Siemens Nixdorf Informationssysteme AG last week laid the foundation of a long-anticipated architecture for distributing objects around its Unix, mainframe and Microsoft Corp operating systems, licensing the core elements of SunSoft Inc’s Distributed Objects Everywhere environment. SunSoft Inc, which has been pursuing Siemens Nixdorf Informationssysteme for some time, beat out the likes of Taligent Inc […]
Siemens Nixdorf Informationssysteme AG last week laid the foundation of a long-anticipated architecture for distributing objects around its Unix, mainframe and Microsoft Corp operating systems, licensing the core elements of SunSoft Inc’s Distributed Objects Everywhere environment. SunSoft Inc, which has been pursuing Siemens Nixdorf Informationssysteme for some time, beat out the likes of Taligent Inc and indeed Microsoft’s own Common Object Model in a lengthy evaluation process the Paderborner undertook over a period of a year or more. As well as licensing Distributed Objects Everywhere’s core object request broker and development technologies and implementing them under its Sinix Unix, Siemens Nixdorf will convert the TCP/IP-based framework to the Open Software Foundation’s Distributed Computing Environment Remote Procedure Call. This runs on Siemens BS2000 mainframes and provides interoperability with Microsoft Common Object Model Object Linking & Embedding using its own engineering, third party tools and Iona Technologies Ltd’s Orbix request broker, which provides a gateway between Distributed Objects Everywhere, Common Object Request Broker Architecture and Object Linking & Embedding objects. Siemens Nixdorf’s Distributed Objects Everywhere -to- Distributed Computing Environment implementation will be used as the Software Foundation’s reference implementation, and Siemens Nixdorf is already using a Sinix version of Orbix internally. Siemens Nixdorf claims it has an initiative that predates it, and is independent of what is going on over at the Object Management Group, but it will use whatever Object Group specifications emerge. This newest sweep of the object brush across the organisation is part of Siemens Nixdorf’s across-the-board Open Systems Direction, which envisages the ability to create objects that can be accessed from all the company’s environments. Siemens Nixdorf and SunSoft plan to co-operate on future object technologies and will maintain compatibility between Distributed Objects Everywhere on Solaris and Sinix.
The two companies have already made a shopping list of unspecified technology on which they will collaborate. Although the agreement is described as a technology exchange, the Sun Microsystems Inc software subsidiary says that it has not decided whether it will take back any of Siemens Nixdorf’s enhancements to the technology, and it is adamant that the Distributed Computing Environment work will be Siemens Nixdorf’s particular implementation, and not a Distributed Objects Everywhere -on- Distributed Computing Environment implementation per se. Ominously, Siemens Nixdorf has, for the time being, decided against using Distributed Objects Everywhere’s NeXTstep-based OpenStep object application environment and development tools, saying that large independent software vendors simply are not interested in an OpenStep front-end or Objective C tools. Instead, the company says it plans to use Distributed Objects Everywhere’s original development environment, the C++-based Object Design Facility. Meantime, it is evaluating other desktop development systems such as PowerBuilder and other front-ends for its framework, including the Taligent Application Environment. The company also plans to run a Smalltalk environment on top, courtesy of the Object Management Group’s Smalltalk language bindings. Siemens Nixdorf advises that it is not promising anything tangible much before the second half of 1995.