Microsoft Announces Application Interoperability Initiatives
REDMOND, Wash., Jan. 26, 1998 — Microsoft Corp. today announced several new interoperability initiatives, including direct availability and support from Microsoft for its Component Object Model (COM) for use on systems other than the Microsoft® Windows® operating system. As part of this work, Microsoft has staffed an internal development and support team for COM on UNIX.
In separate announcements, Iona Technologies PLC and Microsoft announced Iona’s licensing of COM to provide interoperability with the Orbix implementation of Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA), and Silicon Graphics Inc. announced licensing of COM for its IRIX systems. Together, these and earlier developments deliver on Microsoft’s promise to provide the industry’s most comprehensive platform for interoperability.
Application developers are looking for new ways to reduce development costs and extend the life of their existing applications. One way to achieve this goal is to build new applications out of components and to enhance existing applications by adding component interfaces to existing software. By providing COM on multiple platforms, developers can use a single object model to build cross-platform solutions out of components that run on heterogeneous systems.
“Customers require interoperability with existing enterprise applications to realize the full advantage of new component-based development technologies such as COM,” said Bob Muglia, vice president, server applications group at Microsoft. “Microsoft COM-based initiatives in this area make interoperability between Windows-based applications and other applications a practical reality. This allows customers to take advantage of COM and Windows NT® Server while maintaining their investments in existing applications and systems.”
Licensees Announce Plans to Ship COM; Partners Commit to Provide Integration Services
In related announcements, Iona Technologies said that it will license COM to provide interoperability with CORBA-based systems and will integrate its technology with the Microsoft Transaction Server (MTS). Silicon Graphics announced it will integrate COM with its IRIX-based systems to provide interoperability with Microsoft platforms. Software AG is supporting COM on MVS. Leading systems integrators Andersen Consulting, Electronic Data Systems Corp., KPMG and Vanstar Corp. also said they would support COM across their customers’ mixed-platform environments.
“Landmark applauds Microsoft’s commitment to COM interoperability,” said John Gibson, executive vice president of Integrated Products Group at Landmark Graphics Corp. “Consistent, cross-platform COM implementations will enable ISVs, systems integrators and industry standards organizations to create a new era of enterprise-level solutions integrating business and technical applications, based on Windows and UNIX.”
Microsoft Delivers Comprehensive Application Interoperability
Today’s announcements follow a recent series of technology enhancements expanding the applications services and interoperability of Windows NT Server and the BackOffice® family. Those enhancements give Windows NT Server the most comprehensive application interoperability of any platform today. Also, because the enhancements are accessible through COM, software developers can easily take advantage of them in their applications. Recent interoperability enhancements include the following:
Single-interface access to any data store through OLE DB and ODBC, plus enhanced support for Oracle 7.3+ via MTS 2.0. Microsoft SQL Server
7.0, now in beta, will provide additional interoperability with Oracle.
Transaction support to IBM CICS and IMS in Microsoft SNA Server 4.0, using Microsoft Transaction Server
Reliable integration with the IBM MQSeries using Microsoft Message Queue Server and the Level 8 Bridge
Reliable application interoperability over the Internet to any browser using Internet Information Server integration with Microsoft Transaction Server and Microsoft Message Queue Server
“Corporate Software & Technology is using Microsoft MTS and Internet Information Server within our Web-based order entry system for our Fortune 500 customers,” said Steve Muccini, director of electronic commerce programs, Corporate Software & Technology. “We chose COM and MTS based on the rich integration of component services that they provide. MTS, for example, provides a great environment for the creation and use of server-side components.”
COM is a language-independent object model that defines many types of services, including support for distributed objects, and standard service interfaces. It is used on over 150 million systems worldwide. COM is the only model to provide the detailed and open specifications, stability, maturity, effective communications protocol, and in-process component support that developers and end users need. The market for third-party compatible COM components grew to $410 million in 1997 and will grow to nearly 3 billion dollars in three years, according to Giga Information Group.
Microsoft will announce the availability of COM on UNIX systems next month. Microsoft Transaction Server, Microsoft Message Queue Server 1.0 and Internet Information Server 4.0 ship as part of Windows NT Server 4.0. Microsoft SNA Server 4.0 is available now
separately and as part of Microsoft BackOffice 4.0. Level 8 Bridge to IBM MQSeries is available through Level 8.
For more information on COM application services and interoperability, visit the Microsoft Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/com/default.asp .
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