OCI recently released version 1.2a of The ACE ORB (TAO). This is OCI's third commercially supported release of the open-source, high-performance, real-time, CORBA-compliant, C++ Object Request Broker. OCI's TAO 1.2a is based on the TAO 1.2.1 beta kit developed by the Center for Distributed Object Computing at Washington University in St. Louis and the Laboratory for Distributed Object Computing at the University of California, Irvine (collectively known as the "DOC group"). The figure below shows TAO and other components in a real-time endsystem.
OCI added several customer-funded enhancements and bug fixes and performed extensive testing of TAO 1.2a across a wide variety of platforms (over 30 hardware/operating system/compiler combinations). Version 1.2a includes many new features and improvements over the previous release. This article highlights some of the more important and visible new features in TAO 1.2a.
The development of TAO has always been focused on providing advanced functionality and configurability while maintaining close compliance with the CORBA specification from the Object Management Group (OMG). TAO 1.2a extends CORBA compliance over previous releases. TAO 1.2a includes major feature compliance with OMG's CORBA 2.5 specification:
When used in special purpose (e.g., embedded) environments, software must often be tailored to meet the special demands imposed by that environment. TAO's modular architecture and run-time configurability allow developers to tailor it to meet the specific needs of their application's operating environment (e.g., to reduce the run-time memory footprint or to strategize request demultiplexing for more deterministic performance). TAO is designed to give the developer a great deal of control over the run-time environment. In addition, because TAO is implemented on top of ACE, it can and has been ported to a very wide variety of platforms. TAO 1.2a extends TAO's configuration and platform support in the following ways:
-ORBConnectionCacheMax, to specify the maximum number of client-side connections the ORB will maintain in its cache.
The OMG defines the General Inter-ORB Protocol (GIOP) for enabling interoperable communications among disparate ORB implementations. TAO supports GIOP version 1.2 (and its mapping to the TCP transport protocol, the Internet Inter-ORB Protocol, or IIOP). In addition, TAO's pluggable protocols framework allows inter-ORB communications across a wide variety of interprocess communications mechanisms. TAO 1.2a improves and extends TAO's pluggable protocols support as follows:
The OMG defines many common object services that provide basic functionality to distributed object applications and that are independent of any given ORB implementation. TAO implements many of these CORBA services. In version 1.2a, TAO added or improved implementations of these services in the following ways:
corbanameobject URLs and support for the
SequencePushConsumerinterface, and support for most of the standard quality of service (QoS) properties.
mcast:object URL scheme.
OCI's Distribution of TAO Version 1.2a is immediately available for free download, in source code form, from OCI's web site at http://www.theaceorb.com. Binary distributions for many supported platforms will soon be available for purchase on CD-ROM. In addition, OCI will shortly publish a vastly expanded and improved edition of the celebrated TAO Developer's Guide.
TAO is a truly open-source project with literally thousands of contributors. In particular, OCI would like to acknowledge and thank the members of the "DOC group" at Washington University in St. Louis, the University of California, Irvine, and elsewhere, for all their hard work and commitment to TAO.
OCI's Distribution of TAO Version 1.2a is distributed under an open source license and is completely free of development- and run-time license fees. In addition to source and binary distributions and documentation, OCI offers a wide array of technical support options. Our service areas include systems architecture, large-scale distributed application architecture, and OO design and development. We excel in middleware technologies such as CORBA (ACE+TAO and JacORB), J2EE, XML and wireless. For more information, please see http://www.ociweb.com or contact sales for more information.
Object Computing, Inc (OCI) has been providing educational services to clients, industries and universities since 1993. We offer one of the most comprehensive distributed Object Oriented training curricula in the country. These curricula focus on the fundamentals of OO technology; with close to 40 workshops in OOAD, Java, XML, C++/CORBA and Unix/Linux.
For further information regarding OCI's Educational Services programs, please visit our Educational Services section on the web or contact us at training.
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