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August 15, 1996


By CBR Staff Writer

In the beginning there were Solaris, NeXTstep and Corba. Then Java came along and turned SunSoft Inc’s object world upside down. As a result, Sun Microsystems Inc’s software shop believes users and developers will have to live with both [Java and Corba models] for some time. However until one goes away it is prepared to allow developers to move between the two worlds without impediment. With that in mind, SunSoft is developing an object-oriented repository and design method it says will enable developers to generate Java and Object Management Group Interface Definition Language, IDL, stubs from a single program. Given its belief that there will always be more Java developers than Corba programmers, the default repository will be Java-based. There is no time-frame for the work although it says it will start making noises about the work in the fall. It is building the repository from pieces of technology culled from other projects, but is prepared to buy additional work in. It says it will continue to support the Corba tools and Interface Definition Language compiler it offers for use with its Solaris-based NEO object environment as long as they are required, but expects Java developers won’t actually want to learn Corba, just access it. SunSoft stresses the work isn’t a universal software engineering-type object repository. It believes Corba will retain its usefulness for back-end and decision support systems but says it isn’t suitable for the real-time work that Java can do. There will always be a trade-off using Corba because of its language binding and language neutrality issues. It says a uniform language binding for Java and Corba is needed as soon as possible, not one that is just close.

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