Microsoft Announces COM+

SAN DIEGO, Sept. 23, 1997 — Today at the Microsoft® Professional Developers Conference, Microsoft Corp. announced plans for COM+, an evolutionary extension to the Component Object Model (COM), the most widely used component technology in the world. COM+ will make it even easier for developers to create software components in any language using any tool. COM+ builds on the factors that have made today’s COM the choice of developers worldwide, including the following:

  • The richest integrated services, including transactions, security, message queuing and database access to support the broadest range of application scenarios

  • The widest choice of tools from multiple vendors using multiple development languages

  • The largest customer base for customizable applications and reusable components

  • Proven interoperability with users’ and developers’ existing investments

COM provides the component technology for Microsoft Windows® Distributed interNet Applications (Windows DNA) architecture, which enables developers to integrate Web-based and client/server applications in a single, unified architecture. Using COM, developers can create distributed components that are written in any language and that can interact over any network. COM also provides interoperability with components on other platforms such as Solaris, HP-UX, DEC UNIX and Siemens Nixdorf SINIX.

COM+ expands Microsoft’s lead in component and object technology by making it easier to build and use components in any language, as well as providing new, innovative services for developers. Delivered on the Windows platform, COM+ is designed to preserve and extend customers’ current investments in COM. Applications currently using COM technology will work in the COM+ environment. In addition, developers may choose to take advantage of the ease of use and rich new optional services that COM+ provides in key areas such as database access.

“The key design goal of COM+ is to put into the system more of the supporting infrastructure needed to write modern, distributed applications in any language so that developers do not have to re-create it themselves,” said Bob Muglia, vice president of server applications at Microsoft. “Developers can concentrate on writing the logic to solve their problems, rather than writing code to manage and facilitate the use of object technology.”

COM+ builds on the experience gained from the development and use of COM and associated products and technologies such as Microsoft Transaction Server and Microsoft developer tools, and it incorporates feedback from thousands of developers around the world. One example of Microsoft’s response to this feedback is the data-binding feature in COM+, which allows binding between object fields and specific database fields. Data binding lets developers create database applications with less programming. Another example is a new extensibility mechanism in the COM architecture called interceptors. Interceptors allow components to redirect their functionality dynamically to call various services at run time, rather than being bound to a single implementation of service. Interceptors can receive and process events related to instance creation, calls and returns, errors, and instance deletion. Interceptors also provide the mechanism to implement transactions and system monitoring as well as data access and other distributed services. COM+ is an evolutionary step to easier, more productive development and the next generation of component-based applications. The COM+ run-time environment and services make all of this possible.

“COM+ takes COM to a higher level,” said Bob Zurek, vice president of Web application and development tools at Sybase Inc. “This will result in more extensible services and more powerful applications.”

Building on a Successful Base

COM+ builds on the proven success of COM, the world’s most widely used component software technology:

  • COM is in use on 200 million systems worldwide.

  • COM supports a vibrant component marketplace. The demand for third-party components based on COM has been estimated to be $410 million this year, with a projected 65 percent compound annual growth rate, and it is expected to grow to approximately $3 billion by 2001 (source: Giga Information Group). This base of available components allows developers to choose from a wide variety of components to assemble applications and solutions, which has revolutionized development on Windows platforms.

  • COM supports thousands of available applications, including the highest-volume applications in the industry.

  • Major system vendors such as Hewlett-Packard Co., Digital Equipment Corp. and Siemens Nixdorf Information Systems Inc. have announced plans to ship COM on UNIX and non-UNIX systems within the year, and additional vendor commitments are expected to follow. In addition, Software AG has ported COM to many operating systems, including Solaris and MVS.

  • COM consists of a well-defined, mature and stable specification, which is freely available at , as well as a reference implementation, which has been widely tested and adopted worldwide as a de facto standard.

  • COM is supported by the largest number of tools available for any component or object model.

  • COM+ enables the creation of the next generation of component-based applications, making it even easier to build and use components and providing richer, extensible services. Prerelease versions of COM+ for developers are scheduled to be available in the fourth quarter of 1997.

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