OMG to address modelling, DCOM Bridge

The Object Management Group (OMG) will in a few weeks advance its CORBA initiative with the expected adoption of a key object-modelling language, and also assess the latest proposal for the strategically important - and politically sensitive - bridging specification between CORBA and Microsoft's Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM). The decisions will be made at the OMG Technology Committee Meeting in Dublin.

The Object Management Group (OMG) will in a few weeks advance its CORBA initiative with the expected adoption of a key object-modelling language, and also assess the latest proposal for the strategically important - and politically sensitive - bridging specification between CORBA and Microsoft's Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM).

At the OMG Technology Committee Meeting in Dublin, Ireland, the OMG's 24-member board of directors will vote on ratification of the Unified Modeling Language as a standard modeling language for components. Rational Software, which took the lead on the initiative, this week submitted the latest UML proposal to the OMG Object Analysis and Design task force.

The OMG will also address its recently launched Component Initiative, which intends to yield a component model and standard scripting language for working with CORBA components as part of CORBA 3.0, due in early 1998.

The JavaBeans component model is expected to be the basis of the CORBA component model, and scripting languages ranging from JavaScript, VBScript, and Perl to Tool Command Language and ObjectRexx are expected to be proposed, says Richard Soley, OMG's chief technical officer and acting chairman and CEO.

Also up for vote by the Technical Committee is the much-anticipated Component Object Model (COM)/CORBA Interworking Part B specification, which allows the existing COM-to-CORBA bridge specification to better handle DCOM.

"Part B extends Part A to get better performance, when you have a [CORBA component communicating with a] COM component across DCOM, as an option to IIOP [Internet Inter-ORB Protocol]," Soley says.

The proposal eliminates the restriction of handling DCOM/IIOP translation only on the COM client.

The proposal reflects changes to Hewlett-Packard's original, which stemmed from input by object request broker and platform vendors, including BEA Systems, Expersoft, Iona Technologies, Visigenic Software, and Visual Edge Software.

The latest proposal steers clear of endorsing DCOM, members say.

A draft proposal for adding asynchronous messaging capabilities to the CORBA services was also to be on the docket for the Dublin meeting. That proposal will instead be presented at the OMG meeting in December, Soley said. The COM/CORBA extension and messaging are slated for CORBA 2.2

"Messaging is probably my biggest concern," says Stephen Uczekaj, senior principal engineer at Boeing, in Seattle. "CORBA needs a data-flow-type architecture, which is critical for the development of embedded applications."

The group will also take up the issue of its leadership, after the departure this summer of President Chris Stone. Soley and Acting President and Chief Operating Officer Bill Hoffman are expected to retain their respective posts on a permanent basis, pending board review.

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