Iona Technologies will leverage technology newly acquired from Electronic Data Systems (EDS) to make it easier for developers to build distributed applications and components with forthcoming Orbix object request broker (ORB) products.
Iona will take the unnamed EDS technology and develop a new product - code-named Matisse - which will enter limited beta testing in a few months, with a delivery date set for the first half of 1999, said Annrai O'Toole, founder and CTO at Iona.
The product, which will support Enterprise JavaBeans, will form a layer on another Iona product under development, a next-generation object transaction monitor, code-named Art, due in initial form later this year.
The Art integration tool dynamically straddles the major competing object models, such as Microsoft's Component Object Model (COM), Sun's JavaBeans, and CORBA.
"It will give you the ability to have all of the complicated pieces around the design and deployment of the servers, then you have the implementation work and write your business logic," O'Toole said.
The EDS-built automation technology targets tasks such as developing components, wrapping existing systems and data for presentation as components, and integrating components with ERP systems, legacy, and proprietary systems, according to Iona.
The EDS technology includes improvements in deploying component-based applications for different systems, programming languages, component models, and messaging environments. This is achieved through the automation of coding for leveraging underlying services.
The $US5 million middleware acquisition comes as Dublin-based Iona is forging new alliances and broadening its product base, and just as a slew of CORBA-based ORBs are encroaching on Iona's hegemony.
For example, IBM in December will release its long-awaited Component Broker ORB under the name of WebSphere Advanced Edition. Inprise's VisiBroker ORB is fast gaining ground against Orbix in the CORBA market and Peerlogic recently bought the Dais ORB from ICL.