The problem I see with CORBA vendors

Rumman Gaffur (gaffurr@sonnyj.BTNA.COM)
Mon, 4 Aug 97 9:24:38 EDT

In order to make CORBA widespread, CORBA vendors
have to get there act together and make
CORBA objects using different vendors easier to
program. We are talking about software packages
that cost $3000 + tech support (which in some
cases are a joke, not to mention another $500/year)
which managers view as rather expensive.

Personally, I think the distributed objects
concept is great. In our project, the user
interfaces with a PC running windows 95,
with the powerful Unix boxes doing the speech
recognition and synthesis, while the language
"Understanding" module is in Prolog wrapped around
in CORBA on another Unix box. Too complicated?
Yes, perhaps, but this is a research project
trying to break new grounds.

Here is an email i sent to Visigenic (makers of visibroker):
I wish the vendors of CORBA products much luck, because
I would hate to live in a homogenous computing environment.

>>We are evaluating Visibroker for Java 2.5. Our past work
>>was done using Iona's Orbix. We wanted to move away from
>>Iona's Orbix Desktop (and OrbixWeb) for Windows. However
>>we have CORBA servers using Orbix on Unix boxes which we
>>are still using. Would it be possible to send us some sample
>>code on how to get Java code using the Visibroker ORB to
>>communicate with CORBA servers using the Orbix ORB.

their response

> There is no "clean" way to do this, as both products have proprietary
> bind() calls which do not work with each other...

> This means you can attempt to use either Naming Service implementation
> (ours or theirs, I'll go out on a limb and recommend ours). The problem
> here is resolve_initial_references() which will be used on the client to
> locate the Naming Service is not interoperable. In other words, if you
> have a VBJ client calling resolve_initial_references it will not currently
> find an Orbix Naming Service. However, if you make sure your client and
> Naming Service are from the same vendor, you will be fine on this front.

> Now, you need to make sure your Orbix Server can call our Naming Service
> which is not difficult, but it is cryptic. This will involve the dreaded
> string_to_object() and object_to_string() calls and explicit passing of
> IORs. Basically you need to pass your Naming Service IOR to your Orbix
> Server and have it use that as the binding mechanism.

> Alternative to the Naming Service, you can use string_to_object() and
> object_to_string() from the client itself. Basically, start your Orbix
> object, do object_to_string(), put it in a file, have the client read it
> from the file, perform string_to_object() and then do an appropriate
> _narrow().