CORBA versus or with COM/DCOM

News Release, Jan. 26, 1998

New Product Enables Windows Developers to Use Tools Such as Delphi, Visual Basic and PowerBuilder to Connect Their Applications to UNIX and MVS

IONA Technologies is today announcing a new product line, OrbixCOMet(tm), which is designed to solve the integration problems facing Windows users. The first product in this line, OrbixCOMet Desktop is a revolutionary new development environment which enables Windows developers to extend their applications beyond the Windows platform. OrbixCOMet Desktop pioneers a whole new approach to integrating Windows applications to non-Windows platforms using the most popular development tools including Delphi, Visual Basic and PowerBuilder. With Orbix(r) and OrbixCOMet technology, Windows applications can seamlessly access and interact with applications residing on platforms such as UNIX, Java, MVS and OS/2. OrbixCOMet is a core component of IONA's vision of making software work together.

IONA has been able to deliver this new level of interoperability for Windows thanks to IONA's agreement with Microsoft to license its COM technology. By combining IONA's established CORBA expertise and leadership with the COM source code, IONA has delivered a new level of integration between Windows and the rest of the enterprise.

CORBA is the Object Management Group's (OMG) standard for interaction between software objects regardless of their platform or language. COM is Microsoft's standard for interaction between software objects running on Microsoft platforms. By providing an easy to use bridging technology, OrbixCOMet combines the best of both standards to deliver powerful solutions to Windows developers.

"Making software work together is our vision," commented Annrai O'Toole, CTO at IONA Technologies. "To make that vision a reality we are tightly focused on enabling every developer around the globe to use their own tools and platforms to build enterprise strength solutions that encompass new and existing technologies in their organization. OrbixCOMet Desktop is the first true entry level solution to enable mainstream Windows developers to extend their applications to reach a range of platforms including MVS. We believe that by offering an end to end solution, OrbixCOMet introduces a new dimension to distributed computing."

There is clear industry consensus on distributed development - the tools need to become easier. While proficient Java and C++ developers can build powerful distributed applications, the task became more difficult for developers using Visual Basic, Delphi and PowerBuilder when they want to extend those applications across their organization. IONA has listened closely to the market and its customers and with OrbixCOMet Desktop are delivering a product which introduces a new level of ease of use to building Windows applications and linking them to UNIX, MVS, OS/2 and other corporate platforms.

Before the arrival of OrbixCOMet, building integrated CORBA and COM applications required an intimate
knowledge of CORBA, COM and languages such as C++ and Java. OrbixCOMet removes the barriers for Windows developers, enabling them to focus on the creation of rich applications which they can easily extend across the organization. OrbixCOMet fully conforms with the Object Management Group's (OMG) standard for interaction between CORBA and Microsoft's COM objects, known as "COM/CORBA interworking Part B" as a result OrbixCOMet can use either IIOP or DCOM as the protocol of choice.

OrbixCOMet delivers complete support for COM-CORBA mapping along with Automated-CORBA mapping. It provides a client side bridge, enabling COM/Automation clients to talk directly to CORBA servers with support for callbacks. OrbixCOMet is a completely dynamic bridge that requires no C++ code generation and hence removes the need for a C++ compiler and enables Visual Basic, PowerBuilder and Delphi developers to build the applications within their own environment.

OrbixCOMet Desktop is the first product from the new OrbixCOMet product line and will be available in beta by mid-February, with general availability expected in Q2 1998. OrbixCOMet has a price of $495 per developer.

OrbixCOMet Desktop requires a PC with a Pentium or higher processor and 16 (preferably 32) MB of RAM The minimum installation is 4 MB (which includes the Orbix runtime) of hard disk while a complete installation requires 11 MB if installing online documentation to disk. OrbixCOMet works with Windows 95 (with DCOM for 95 installed) and Windows NT 4.0 or later.

To access IONA press releases and background material on the web, visit: