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  1. Technology
January 18, 1994


By CBR Staff Writer

Digital Equipment Corp says the so-called Common Object Model bridging technology between Microsoft Corp’s Object Linking & Embedding 2.0 and its own ObjectBroker will be implemented in stages over the next one to two years. The two firms intend to publish specifications for their COM Common Object Model by the end of March. These will be available to everyone, including standards bodies, such as the Object Management Group, to which they will be submitted without the usual requests for technology. An alpha application developers’ kit is scheduled sometime during the second and third quarter of this year, and a beta version by the second or third quarter. The final product should be available by the first half of 1995. DEC’s first step to implementing COM will come with version 2.5 of ObjectBroker due in the spring. This will fully comply with the Object Group’s Common Object Request Broker Architecture version 1.1, and form an interim gateway between OLE and CORBA-compliant environments. The OLE Network Portal will be able to export a limited range of OLE interfaces to remote OLE-aware servers. Version 3.0 of ObjectBroker will go beyond 2.5 to begin supporting COM and the joint wire protocol, based on object extensions to Microsoft’s DCE remote procedure call. Microsoft, meanwhile, is expected to ship an OLE application developers kit in the spring, and include a common communications wire protocol in beta versions of Cairo developers’ kits. This project started in November 1993, when the two firms agreed to develop a single object-oriented software model and jointly define a common wire communication protocol for cross-system application development, based on Remote Procedure Calls found in the Open Software Foundation’s Distributed Computing Environment. Microsoft has supplied DEC with unspecified elements of OLE technology to integrate with its ObjectBroker. This will enable environments supported by ObjectBroker, such as Windows, NT, Ultrix, OpenVMS, OSF/1, HP/UX, SunOS, System 7, and AIX, to access OLE applications.

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