Microsoft Corp’s move to put ActiveX into an industry body last Friday (CI No 2,965) is widely seen as a pre-emptive strike against Netscape Communications Corp, which yesterday announced a new intranet strategy in which it gives away software development tools for writing Internet and intranet applications free. The tools, collectively known as the Netscape […]
Support for IIOP means users will be able to access objects residing on remote networks from their browsers without having to access HTTP/CGI Web servers. Netscape will take the all-Java Corba-compliant IIOP implementation created by PostModern Computing, the promising little ORB house now owned by Visigenic Software Inc, which Netscape recently bought a piece of, and insert it in Galileo, once Dogbert, its next-generation Navigator 4.0 browser reportedly due next quarter. Two IFCs, for user interface controls and user interface services will ship at the same time. IFC classes for security, messaging, and distributed objects will ship next quarter and the first quarter of next year. IIOP will also feature in Orion, Netscape’s next-generation of SuiteSpot servers due 18 months from now. Corba-IIOP, while strengthening, is not a runaway success. Sun Microsystems Inc’s JavaSoft, supposedly in the OMG camp, though not directly a member, does not support IIOP natively in Java much to OMG’s chagrin. However the Netscape-OMG axis threatens to change all that, making IIOP-Corba look more like a de facto standard, and bringing it to the world’s attention. The OMG also has designs on the Web’s HTTP HyperText Transfer Protocol, the protocol that’s synonymous with the Internet. It would like to see http and IIOP merged to create the next-generation HTTP, making Corba the Web’s infrastructure and king, hardly Microsoft’s cup of tea. Redmond pooh-poohs Corba’s commercial weight and dismisses Netscape’s plan by saying, It’s one thing to be issuing press releases and white papers. It’s another to have a product. It proclaims ActiveX the most widely used object framework, a thriving industry composed of millions of developers and believes it should become the industry standard. It quotes Gideon Gartner’s Giga Information Group research numbers which suggest the ActiveX market, worth $240 million now, will grow to $2 billion by the end of the century.