Hewlett-Packard Co appears to have resuscitated its rather sickly ORB-Plus object request broker as part of a re-vamped object campaign, and now promises support for the TCP/IP-based GIOP/Universal Networked Objects Common Object Request Broker Architecture 2 interoperability specification that it unsucessfully lobbied against with Digital Equipment Corp late last year (CI No 2,554). Hewlett-Packard said […]
Hewlett-Packard Co appears to have resuscitated its rather sickly ORB-Plus object request broker as part of a re-vamped object campaign, and now promises support for the TCP/IP-based GIOP/Universal Networked Objects Common Object Request Broker Architecture 2 interoperability specification that it unsucessfully lobbied against with Digital Equipment Corp late last year (CI No 2,554). Hewlett-Packard said the Distributed Computing Environment Remote Procedure Call remains the more reliable communications path for the present, but said that by the fourth quarter it will have a beta version of ORB-Plus supporting both that environment and the Universal Networked Objects mechanisms. General shipments of the ORB-Plus development system, which the company had appeared to be cutting loose in favour of a shrink-wrapped object product strategy after the Object Group vote went against it, will begin in the first quarter of next year. Hewlett is not disclosing where it has gone for its GIOP/Universal Networked Objects support, and said it is unlikely to reveal the source even when the request broker ships. The product is just one component of the company’s re-written object story, which is now endowed with a single voice via a newly-created Enterprise Object Programme unit in Cupertino, California. The programme will funnel object work being carried out across the organisation into a couple of development labs. It is run by marketing manager John Whelan, plus a technical director, both reporting to Computer Systems Group boss Bernard Guidon.
The company, which currently supports NeXTstep natively on its Precision Architecture RISC- and iAPX-86-based lines, would not comment on whether it will upgrade its relationship with NeXT Computer Inc to include the forthcoming operating system-independent OpenStep, which SunSoft Inc is implementing as the key component of its Distributed Objects Everywhere environment. NeXT, however, admits to having a deal with Hewlett-Packard (CI No 2,668), which should be public in around five weeks’ time, leading observers to gossip that there could be other ingredients. Hewlett-Packard said NeXTstep remains a stand-alone product as far as it is concerned, since it has yet to demonstrate how it will dish up a full object request broker implementation. Meantime the company said its remains committed to its Taligent Inc investment, planning to introduce the IBM Corp-Apple Computer Inc-Hewlett-Packard firm’s CommonPoint-based products next year. It is glad that Taligent no longer harbours any desire to do the TalOS microkernel – which Hewlett-Packard had no mind to adopt in any case – claiming it lobbied the company hard to focus on the application support and development environments. The company, which is implementing Taligent for HP-UX, will tie its SoftBench C++ and Distributed Smalltalk development environments into its various object-oriented efforts. It had originally planned to tie its object products into IBM’s System Object Model but said the notion did not pan out and that interoperability with the IBM model and other object models will be accomplished through the Object Management Group Interface Definition Language. It has not decided whether OpenDoc or Object Linking & Embedding will provide its d ocument interchange requirement, claiming it is still trying to understand customers’ demands in a market where there’s currently very uneven investment.