The Object Management Group (OMG) this month will define for the first time the pending Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) 3.0 specification.
The CORBA standard forms an underpinning for enterprise object interoperability and shared development.
New to version 3.0, which will arrive in a preproduction release in the fourth quarter, will be an object packing scheme that supports the Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB) specification. That will allow EJB to be reusable as CORBA objects, said a source close to the OMG.
CORBA 3.0 objects will dynamically load components and the transport, transaction, and messaging protocols. That means that if a CORBA 3.0-compliant server encounters EJB, it will load a Java virtual machine at run time and run the objects.
The arrival of the objects packaging scheme, which extends the purview of CORBA objects and allows the use of previously designed objects and transports as CORBA objects, will mark the biggest news from the new specification. Also new to the specification:use of visual application tools and environments for CORBA component design;support for CORBA objects on asynchronous real-time message queuing transports;a quality of service specification; andadditional specifications to provide integration with legacy environments.
Makers of object request brokers (ORBs) announced their support of CORBA 3.0 on September 9. Among those that joined the OMG for the announcement were BEA Systems, Inprise, and Iona Technologies.
Iona is expected to be one of the first middleware providers to move to a protocol-independent component-based architecture through support of CORBA 3.0 with the release of its next-generation object transaction monitor - code-named Art - later this year as Orbix 4.0.
The OMG voting body will continue to define the latest CORBA specification for months, but OMG member vendors can soon begin to design their ORB and application server products and other servers to conform to CORBA 3.0. Such products typically emerge six to 12 months after a specification surfaces.
Analysts say CORBA is growing in importance with the budding popularity of Java as a server-side object language and delivery technology.
Later this month the OMG will host its annual technical meeting during which the CORBA 3.0 and other emerging interoperability and object-oriented technologies will be aired and discussed.