By the end of the year developers should at last be able to write Java programs that can connect directly to distributed OMG Corba environments by using an add-on to JDK. Over the summer Sun Microsystems Inc and its Java pal IBM Corp will make available to early adopters a version of the Java RMI […]
By the end of the year developers should at last be able to write Java programs that can connect directly to distributed OMG Corba environments by using an add-on to JDK. Over the summer Sun Microsystems Inc and its Java pal IBM Corp will make available to early adopters a version of the Java RMI remote method invocation implemented over Corba’s IIOP Inter-ORB Protocol. It will ship by year-end as an extension to the current JDK 1.1.6 and will be included in the core of the forthcoming JDK 1.2 release. Existing Corba developers will not need to make any changes to support the extension. Sun will continue to ship the Java IDL mapping component of the JDK that includes an object request broker enabling developers to write Java applications which can connect indirectly to Corba networks. Back in February OMG announced it had modified its Corba specification enabling IIOP to act as the transport for RMI (CI No 3,551). It’s a culmination of Sun’s June 1997 decision to Corba-ize Java by implementing the proprietary, Java-to-Java RMI over IIOP (CI No 3,191). Whether it amounts to the kind of support for IIOP the Object management Group originally envisaged Sun would build into Java in 1996 when then OMG CEO Chris Stone said in a letter to JavaSoft boss Alan Baratz that supporting IIOP via add-on modules simply wasn’t good enough isn’t clear (CI No 2,996). Moreover Sun’s not giving up on the proprietary RMI altogether and nor is it any longer talking about providing a single mechanism for connecting Java to other Java applications as well as Corba. Instead Sun says it will continue to enhance the original RMI which uses the lightweight JRMP Java remote method protocol to connect Java applets with Java servers across distributed environments. IBM, which praises Sun’s increasing enthusiasm for Corba says this matters little as the development community understands JRMP doesn’t know anything about security or transactions and figures anyone doing any Java enterprise work will have to use the IIOP version of RMI. IBM, which is now working closely with Sun on a variety projects, has previously said that if Java is to become an open industry standard platform it should become less associated with Sun. But its desire to take the Sun out of Java, it admits, is tempered by the nature of Sun’s stewardship of Java at any given point, and says it’s currently happy with the way it is proceeding.