December 19, 1996 1:15 PM ET
CORBA-compliant Object Transaction Server provides new functions for distributed objects
By Norvin Leach

  Iona Technologies Inc. has entered a partnership with Transarc Corp. to integrate Transarc's transaction-processing technologies with Iona's object request broker technologies.

The partnership will result in the creation of a CORBA (Common Object Request Broker)-compliant Object Transaction Service package that will work with products such as Iona's recently released OrbixWeb 2.

The Object Transaction Service will provide functions, such as two-phase commit and rollback, that are available now in Transarc's Encina transaction-processing monitor. Unlike Encina, however, the Object Transaction Service will be compliant with CORBA. This will bring two-phase commit and other functions to distributed objects.

"Quite often in building distributed systems, you come across a case where the scope of the transaction goes outside a database, such as when you're exchanging information between two databases," said Larry Podmolik, director of technology for Strategic Technology Resources, a consulting firm and division of Midland Business Systems Inc., in Chicago. "But in these environments, you can't use a commercial transaction-processing monitor."

The Object Transaction Service "is really complicated, but it's a standard," Podmolik said. "It gives us a common way to hook together several servers."

Microsoft Corp. recently introduced its own transaction processing/object coordination system, called the Microsoft Transaction Server. The product, code-named Viper, includes a set of APIs for developers, but they are not CORBA APIs.

However, Iona officials said they have no immediate plans to support those APIs.

The Object Transaction Service is currently in pre-beta. Iona and Transarc will release a full beta in the first quarter of next year. They have not set a date for the final release.

Meanwhile, Iona has been building support for the Object Transaction Service into its products, including OrbixWeb 2, which shipped earlier this month.

OrbixWeb, a Java implementation of Iona's Orbix object request broker, added full server support in Version 2. It also provides native Internet Inter-ORB Protocol support.

The product is available from Iona, based in Dublin, Ireland.

Iona can be reached at

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