Electronic Data Systems Ltd is forming a new distributed objects consultancy arm on the strength of the recent technology deal it signed with Iona Technologies Ltd (CI No 3,507). Last week, EDS sold Dublin, Ireland-based Iona its EBOF enterprise business object framework, a set of Corba services designed to shield applications developers from the architectural and systems design issues that can account for up to 70% of development time on typical projects. Iona, which paid $5m for the software, will incorporate it in its forthcoming Art product, due out by year- end. But according to EDS, it won’t delay the product’s launch until then and is likely to release it as a separate product, under a name yet to be decided on. The EBOF project was instigated by EDS 18 months ago under an Object Management Group technology request for proposal. Once completed, EDS, a services and integration outfit, realized it had a product on its hands, which would benefit from a product company’s development and support efforts rather than its own. It has already built EBOF using mostly Iona technology to underpin it. It is now working on replacing the non-Iona parts with Iona equivalents. Under the agreements, the new EDS division will use the Iona technology for integration projects. It will be based in Dallas, Texas, and later supplemented with an office in Detroit, Michigan. A European office is also planned.