November 26, 1996 11:00 AM ET
Iona moves Orbix around NT
By Norvin Leach

  Iona Technologies Inc. this week began shipping OrbixTalk for NT, a messaging system for its Orbix Object Request Broker on NT.

The Dublin, Ireland, company also announced the availability of Orbix on NT for Digital Equipment Corp.'s Alpha chip.

OrbixTalk is an implementation of the CORBA (Common Object Request Broker Architecture) Event Service, which specifies a method for asynchronous communications between objects and applications in a distributed system.

Iona ported the messaging system to Microsoft Corp.'s Windows NT because "We've found a lot of people who are writing NT applications to CORBA, even though they have access to DCOM [the Distributed Common Object Model built into NT]," said Colin Newman, Iona's vice president of marketing. "[This is] because they want to talk to the rest of the world."

OrbixTalk's decoupled communications system provides an Event Channel for registering, sorting and filtering messages. A "talker" object, such as an object that monitors and multicasts information on the yen/dollar exchange, sends messages to a specific IP address.

The Event Channel then passes those messages to "listener" objects that have registered interest in topics such as the yen/dollar exchange.

Sabre Decision Technologies, in Fort Worth, Texas, is evaluating using OrbixTalk to notify objects of changes in a database, said Tracy Poffenroth, senior consultant at the company.

Sabre was seeking a CORBA-compliant implementation of event services because of its heterogeneous system, which includes AIX servers and NT clients, Poffenroth said.

"If we were just NT-to-NT, we could probably build something using Microsoft technology," he said. "But our system is so distributed that we're looking for portability."

OrbixTalk cannot exchange messages with other systems such as MQSeries or Microsoft's Falcon technology. However, Iona will be working on bridges to those systems, Newman said.

OrbixTalk for NT is priced at $750 per developer seat, and is available now from the company. Versions of OrbixTalk for Solaris and HP-UX have been available since July. An AIX version will be available before the end of the year.

Iona can be reached at

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