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Iona eases developer hurdles

The company announces a new software tool that lets developers write applications using both Enterprise JavaBeans and CORBA programming models.

Iona Technologies yesterday announced a new software tool that lets developers write applications using both Enterprise JavaBeans and CORBA programming models and in the process ease developer headaches.

Iona's OrbixHome is an easy-to-use, drag-and-drop tool that lets programmers write and deploy EJB applications that sit on top of a CORBA engine, Iona executives said.

Ted Schadler, research director of analyst firm Forrester Research, said bridging the two programming models in one product is smart because it allows developers to transition from the more mature CORBA programming model to the emerging and simpler-to-use EJB technology.

Microsoft has a competing programming model called Component Object Model (COM). A standards group, called the Object Management Group, has built bridges that link CORBA and COM together, as well as CORBA and EJB together.

Iona historically has focused on CORBA technology. But the company in February announced plans to integrate CORBA and EJB together in its products. As part of the strategy, Iona purchased a small EJB software firm, called EJBHome.

The new product, called OrbixHome, ties together the EJBHome technology with Iona's Orbix middleware software. It lets EJB developers take advantage of CORBA's strong transaction and security features, said John McGuire, Iona's senior product manager for Java middleware products.

OrbixHome, which supports the EJB 1.1 specification, will ship in the third quarter. Pricing has not been announced.

It will support Windows 95 and 98 and different flavors of Unix, including Sun Solaris, HP-UX, IBM AIX and DEC-UNIX. Future releases of OrbixHome will support C++, COBOL and COM+.