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January 18, 1994


By CBR Staff Writer

SunSoft Inc used ObjectWorld in Boston, Massachusetts last week to try and convince the world that integration of its Distributed Objects Everywhere technology and OpenStep, the interface it has licensed from its deal with NeXT Computer Inc, can happen. SunSoft, which has kept its Distributed Objects Everywhere developments pretty much under wraps over the last year, says it will provide a more in-depth synopsis of the infrastructure of its object kit to delegates at its developers’ conference in April. Meantime, according to SunSoft Distributed Objects Everywhere project director Jim Green, Solaris provides the modular component structure, while at the heart of the new technology is the Object Management Group’s Common Object Request Broker Architecture specification, which acts as a backplane to all new object-oriented Solaris Distributed Objects Everywhere components. Interfacing with this is Sun’s JOSS Joint Object Services Submission – now renamed COSS by the Object Group – object services, which define object relationships with each other, networks and applications. It covers conventions such as persistent object storage, naming, events, execution and addressing. At a higher level are a set of common facilities, which deal with compound documents and embedding and linking objects and parts of applications. Also on this tier is OpenStep. It will specifically provide developers with visual programming capabilities such as a graphical user interface builder and object gluing techniques. The two other planes connected to Distributed Objects Everywhere CORBA are application specific and generic specific applications. How will it work? SunSoft’s Distributed Objects Everywhere operating extension system, which comprises Distributed Objects Everywhere CORBA and COSS object services, will sit atop the existing Solaris operating system. This is also where Hewlett-Packard’s Distributed Object Management Facility and IBM’s Distributed Systems Object Model technologies reside in the Taligent Inc environments. The OpenStep interface sits on top of this and provides developers with Distributed Objects Everywhere’s application development environment. As far as the Common Desktop Environment is concerned, SunSoft says Common Desktop will only be available for developers that want to remain in procedural C coding environments. Organisations looking to object modelling techniques in any form will be urged, Green says, to go to the NeXTstep interface and migrate to Distributed Objects Everywhere-based Solaris later. We will not abandon the Common Desktop interface and will provide a solution for company’s that want it. But our long term operating system strategy is to introduce a fully object-oriented version of Solaris, says Green.

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