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  1. Technology
August 19, 1996


By CBR Staff Writer

I-Kinetics Inc, the Burlington, Massachusetts object component house has inked a deal with Iona Technologies Ltd to offer two packages containing products, training, consulting and support aimed at companies looking to adopt Corba-based systems. And I-Kinetics has a whole lot more up its sleeve that it was talking about last week. Called Quick Start and Power Start, the packages each contain Iona Orbix object request broker licenses and I-Kinetics’s Corba consulting services, plus its Database Component server for Sybase and Oracle. The goal is to accelerate adoption of Iona’s Orbix object request broker and to encourage adoption of Corba-based projects in general. Five of the bundles have been sold to date. Both Quick Start and Power St art are available now from the ComponentWare Consortium, of which I-Kinetics is the lead member. The Database Component server is the only component I-Kinetics has right now, but the promised ObjectPump Corba-based component is still on track for be ta testing around November with five sites lined up thus far. ObjectPump puts an object wrapper around non-Corba code to make it available to the component server, to automate the procedure of building business objects using legacy data, from which various applications can be built. It is also talking to a company with a financial, mathematics and engineering tool kit, which it wouldn’t name, which it will license for release as a component early next year. I-Kinetics is using Iona’s Orbix as the way it implements Internet Inter-Orb Protocol and was recently said to be eyeing SunSoft Inc’s NEO object request broker as well as IBM Corp’s Distributed System Object Model and Hewlett-Packard Co’s ORB Plus (CI No 2,929). Well, things have changed somewhat now.

Multi-system object broker

After spending more than a year talking to IBM about Distributed System Object Model, the IBM marketing contact got reorganized, resulting in 15 months work down the drain, according to marketing director Brian Cottman. He added that users were after a true multi-system object broker, and Distributed System Object Model didn’t fit the bill, with some 90% of revenue coming from Solaris, HP-UX and Windows NT-based systems. But IBM’s time to market problems cost the company the deal, according to Cottman. As for SunSoft’s NEO, I-Kinetics is backing off at the moment, according to Cottman, waiting for IIOP Internet Inter-ORB Protocol support. But SunSoft’s IIOP-enabled NEO object request broker is now in beta test, so I-Kinetics won’t have to wait much longer. He said the company is also looking at doing something with Joe, the Neo-to-Java object broker. With Hewlett-Packard Co’s ORB Plus, I-Kinetics is employing a wait and see attitude. The company doesn’t run into Hewlett-Pac kard much in the marketplace and is just a holding off for a bit, probably around six months, but there are no important technology reasons for doing so, Cottman said. I-Kinetics is partnering with Los Gatos, California-based BulletProof Corp to integrate its JDesignerPro Java graphical user interface builder with Database Component server and Iona’s Orbix. It will announce this week that it has inked a deal with Visigenic Software Inc to be its training, consulting and component provider for Visibroker, Visigenic’s name for the Black Widow Java-enabled object request broker it got from its acquisition of PostModern Computing Inc (CI No 2,907). Cottman believes I-Kinetics’s future lies in providing vertical Corba components for the financial, telecommunications, satellite systems, aerospace and medical markets. At present, its revenue is split 80-20 in favor of consulting and federal contracts against software. He expects this to be a 50-50 split by the middle of next year, and 6 0-40 in favor of software by the end of next year, and is on track for $7m revenue in fiscal 1997. The Quick Start package costs $25,000 and includes two Iona Orbix developer licenses, three Component-Ware product line licenses, six months of support, two of training and five of consultancy. Power Start has three Orbix licenses, six ComponentWare ones, 12 months support, five days training and 15 days of consulting.

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