Iona Integrates Corba and Java Beans With OrbixHome.Iona Technologies IONA Technologies, NASDAQ: IONA, began life as a campus company in Trinity College, Dublin and was founded by Chris Horn, Annrai O'Toole, Colin Newman and Seán Baker. IONA maintains headquarter offices in Dublin, Boston and Tokyo. Ltd claims to be the first to have integrated Corba and Enterprise Java Beans See JavaBeans. technology through its OrbixHome development environment, announced yesterday. The Dublin, Ireland-based company says the move is the next stage on from last year's merge of Corba with Microsoft Corp's COM (1) (Computer Output Microfilm) Creating microfilm or microfiche from the computer. A COM machine receives print-image output from the computer either online or via tape or disk and creates a film image of each page. . Simultaneously, Symantec Corp said it would be using OrbixHome to extend its own Visual Cafe development tool to support Corba and EJB (Enterprise JavaBeans) A software component in Sun's J2EE platform, which provides a pure Java environment for developing and running distributed applications. EJBs are written as software modules that contain the business logic of the application. .
Acquired earlier this year from EJB Home Ltd (CI No 3,589), the EJB server will be demonstrated at the Java One show in San Francisco next month, and is expected to reach its beta test stage in the third quarter of this year. It will run on Windows and NT, Solaris, HP-UX HP's version of Unix that runs on its 9000 family. It is based on SVID and incorporates features from BSD Unix along with several HP innovations.
(operating system) HP-UX - The version of Unix running on Hewlett-Packard workstations. , IBM (International Business Machines Corporation, Armonk, NY, www.ibm.com) The world's largest computer company. IBM's product lines include the S/390 mainframes (zSeries), AS/400 midrange business systems (iSeries), RS/6000 workstations and servers (pSeries), Intel-based servers (xSeries) AIX (Advanced Interactive eXecutive) IBM's Unix-based operating system which runs on its Intellistation workstations and pSeries, p5, iSeries and i5 server families. and Digital Unix. Iona says the integration work was relatively straightforward, and tied in with work it already had underway before the acquisition on a "Corba Beans" component product. It's expected to continue to offer a free version of the basic product to help seed the marketplace.
Iona spokesman John McGuire, senior product manager for Java middleware products at Iona told Computerwire that although a number of application server vendors were including Corba support in with a long list of standards, such firms were mostly paying only "lip service" to Corba, and still considered it "an outboard engine." Iona says it has taken the ORB infrastructure and services, along with a thin API to EJB so that it's using the same set of services, and made them accessible via a single graphical console, using one security model and one transaction model. While the original EJB Home implementation used RMI (Remote Method Invocation) A standard from Sun for distributed objects written in Java. RMI is a remote procedure call (RPC), which allows Java objects (software components) stored in the network to be run remotely. for its underlying transport mechanism, Iona has stripped that out in favor of IIOP (Internet Inter-ORB Protocol) The CORBA message protocol used on a TCP/IP network (Internet, intranet, etc.). CORBA is the industry standard for distributed objects, which allows programs (objects) to be run remotely in a network. , the Internet InterORB Protocol. RMI can still be used at a higher, applications level.
Server-side application programming, transactions, security and management are all easier through EJB, but according to Iona there is nothing to help with building the container and server underneath. "A lot of EJB server are built on top of bits of string," McGuire said, claiming that most were just "EJB makeovers." The new product is based on the newer "Moscone" Enterprise Java Beans 1.1 specification. Future versions will include support for the development and deployment of components built in other languages, such as C++ and Cobol, and different component models, such as COM+ and Corba 3.
McGuire said that the Object Management Group and JavaSoft Inc would eventually get round to standardizing EJB and Corba integration, but that it was up to vendors to begin shipping products in the mean time. Symamtec plans to use the product as the basis for an EJB Universal Framework and modules providing "deep integration" between its VisualCafe Enterprise Suite and third party application servers, such as BEA WebLogic, IBM Corp's WebSphere and Sun Microsystems Inc's NetDynamics (see separate story).