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Ionasphere Issue 18: June 1996

The June 1996 IonaSphere(TM) is included below and is also available on the Web here . IonaSphere keeps you up-to-date with developments in the world of Object Technology and new products and services from IONA Technologies.

This month, there is a lot to announce: we signed important agreements with both Apple and IBM that will further extend the Orbix franchise. We also released OrbixTalk, an implementation of the OMG Events service based on multicast messaging and UDP/IP.

For readers keen to find out more about Orbix and IONA, visit our Web site at www.iona.com. Recent arrivals include automated ordering of both our free OrbixWeb Java product, a downloadable Visual Basic demo, and all our new documentation. The IONA web site is now a leading information source on CORBA and application integration, and we recently set up a mirrored site to enable faster access.

If you wish to be added to/removed from this list, email IonaSphere-request@iona.com indicating your wish. If you need any further information on the products or services mentioned below, please contact info@iona.com.

The pieces of news herein:

I18-A> IONA And IBM Collaborate on Object Technologies

In a move that will fuel the growth of open, distributed computing, IONA Technologies and IBM announced, on May 8th, an agreement to collaborate on their respective object technologies, with particular focus on interoperability between IBM System Object Model (SOM)(TM) technology and IONA's Orbix(R) offering.

Through SOM technology, developers can build applications using software components that may be deployed on different operating systems, or reside in remote networks. Orbix, which runs on 20 operating systems, enables developers to create networked, component-based applications that can collaborate across multiple platforms. Orbix is a leading implementation of the Object Management Group (OMG) Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA)standard for open object interoperability.

"IBM's collaboration with IONA will enable customers to build applications with confidence that these applications will interoperate consistently, based on the standards set by OMG," said John Slitz, vice president, application development and object technologies marketing, IBM Software Group.

[see Press_Release: press44.txt available on IONA's ftp server, or http://www.iona.com/PR/IBM.html on the Web]

I18-B> Alliance with Apple to Build Orbix Support on Mac Os

Also on May 8, IONA and Apple Computer Inc. announced the formation of a strategic alliance to support Apple's customers requiring connectivity from OpenDoc-based applications to the world of Orbix and CORBA 2.0. Apple(R) and IONA intend to work together to ensure that Orbix interoperates easily with OpenDoc - based applications. IONA intends to ship Orbix 2.0 for Mac OS(R) System 7.5 by Fall 1996.

OpenDoc is new plug-in software architecture for Mac OS, Windows, Unix, and OS/2 that lets developers write software components that can be dragged and dropped into documents created by any OpenDoc-aware application.

"Apple is seeing initial success with developers adopting OpenDoc as a standard object and messaging model to build information systems, application components and Internet applications," said Dr. Ike Nassi, vice president, System Software Technology at Apple Computer, Inc. "With Orbix, Apple customers have OpenDoc connectivity between Mac OS- based systems, and to the wider world of Orbix and CORBA 2.0."

[see Press_Release: press45.txt available on IONA's ftp server or http://www.iona.com/PR/Apple.html on the Web]

I18-C> OrbixTalk(TM) Combines CORBA and Multicast Messaging

IONA Technologies has unveiled OrbixTalk as the first implementation of the CORBA Events Services. OrbixTalk combines standards-based distributed object technology with message-oriented middleware. IONA also announced a powerful extension to the OrbixTalk product, codenamed Orbix TalkStore.

OrbixTalk is a scaleable messaging system built on the Orbix product line. It implements a powerful and flexible events paradigm, which enables reliable de-coupled messaging between objects in a distributed system. The Orbix TalkStore extension adds the reliability of full persistence and playback facilities.

"The de-coupled interaction provided in OrbixTalk enables our customers to build component-based, collaborative applications to any scale. OrbixTalk is faithful to the CORBAservices Events standard, and works with Orbix, guaranteeing future-proofing for large-scale enterprise distributed applications," says Annrai O'Toole, chief technology officer at IONA Technologies.

Scalability is ensured by the asynchronous nature of the OrbixTalk architecture which means clients and servers are not locked into a single, exclusive dialog. IONA Technologies has extended the asynchronous model of the Events CORBAservice specification with persistence and multicast functionality.

[See Press_Release, press46.txt, available on IONA's ftp server or http://www.iona.com/PR/OrbixTalk.html on the Web. There is also a white paper available at http://www.iona.com/Orbix/Talk/ ]

I18-D> Orbix Java Implementation Available Free of Charge

OrbixWeb, IONA Technologies' Java CORBA implementation, is now available, and can be licensed at no cost. OrbixWeb, shipping since mid-March, may be ordered via the IONA web-site. The June 7th release will feature both IIOP and Orbix protocol support.

Current Web technologies give users crude access to the power of the Internet - with http users can only really pull pages of text and graphics back and forth across the net. Java increases the value of the Internet by bringing application logic into the picture - Graphical User Interface functionality can now be added to a Web page. Integration with Orbix adds another dimension, offering the ability to perform semantically rich client/server operations.

OrbixWeb has been specially modularized and optimized for large networks, with a reduced footprint and streamlined class libraries. When a user encounters an OrbixWeb based Java applet on the Internet, a streamlined small-footprint, Orbix CORBA client runtime environment is dynamically downloaded to his machine. This then enables the client to connect to a whole range of back-end services, without having to explicitly download any of the functionality, and without the pain of building complex bespoke communication mechanisms across socket interfaces. Thus large-scale applications can quickly and easily become truly Intranet-ready using the power of CORBA.

[See Press_Release, press47.txt, available on ftp or http://www.iona.com/PR/Java.html on the Web. There is also a white paper available at http://www.iona.com/Orbix/Java/ ]

I18-E> IONA Sponsors OMG Corbanet

IONA is sponsoring the Corbanet Initiative of OMG. This is a permanent display of IIOP interoperability between Orbs, managed and run by DSTC in Australia. The demo involves a simple room booking system, that is implemented upon Orbix and other vendors Orbs. To check it out go to http://corbanet.dstc.edu.au/ on the Web. To see the press release check out OMG's web server http://www.omg.org/press/corbanet.htm

"IONA is committed to open published standards. Interoperability is a fundamental tenet of CORBA.", said Colin Newman, VP Marketing at IONA. "The continuous demonstration of interoperability amongst all vendors Orbs is a ringing endorsement of standards working to give the customer freedom from proprietary lock-in."

118-F> IONA Establishes Australian Base to Expand Presence in Pacific Rim

IONA Technologies recently announced the opening of its Pacific Rim headquarters in Perth, Western Australia. This office will provide even faster technical support and product advice to IONA's customer base throughout Australia and the Pacific Rim.

The move to Perth is also in line with IONA's push to provide the best support for its customers around the world. With offices in Boston., MA., Dublin, Ireland and Perth, IONA can now switch its communications network to provide round-the-clock technical support for Orbix customers.

The Australian office will be headed up by Dr David Glance who has over ten years experience in systems development, six of these in distributed object-oriented systems in a commercial setting. "The Pacific Rim represents an exciting new market for us. We already have distributors and resellers in Japan, and Australia. Establishing a presence in Perth will enable us to provide closer support for these partners as well as for our growing number of blue chip customers in the region" said Dr Glance.

Contact details in Perth are as follows:-

IONA Technologies Pty. Ltd.
PO BOX 7758                     Phone: +61 9 322 4222
Cloisters Square                Fax:   +61 9 322 4221
Perth WA 6850                   email: info@iona.com
[See Press_Release, press48.txt, available on ftp server or http://www.iona.com/PR/Australia.html on the Web]

I18-G> Orbix/Enterprise for MVS Early Adopters Program

IONA has announced the Early Adopters Program for Orbix/Enterprise for MVS. The program is designed to provide early product access to a small number of partners for whom Orbix and MVS are strategic. The program is open to companies that are actively using Orbix and that want to integrate MVS into their CORBA environment.

The motivation for the program is to ensure that the direction and quality of our product is determined by the mission critical enterprise user. By participating in the program you receive Orbix/Enterprise for MVS software as it becomes available from our laboratories and substantial discounts on the final product. You will have access to our development team to raise issues, to regular design reviews, and to on-line fora to make suggestions as to which features need to be improved or added. Each member can also nominate an individual to liaise directly with IONA's Enterprise Product Manager, giving you a direct conduit to the heart of IONA's development plans.

Orbix for MVS is currently available to program members on MVS 5.2.2. Integrations with IMS and CICS are currently in development. Further integrations and features will be announced throughout the program.

For further information contact Conor Halpin <chalpin@iona.com> .

I18-H> Neuron Data and IONA Team to Provide Object Interoperability

Extending the reach of applications that are based on different object standards from client/server Intranets to the global realm of the World Wide Web (WWW) is now as easy as writing a short, Visual Basic-like script using the generally available Elements 2.0 Early Developer Release. For professional developers, that is the bottom line benefit of a new alliance between component-based development tool leader Neuron Data and IONA Technologies whose Orbix product is the world leading CORBA-compliant Object Request Broker (ORB).

ORBIX support lets users of Neuron Data's Elements 2.0 development environment assemble heterogeneous objects into instantly portable and scaleable distributed applications. Elements can now integrate CORBA objects with C++, OLE, Web and Java objects and, as a result, it is the only currently available development tool that permits application interoperability across more than 20 hardware, operating system and network platforms.

[See Press_Release, press49.txt, available on ftp.iona.com]

I18-I> Isis and IONA Announce Orbix+Isis 1.1 for NT

Isis Distributed Systems and IONA announced the availability of Orbix + Isis version 1.1 developer's release for Windows NT. Orbix+Isis, an industry leading tool for building fault-tolerant application objects, is the result of a joint development project between Isis and IONA. The product integrates CORBA compliance with Isis Reliable run-time technology delivering the only product for building truly fault-tolerant CORBA object applications.

Orbix+Isis version 1.1 for Windows NT bridges the gap between interfaces by combining features of Microsoft's OLE and OMG's CORBA technologies. The OLE integration, available later this month, enables standard Windows tools, such as Visual Basic, to transparently invoke replicated Orbix+Isis objects through an OLE interface. Orbix+Isis replicated objects can be deployed on either UNIX or Windows NT servers to provide fault-tolerant, object-based, application services to desktop clients.

"Orbix+Isis 1.1 for NT will deliver to current IONA customers a continuously available, standards compliant environment for rapid integration of reliable, distributed, business critical applications," said Annrai O'Toole, of IONA Technologies. "With Orbix+Isis, IONA customers are able to develop continuously available applications on an enterprise-wide infrastructure across all significant platforms."

[See Press_Release, press50.txt, available on ftp.iona.com]

I18-J> OrbixWise Attracts Over 30 Companies since April

OrbixWise, the IONA program which assists partners, customers, ISVs and consultants active in the use of Orbix, now numbers more than 30 members.

TeamOrbix, which assists consultants and integrators, already boasts companies such as Price Waterhouse and Oracle Corporation. OrbixWare, the program for ISV's integrating their products with Orbix, is due to be launched officially later this month. However, the excitement which this program has generated has led a number of companies to jump on board already.

Since the launch in April in IonaSphere, we have had many queries from interested companies, and can now point to the OrbixWise Web page - under construction - which outlines more fully the program, its aims and highlights. For more information on the programs, contact Michael Kelly at orbixwise@iona.com or read http://www.iona.com/www/Orbix/OrbixWISE/index.html.

Additionally, the inaugural edition of The Orbix Journal, appearing quarterly and in print, will be distributed this month. More time and space will also be devoted to what the Orbix community is doing - whether it be users, programmers, resellers, students. To ensure you will receive a copy of The Orbix Journal, send an email to journal@iona.com with your full postal address.

I18-K> High Profile Speakers Present at IONA's Orbix World

IONA Technologies has secured a line-up of experienced guest speakers for IONA's Orbix World, which takes place at Object World West, has been finalized. They are:

Larry Podmolik, Director of Technology, Strategic Technical Resources, Chicago. Prior to joining STR, Larry was an associate partner at Andersen Consulting. He has been actively involved with using object technology since 1987 and has developed OO systems across a wide range of application and technical domains. Larry represents STR on the ANSI X3J16 C++ Standards committee and is active in several industry associations.

Carol Burt, Technical Director, BellSouth, is responsible for the Distributed Systems workplan in the BellSouth Advanced Technology Group. Coming from a background designing and developing distributed systems middleware, she has concentrated on distributed object technologies for the last 2 years. Carol is a member of the OMG Architecture Board, and holds a BS in Mathematics and a MS in Computer Science.

Jon Sholberg, Boeing Commercial Airplane Company, is the development head of the Application Integration group within Boeing's BPR initiative called Define and Control Airplane Configuration / Manufacturing Resource Management (DCAC/MRM). The Application Integration group is chartered with architecting, designing and building the integration layer that allows Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) application packages (as well as legacy applications) to interact, under the guidelines of CORBA standards. He has been involved with object-oriented development within Boeing for the past 5 years in several product manufacturing software development projects. He has a Masters of Science degree from Central Washington State University. He has been employed in software development since 1975.

If you require any information on IONA's Orbix World please contact Tara O'Sullivan <orbixworld@iona.com> or check http://www.iona.com/www/OrbixWorld.html

I18-L> IONA Tradeshow Appearances from June to September

Please feel free to drop by and say hello to the IONA staff at any of the tradeshows below:

Object World U.K. New Connaught Rooms, Covent Gardens, London, England June 19-20, 1996

ADA - Europe '96 Montreux Palace Hotel, Montreux, Switzerland June 10 - 14, 1996

Object World West San Jose Convention Center, San Jose, CA August 20 - 22, 1996

Windows Solutions Conference and Exposition Moscone Convention Center, San Francisco, CA. August 26 - 29, 1996

Object World Sydney AIC Convention Center, Sydney, Australia August 27 - 30, 1996

Object Expo Europe Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, London, England 25 - 26 September, 1996

I18-M> Orbix/CORBA Training Courses Schedule

The schedule for upcoming Orbix courses is as follows:

                24th Jun         Dublin
                24th Jun         New Jersey
                15th Jul         Campbell, CA
                29th Jul         New Jersey
                12th Aug         Campbell, CA
For more information and updates on courses contact: training@iona.com

I17-N> Current Platforms

The standard Orbix C++ CORBA implementation, runs on the following platforms:

OS                                      Compiler
SPARCompiler C++  4.x                   Solaris 2.x
Solaris 2.x                             SPARCompiler C++  3.0.2
Solaris 2.x                             GNU g++ 2.7
Solaris x86                             PROCompiler 3.0.1
SunOS 4.1.x (Solaris 1.0.1)             SPARCompiler C++ 4.x
SunOS 4.1.x (Solaris 1.0.1)             SPARCompiler C++  3.0.2
SunOS 4.1.x (Solaris 1.0.1)             GNU g++ 2.7
Hewlett Packard HP/UX 10                HP C++ A. 10.01
Hewlett Packard HP/UX 10 MT             HP C++ A. 10.01
Hewlett Packard HP/UX 9.x               HP C++ A. 3.51
Silicon Graphics IRIX 5.x               Native C++
IBM OS/2,                               C++ Set
IBM AIX 3.2.5                           C++ set
IBM AIX 4.1                             C++ set
DEC Alpha OSF/1 2.0 (Digital Unix 3.2b) DEC C++ 5.1
DEC Alpha OSF/1 3.2 MT (Digital Unix)   DEC C++
Novell UnixWare 2.0                     Native
Siemens Nixdorf Sinix                   Native
SCO Unix                                Native SCO 4.2
Windows 95 (ActivX support)             Microsoft Visual C++ 4.0/2.0
Windows NT 3.5 (ActivX Support)         Microsoft Visual C++ 4.0/2.0
Windows 3.1x (with OLE integration)     Visual C++ 1.5
Orbix is also available on OS/2, Mac, VxWorks, QNX, MVS and OpenVMS AXP.

 The first implementation of the CORBA Events Services, incorporating
 Multicast technology enabling reliable de-coupled messaging between
 objects in a distributed system.
 Orbix adapter for ObjectStore, the leading object database from Object
 Design Inc
 Orbix Real-time, is currently available on VxWorks and QNX.
 Orbix Multithreading add-on package available for Solaris, HP/UX 10.x
 and Digital Unix, and bundled with Orbix on 32-bit Windows.
 Orbix/Ada is a full implementation of an Ada95 language binding for
 Orbix. Thus Ada95 applications can now inter-operate via Orbix with
 distributed services implemented in a variety of other languages: C++,
 Java and SmallTalk. Orbix/Ada is currently shipping on Solaris.
 SmalltalkBroker is the latest advancement in SmallTalk ORB technology
 specifically designed to interoperate seamlessly with CORBA
 2.0-compliant. SmalltalkBroker is available on full release running on
 VisualWorks 2.5 .
 High availability Orbix on Solaris, HP/UX, IRIX and Windows NT.
 Integration with the UIM/X GUI builder. UIM/Orbix is available on
 Solaris, HP/UX and SunOS.
 IONA's Java CORBA implementation, is now available, and can be licensed
 at no cost.
Contact info@iona.com for information on any supported platform, beta-support@iona.com for beta program information.

I18-O> Technical Tip - Optimizing Network Buffering in Orbix

Configuring TCP/IP buffer sizes to optimize client-server communication.

Request transmissions from client to server and vice versa are done transparently to application programmers. However there is an underlying dependency on the default TCP/IP buffer size employed by the operating system in question. By tweeking this buffer size, it is possible to configure the host machine for near optimal data transfer. The principal involved is essentially that 1 request of 10 K is faster than 10 requests of 1K. Other considerations are issues such as blocking TCP/IP buffers; i.e. transmission of a TCP/IP write is delayed until the buffer is full.

Currently a request is only broken into a linked list of buffers if and only if the request size is greater than 8K. This is the default request size that can be sent at any one time. The number of buffers is dependent on the total size of the overall request.

So a request of say 64K is obviously going to be broken up into 8 buffers of 8K. If the request is smaller than 8K there is no need to split up the request and the request is sent in one go.

The 8K buffer size is normally the default specified by the TCP/IP stack in use. It is possible through the use of the socket function, setsockopt() to change the size of the send and receive buffers. This would normally be done in a registerIOCallback handler on an FD_OPEN_CALLBACK event which gives access to the file descriptor associated with a specific socket. The maximum buffer size is dependent on the TCP/IP stack used but is normally around 64K(Solaris).

The file descriptor associated with a particular client server connection can be obtained using the registerIOCallback functionality. This will give you the FD used by the client when it _binds() / connects to the server.

Included below is some sample code that illustrates the use of setsocketopt within the server. You should copy the registerIOCallBack and setsocketopt code into your server mainline and configure it accordingly.

// Server mainline code

void IT_Open (int fd) {

        // set the send buffer size, in this case 55K
        int sndBuffSize = 55000;
        int optlen = sizeof(sndBuffSize);

        // set the send buffer size
        if (setsockopt(fd, SOL_SOCKET, SO_SNDBUF, (char*) &sndBuffSize,
           optlen) < 0)
                cout << "SYSTEM error in setsockopt for SO_SNDBUF" << endl;

        // check the size of the send buffer
        if (getsockopt(fd, SOL_SOCKET, SO_SNDBUF, (char*) &sndBuffSize,
           &optlen) <0)
                cout << "SYSTEM error in getsockopt for SO_SNDBUF" << endl;
        cout << "send buffer size = " << sndBuffSize << endl;

        // likewise set the receive buffer size again to 55K
        int rcvBuffSize = 55000;
        optlen = sizeof(rcvBuffSize);

        // set the receive buffer size
        if (setsockopt(fd, SOL_SOCKET, SO_RCVBUF, (char*) &rcvBuffSize,
           optlen) < 0)
                cout << "SYSTEM error in setsockopt for SO_RCVBUF" << endl;

        // check the size of the receive buffer
        if (getsockopt(fd, SOL_SOCKET, SO_RCVBUF, (char*) &rcvBuffSize,
           &optlen) < 0)
                cout << "SYSTEM error in getsockopt for SO_RCVBUF" << endl;

        cout << "receive buffer size = " << rcvBuffSize << endl;

// within main() registerIOCallback needs to be installed as follows;

int main () {
    // register the event handler with the ORB
    CORBA::Orbix.registerIOCallback( IT_Open, FD_OPEN_CALLBACK);

etc. etc.

I18-P> New Documents

Mailserver Keyword       Actual Filename      Contents
directory:  Press_Releases/
press44                 Press44.txt    * Announcement w.r.t. the IONA and IBM
                                       collaboration on Object Technologies
press45                 Press45.txt    * Announcement w.r.t. the IONA and
                                       Apple alliance for Orbix on MAC OS
press46                 Press46.txt    * Announcement w.r.t. CORBA and
                                       Multicast Messaging in OrbixTalk
press47                 Press47.txt    * Announcement w.r.t. free licensing of
press48                 Press48.txt    * Announcement w.r.t. the opening of
                                       IONA's new Pacific Rim Headquarters
press49                 Press49.txt    * Announcement w.r.t. IONA and Neuron
                                       Data alliance
press50                 Press50.txt    * Announcement w.r.t availability of
                                       Orbix+Isis 1.1 for NT
directory: White_Papers/
otalk_wp.doc             otalk_wp.doc  * White Paper on OrbixTalk (msword)
otalk_wp.ps              otalk_wp.ps   * White Paper on OrbixTalk
otalk_mo.doc             otalk_mo.doc  * Management Overview on OrbixTalk
otalk_mo.ps              otalk_mo.doc  * Management Overview on OrbixTalk

There are several means of obtaining the above documents:
             electronic mail server     - server@iona.com
             anonymous ftp file server  - ftp ftp.iona.com
             World Wide Web             - http://www.iona.com/
             air mail document manager  - editor@iona.com
To receive the article from our mail server include the Mailserver Keyword in the body of an email. For example, to obtain the MS Word version of our Orbix for Windows 3.1 introduction, simply send mail to server@iona.com and include the word "win31.doc" in the body of the mail.

NOTE: You can only have one keyword per mail. Only the keyword will work.

Request the "Help" file for more details

For Further Information Contact IONA Technologies Email: info@iona.com, In the USA and Canada call: 1-800-orbix4u (672 4948).

IONA has offices in Cambridge MA, Dublin, Ireland and Perth, Australia, as well as a worldwide network of distributors