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June 4, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:31pm


By CBR Staff Writer

In a bid to win over more Java developers Corba king Iona Technologies Ltd has slashed the price of OrbixWeb, the Java implementation of its Corba-based Orbix object request broker mechanism which it sells to C++ developers, from $2,500 to $800, which includes unlimited runtime distribution. OrbixWeb enables developers to write Corba object applications using vanilla Java code, which can access Iona’s enterprise Corba services such as security, OLTP to connect with back-end databases or legacy Cobol applications over Corba’s IIOP transport mechanism. Iona thinks Sun Microsystems Inc’s proprietary communications mechanism for Java developers, the RMI Remote Method Invocation technology, is far too limited in its ability to connect Java applications to other environments, partly because it doesn’t use standard IIOP. Pricing, however, turned out to be a key issue for Java developers and Iona has cut the price of OrbixWeb specifically to address this requirement. Iona claims OrbixWeb is 90% as good as RMI but opens up Java to Corba. It says Sun likes to paint a picture of a Java-only world, but in fact it’s a crazy mixed-up world and users need work with multiple environments. OrbixWeb can connect to any of the vanilla Corba-based services Iona offers for use with the regular C++ Orbix, although Iona says any company doing heavy-duty, mission critical distributed object work – such as its Boeing and Motorola clients – aren’t going to touch Java with a barge pole. Iona, which says it’s got its head down, focused on winning real-world customers – its latest is Nokia Communications – says it’ll support mixed object environments as soon as its ask for it. By that it means Microsoft Corp’s DCOM Distributed Common Object Model rival to Object Management Group’s Corba scheme. Iona has supported the non-distributed COM for yonks but DCOM is only now making its way slowly into use on the back of Windows NT. Somewhat unusually, Iona’s keeping its DCOM cards close to its chest and won’t say whether it’ll enable existing products or create an entirely new offerings to support DCOM-Orbix integration. What the recently-quoted company does say is that no ISV can expect to exist long into the future without making products much more easy to use than they currently tend to be. Iona’s looking to make some small acquisitions, which may include a front-end, visualization specialist. Iona offers an OrbixTalk asynchronous messaging system but Orbix can also work in conjunction with IBM Corp MQSeries or integrate certain components of it.

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