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Intended Audience

This book provides a detailed introduction to the concepts and terminology of CORBA. It is aimed at people with a technical background who want to gain a concrete understanding of the concepts of CORBA without learning all the low-level details. For example:

One thing that is deliberately missing from this book is code examples. This is because this book does not provide a programming tutorial for CORBA developers. Readers interested in learning how to develop CORBA applications are advised to browse and pick a book that has good customer reviews. Alternatively, look at Section 26.1 for a list of some of the author’s favorite CORBA books.

Although this book is not a tutorial on CORBA programming, it is a very good complement to such tutorial books. In particular, by concisely explaining the concepts of CORBA, this book provides readers with a firm foundation that they can build upon by, afterwards, reading a CORBA programming book.

How to Read this Book

There is no need to read this book from start to finish. Instead, the information in this book is arranged in chapters (most of which are quite short), and each chapter is either self-contained or has cross-references to other chapters if concepts in the chapter rely upon concepts discussed in other chapters. This makes it possible for readers to jump around the book, reading only those chapters that interest them. The only exception to this is that all readers should read Chapter 1, which explains the most fundamental concepts of CORBA.

About the Author

Ciaran McHale holds a Ph.D. and BA in Computer Science from Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland. For the past 11 years he has been working in IONA Technologies, where he is a principal consultant. Aside from consulting with customers, his job also involves the development and teaching of training courses. He lives in Reading, England with his wife, Bianca. You can contact the author through email at

About the Contributing Author

Donal Arundel wrote the chapter on Security (Chapter 23) for this book. Donal is a principal engineer for IONA Technologies, where he is the technical lead for CORBA Security and has been developing distributed object technology security solutions for the past seven years. Previously he worked for ICL, where he developed a secure smart-card-based Electronic Money System. He holds a BSc. in Computer Applications from Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland.


The authors have taken care in the preparation of this book, but make no express or implied warranty of any kind and assume no responsibility for errors or omissions. No liability is assumed for incidental or consequential damages in connection with or arising out of the use of the information contained herein. All opinions expressed in this book are solely those of the authors.


First, thank you to Marco Abbate in Vodafone Italy for his support when I started to write this book.

Second, thank you to Donal Arundel for writing the chapter on security.

Third, thank you to the numerous people who have given me feedback on draft versions of this book: Adrian Trenaman, Andres Ortiz, Arne Koschel, Brian Kelly, Francis Byrne, Jan Schaefer, John McHugh, Klaus Hofmann zur Linden, Neil Kenealy, Niall Donnelly, Örjan Petersson, Patrick Donnelly, Paul Taylor, Raffaele Giugliano, Rebecca Bergersen and Richard Bonneau.

Fourth, thank you to others within IONA who have helped, in one way or another, with this book: Klaus Hofmann zur Linden and Enda Brennan for their encouragement; Sean Flavin for spiritual guidance; and Joe McCarthy, Fintan Bolton and John O’Sullivan for miscellaneous advice and help.

Finally, In 2001 I fell head over heels in love with a wonderful woman, and part-way through writing this book I proposed to her. Bianca, thank you for turning my life upside down and for saying “Yes” when I asked you to marry me.

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