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April 2, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:02pm

ASYNCHRONOUS ORBS VIE WITH MESSAGE QUEUING AT OMG

By CBR Staff Writer

There’s another storm in a teacup being fought over at the Object Management Group and its desire to add asynchronous communications services to its Corba Common Object Request Broker standard. Asynchronous services for static hubs need to be added to Corba, which currently assumes a synchronous connection, so that – for example – Windows programmers who suffer with frozen screens when a call back falls down can pick up where they left off after rebooting. Synchronous and asynchronous object request brokers will serve very different applications and programming models in the Group’s view, and both will be required. Specifications for extensions or additions to Corba in order to support asynchronicity were submitted by object request broker vendors such as Iona Technologies Ltd, Expersoft Inc and Visigenic Software Inc (CI No 3,096). However, a set of messaging companies, including PeerLogic Inc and Tibco Inc, saw their message queuing technologies as the obvious way to provide this kind of service and made submissions on that basis. So even though the Group originally asked for submissions for asynchronous services, it now has submissions for both asynchronous services and store-and-forward message queuing on its hands. It knows it needs both, but they are different programming models. The war that’s being fought is over which is more fundamental. The messaging camp says queuing is the future and that is should be implemented at the heart of Corba, which would, in their opinion mean the Interface Definition Language would have to be altered. The Object Request Broker camp says that messaging queuing should be sectioned off as Object Management Group services, since you are talking to a queue, not to an object. The Group’s problem is trying to put the two programming models together, and at this point it looks as if it may have to keep them separate. One specification will address message queuing, the other asynchronous services. Whatever happens, the Group swears it won’t break the Interface Language Definition, and any changes should be well hidden. Even if language mappings change, it won’t be anything drastic, it says. We won’t break anything except a few egos, claims the Group. Meanwhile, the initial seven submissions are due to be whittled down to a single specification by defection or collaboration, by April 14, in time to be voted on by Group’s object request broker object services taskforce, which has its next meeting scheduled for May in Stresa, Italy.

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