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July 93 - Object Management Group

Object Management Group

Steve Mann

I recently went to my first Object World on June 14-17 in San Francisco. For those of you not familar with Object World, it's a modest show (by MacWorld standards) of 4-5000 attendees, sponsored by the Object Management Group (OMG). OMG is a professional trade association founded to promote the theory and practice of object-oriented technology.


OMG was founded in 1989 by a group of large-scale system vendors, including DEC, Hewlett-Packard, Sun, Data General, Unisys, and others. Currently, the membership includes all major hardware and software vendors in the industry. One of their primary goals is to define and encourage the adoption of open architecture, enterprise-wide, object-oriented technologies. They have a variety of task forces, subcommittees, and special interest groups.

OMG has already defined a series of standards that are gaining widespread acceptance among large system vendors. These most basic is the Object Management Architecture (OMA), a design foundation for the development of detailed OO interfaces. It has several parts:

  • the Object Request Broker, an enterprise-wide object messaging mechanism;
  • Object Services, a set of basic object creation and maintenance services;
  • Common Facilities, a collection of general purpose objects and classes; and
  • Application Objects, objects that are specific to end user applications.

A further refinement of the original OMA, released in 1992, is CORBA, the Common Object Request Broker. This document further details the role of the Object Request Broker in distributed systems. To give you an idea of the truly collaborative nature of OMG, CORBA was jointly developed by DEC, HP, HyperDesk, NCR, Object Design, Inc., and SunSoft.

OMG typically holds about six separate conferences each year all over the world. The sessions are a strong mixture of tutorials, case studies, seminars, and panels covering many aspects of object oriented technology, primarily related to enterprise-wide systems. The content is equally marketing and technical, and the audience reflects that mix–programmers in Hawaiian shirts and marketeers in three-piece suits. Each conference includes a reasonably large trade show as well.

If your company is attempting to implement organization-wide object technology, then you might want to take a look at OMG. You won't find much of a focus on desktop-based technology or solutions, but you might find some useful information. Dues range from $500 to $50,000 depending on your organization's revenues and the type of membership. You don't have to be a member to attend the conference. The Object Management Group can be contacted at 508/820-4300.


In other news, I'm pleased to announce we've selected the site and dates for MADACON '94. Next year's conference will be held from February 28 - March 5 at the Atlanta Airport Hilton in Atlanta, Georgia. The site selection committee looked at quite a few locations and chose the Atlanta facility because of their overall quality, responsiveness, convenience for travelers, and the moderness of the facilities (now if we could just get them to move the ocean a little closer). We're already working on conference details, so stay tuned.

We're looking for student interns, volunteers, and most importantly, presenters. Details can be found on the next page. There are a variety of room rates ranging from $102 to $140. In response to those of you that have encouraged us to find less expensive facilities, we have arranged with the hotel to pair up roommates so that you can split the cost of a double room with someone else. The basic double room rate will be about $60 per night.

Finally, true to our objective to branch out into other language and development environments, I'm pleased to announce that we have some new product offerings that are somewhat biased towards OODLs (you can find the details in the Product Catalog in this issue):

  • Macintosh Common Lisp from Apple;
  • Allegro Common LISP\PC for Windows from Franz, Inc.;
  • SmalltalkAgents from Quasar Knowlege Systems;
  • Symantec C++ for the Macintosh; and
  • Classy, a TCL GUI-builder, code generator, and more.

We're pleased to be offering Lisp for multiple platforms, and hope to do the same for other environments, components, and frameworks in the future. We are also offering a beta version of Ad Lib 2.0, and a special $200 member promotion on NeoPersist through August. We hope there's something for everyone in our ever-expanding catalog.


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