partnerships with both Iona and application server NetDynamics were a bid to ruin those two companies' standing in the Corba/Java community.
But Iona's chief technology officer, Annrai O'Toole, denied the claim.