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  1. Technology
August 23, 1996


By CBR Staff Writer

In an initiative that could at last see object-oriented technology deliver on some of its promises, IBM Corp picked Object World West in San Francisco to take the lid off its San Francisco Project application framework initiative (CI No 2,850) – which has now been firmly aimed at Java developers. San Francisco involves IBM’s collaboration with over 50 independent software developers, and aims to establish a set of high-level business application frameworks, or business objects – general ledger, accounts payable, inventory control and the like – as a basis for customized applications in the wholesale, retail distribution, finance and other business areas. The availability of the frameworks, essentially class libraries for Java, should speed up core development work, reduce cost, improve reliability and allow new technologies and complementary business applications to be integrated more easily. IBM’s prime partners in the project are still Stockholm-based IBS AB and UK-based JBA International Plc but other software houses that are part of the team include Dun & Bradstreet Software, Lawson Software, Marcam Corp, Progress Software Corp, Software AG, Synon Corp and Template Software. In all, some 200 companies are showing a close interest, according to JBA International marketing manager Allan Davies. Initially funded by IBM’s AS/400 division, San Francisco has turned into a full-blown cross-system development effort, with Windows NT and HP-UX joining IBM’s plans for OS/400, AIX, MVS and OS/2 – and with hardware isolation provided by the Java run-time virtual machine, the frameworks should be easily transportable to any Java-supporting machine with little modification. The underlying object model will be compliant with the Object Management Group’s Corba Common Object Request Broker Architecture. San Francisco components are not expected to appear until next year, and it has yet to be decided if they will be made available free or sold at low cost. IBM and JBA are likely to integrate San Francisco frameworks with their respective Visual Age and GuideLines development environments.

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