1) the world realizes the battle lines will be DCOM vs IIOP
2) some folks are trying to play neutral party (Oracle)
3) some people are innovating around the margins (ILU, RMI)
4) radical innovation is still possible, esp in the guise of HTTP/2
W3C's stated positions are going to attract a lot of attention:
http://www.w3.org/pub/WWW/OOP/Activity.html . The public activity statement
needs an update and perhaps an overhaul. The press will be a calling, too
(TimBL, in particular, has talked personally with both authors recently).
What I'm personally not certain of is whether all the lessons from
message-oriented middleware systems have been learned.
DCOM/IIOP/ILU-over-SunRPC/RMI are all essentially streaming RPC systems,
without any transactioning/grouping at the lower levels. HTTP POST has some
properties that are higher than an individual RPC, and closer to MOM -- one
can identify an invocation, pickle it, redistribute it, delay it, track it,
and so on. I would be happier if the world was sure #4 is a dry hole. IMHO,
someone, somewhere, is going to look at DCOM and say, "I can see the
higher-level abstraction that makes sense for globally-distributed systems"
(e.g. Infosphere portlets: http://www.infospheres.caltech.edu/ ).
In this elephants' battle, each corporation has a mahout (the herder who
thinks he is in charge), too: OMG vs Microsoft, an ostensible member;
Microsoft is trying to use the IETF by submitting DCOM; and W3C may get the
role of referee if it holds more public technical evaluations like June's
Looks like it's time for an updated scorecard? lots of new entrants: Novell,
Lotus, LDAP/directory services, DCE spinoffs, etc.
> Oracle will announce within a month that its Web Request
> Broker will support both protocols, letting corporations
> mix and match objects from either architecture to create
> distributed applications.
> Microsoft has been in a cold war with IBM, Sun and other
> ISVs that make up the Object Management Group. Although
> Microsoft has submitted technology specifications to the
> group, representatives from both sides have acknowledged
> that the cooperation is icy at best.
August 12, 1996 10:00 AM ET
In COM-vs.-CORBA battle, some developers stay neutral
By _Norvin Leach_ and _Michael Moeller_
The distributed objects war will heat up this month as developers solidify
support behind COM or CORBA, while other vendors--including Oracle
Corp.--stake out neutral positions to bridge the competing technologies.
Two prime building blocks are evolving for users building World Wide Web
applications formed from collections of objects distributed across clients and
servers: the Object Management Group's Common Object Request Broker
Architecture and its Web extension, IIOP (Internet Inter-ORB Protocol), and
Microsoft Corp.'s Distributed Common Object Model, an extension of the Common
Oracle will announce within a month that its Web Request Broker will support
both protocols, letting corporations mix and match objects from either
architecture to create distributed applications.
As a result, an Internet browser that supports DCOM or IIOP can connect to
the Web Request Broker, which will act as the hosting platform for an
object-based distributed application, said sources close to the Redwood
Shores, Calif., company.
In addition, Oracle has announced tools to build applications that connect
CORBA and COM objects under the name Sedona.
Other vendors staking a neutral position include Novell Inc. and Lotus
Development Corp. Novell, of Provo, Utah, announced recently that its Novell
Directory Services technology will support both IIOP and DCOM. Lotus, of
Cambridge, Mass., plans to support both in its Domino II Internet server,
which is due early next year.
But in the wake of Netscape Communications Corp.'s announcement last month of
plans to support IIOP in Navigator and the SuiteSpot servers, battle lines
are being drawn with Microsoft and DCOM against a growing CORBA world.
At Object World in San Jose, Calif., next week, IBM, of Armonk, N.Y., and
SunSoft Inc., of MountainView, Calif., will announce a cross-licensing
agreement and merger of their plans for CORBA.
Joining Microsoft's camp will be Software AG, of Reston, Va., which will
demonstrate DCOM running on Unix at the show. Microsoft is also working to
pull together a group of customers and vendors to take control over COM, DCOM
and ActiveX technology, said officials of the Redmond, Wash., company.
Microsoft has been in a cold war with IBM, Sun and other ISVs that make up
the Object Management Group. Although Microsoft has submitted technology
specifications to the group, representatives from both sides have acknowledged
that the cooperation is icy at best.
The market is still wide open, however, with users divided as well. "The
driver in this market is going to be the enterprise, and right now large
enterprises are using CORBA," said Jim Ditmore, who heads the architecture and
technology services team at USF&G Corp., in Baltimore.
"DCOM will be the market standard--90 percent of the objects written today
are written to COM and OLE," said Carl Carrie, vice president of trading and
technology research at Tullet & Tokyo Forex Inc., a New York broker.
One user said the ability to create distributed applications using IIOP
cannot come soon enough.
"This is a big win for us because we have a lot of back-end CORBA objects,"
said Aaron Dutta, principal of banking and capital markets practice at Booz
Allen Hamilton Inc., in New York. "Now there will be a client out there that
we can use to create intelligent distributed applications that are based on a