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Iona fortifies Java strategy

Iona Technologies solidifies its Java strategy by purchasing an Enterprise JavaBeans software firm and announcing plans to license Java from Sun Microsystems.

SAN FRANCISCO--Iona Technologies solidified its Java strategy today by purchasing an Enterprise JavaBeans software firm and announcing plans to license Java from Sun Microsystems.

Iona today bought United Kingdom-based EJBHome, a two-person firm which claims to have shipped the first implementation of Enterprise JavaBeans 1.0 last July. Ionix hopes to integrate EJB into its products by April.

EJBHome's software will allow developers to build, install, and manage EJB components within Iona's Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA)-based middleware products, Iona executives said at its users conference here today. With Java and CORBA becoming more integrated, today's purchase is a perfect fit for both companies, said executives from both middleware firms. Financial details of the purchase were not disclosed.

Iona also said it will license Java from Sun Microsystems to give EJBHome a stronger voice in the Java standards community.

"Java will be the programming language of choice. In two years time, the vast majority of server-side will be written in Java," said Annrai O'Toole, Iona's chief technology officer.

Iona today also released several new products as part of its plan to make middleware easier to use. The company's "C3" vision, according to executives, includes component-based development, using CORBA, Component Object Model (COM), and EJBs; containers, which provide features and services, such as transactions, system management, and security to enable diverse components to work together; and connectors, which bridge its middleware products with databases, enterprise resource planning systems, and the Microsoft Transaction Server.

The company today released a new version of its middleware development product, Orbix 3, which offers COM-CORBA integration, rapid application development, load balancing, and built-in Internet security features.

Iona also announced OrbixOTM 3, which offers integrated middleware services including transactions, systems management, directory services, and security. The latest version includes Java support and consolidated encryption and firewall technology to help secure applications for the Internet.

The company also announced a new product that brings Corba middleware features to mainframe developers who write in Orbix PL/I for OS/390.

Orbix 3, available for Sun Solaris, HP-UX, and Windows NT, costs $6,995 per Unix developer and $2,995 per NT developer. Orbix OTM will ship in the 1999 second quarter and cost $11,000 for each Unix developer and $6,500 for each NT developer.