Iona Brings Component-Based Development to the AS/400

In the world of distributed computing, two component architectures continue to vie with one another for supremacy, the Component Object Model (COM) from Microsoft Corp and the Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA), which is sponsored by the Open Group. Until recently, the mere existence of distributed component-based development may have meant very little to most AS/400 administrators, but thanks to the efforts of Iona Technologies P.L.C. (www.iona.com), AS/400 managers may soon be all agog over the possibilities of COM and CORBA.

In late February, Iona officially announced support for its Orbix family of middleware products on the AS/400e platform. Accordingly, Iona positioned its Orbix-on-the-AS/400e as a boon for the IBM midrange platform, indicating that because of the integration with disparate operating environments afforded by its Orbix middleware products, the age of standards-based application integration was at hand for the AS/400.

"By extending Orbix support for AS/400, we are enabling organizations to leverage their IBM AS/400 platform for the creation of integrated enterprise applications,” says Clare Dillon, product manager with Iona technologies.

The premise of component-based development is simple: Using a component architecture, programmers can build new applications by snapping together existing components and objects, whether they’ve already built them or purchased them either discretely or as part of a separate application. Together, these components can work to perform the function of an application. To ensure that disparate components can coexist with other components within an application, developers build components in compliance with an established component object interoperability architecture, such as COM, CORBA or, increasingly, Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB).

--by S. Swoyer