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May 13, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:17pm


By CBR Staff Writer

IBM Corp chose the Technical Interchange Conference in St Louis, Missouri as its venue for launching a set of component-based middleware software it hopes will mask the complexity of the disparate systems – many of them IBM’s own – typically found in large corporates. Called Component Broker Connector or CBConnector, the Common Object Request Broker Architecture- compliant software is derived from IBM’s CICS system manager for AIX, its VisualAge series of development tools, its work with the SOM System Object Model and distributed DSOM, and its San Francisco applications framework technology (CI No 2,984). Specifically it includes: a programming model to enable data access to be partitioned from business logic; a CORBA 2.0- compliant object request broker using the IIOP Internet Interoperability Protocol to communicate with other ORBs; an application runtime environment for the integration and management of object services; monitoring and resource allocation software; support for Web clients, such as Java and ActiveX, and non-traditional clients such as kiosks and automatic teller machines; and visual development tools. The idea is to enable users to access, link and manage information across disparate systems, bringing component technology to the collection of operating systems, databases, application servers, network servers and transaction processors that make up a typical enterprise system. Today, says IBM, up to 70% of all code written consists of interfaces, protocols and other procedures to establish linkages among various systems. There are two main elements: CBConnector is the application runtime environment, providing execution, management and integration functions; and CBToolkit, a set of development tools, the means by which interfaces between systems are created. CB components will be incorporated into current IBM middleware products, such as the DB2 and IMS databases, CICS and Encina transaction processing software and MQSeries message-based middleware. And ready-made components, ranging from payroll and order entry to inventory tracking and accounts payable, will both extend the capabilities of back-end systems and enable new applications to be deployed over the web, says IBM. An extension of IBM’s Network Computing Framework, CB will eventually target IBM operating systems such as AIX, OS/390, OS/2 and AS/400, Microsoft Corp’s Windows NT, and Sun Microsystems Inc Solaris and Hewlett-Packard Co HP-UX Unix flavors, though NT, AIX and OS/2 will be the first out when CB becomes generally available in September. A restricted beta kit for NT 4.0 will be out by the end of the month, and is already being tested by the likes of Swiss Bank, broker Charles Schwab and Co, Ford Motor Company and France Telecom SA. IBM wheeled out a raft of third-party supporters, including Oracle Corp, Baan Co NV, Rational Software Corp, Platinum Technology Inc, Texas Instruments Inc, TIBCO Software Inc, Andersen Consulting and others.

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