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Tibco puts CORBA to work

Middleware maker Tibco is adding CORBA capabilities to make building distributed object applications easier for corporate developers.

Middleware software specialist Tibco Software is adding CORBA (common object request broker architecture) capabilities to make building distributed object applications easier for corporate developers.

The company has debuted TIB/ObjectBus 2.0, a virtual Swiss Army knife of push, object, and messaging middleware technologies intended to give corporate developers one-stop shopping for server-based middleware.

Tibco already sells messaging software, called TIB, for linking multiple dissimilar systems to share information. By adding a CORBA-compliant ORB (object request broker) to the package, Tibco now offers software that should appeal to the growing numbers of companies assembling CORBA-compliant Web-based component applications, said one analyst.

"In effect Tibco has just put [an ORB] personality on top of TIB," said Ed Acly, an analyst with International Data Corporation. The software enables the development of "any sort of publish and subscribe applications to get data out to a lot of people, and for guaranteed delivery. All kinds of things that you will not get out of CORBA itself," said Acly.

ORBs function as middleware that find and pass objects to requesting applications, no matter where on the network they are located. The use of ORB software from companies such as Visigenic and rival Iona has exploded since the explosion of the Internet.

Tibco is hoping to cash in on the trend with TIB/ObjectBus, said Acly. "Everyone thinks its politically correct to have ORB attached to their name. It's the latest rage."

CORBA--a spec that was virtually unused until the advent of the Web--has been endorsed by Netscape Communications and Oracle for Web application development.

The new software will be useful for high-performance messaging applications, and will supply developers with capabilities that are not yet supported in the CORBA spec, said Acly.

"ORB vendors are trying to conform to CORBA and build these services, and it's a long process. Or, you have people like Tibco who are putting CORBA compliance on top of their existing middleware."

TIB/ObjectBus is priced at $600 per client desktop and at $5,000 for a developer's license.