- Purpose of the CORBA Utilities
- Obtaining and Installing the Software
- How to Read this Book
- Technical Support
- Training Courses
Purpose of the CORBA Utilities
The CORBA Utilities package has grown organically from the real-world experiences I have had over the last 12 years in my work as a consultant and trainer for IONA Technologies. This collection of utilities provides both software and practical advice that dramatically simplify the development and deployment of CORBA applications. I have used them to speed up the development of applications that are easy to write and maintain, flexible in how they are deployed, and portable to different CORBA products. A lot of people, both inside IONA and elsewhere, also have found these utilities to be helpful.
Obtaining and Installing the Software
The CORBA Utilities package (including both the software and documentation) is available at: www.CiaranMcHale.com/download/. The author usually announces a new release on the comp.object.corba newsgroup. If you would like to receive an email notification whenever a new version of the CORBA Utilities package has been released then send an email to the author (Ciaran@CiaranMcHale.com). Your email address will be used only for the purposes of notifying you that a new version of the CORBA Utilities package is available; your email address will not be shared with other people/organizations, and you will not receive any SPAM email from the author.
The README-unix.txt and README-windows.txt files in the top-level directory of the distribution contain instructions for installing the CORBA Utilities package.
How to Read this Book
In general, each of the CORBA Utilities can be used independently of the others. This means that you do not have to read this book from start to finish. Instead, just read the individual chapter for the utility that is of interest to you. The implementations of some of the C++ classes rely upon the portability header files (Chapter 4). However, that is an implementation detail, and you do not need to read the Chapter 4 unless the subject matter is of interest to you.
The CORBA Utilities package is not an official product of IONA Technologies. Instead, it has been developed and is maintained by Ciaran McHale, who is a Principal Consultant at IONA Technologies. Bug reports, requests for enhancements and miscellaneous comments should be sent by email to: Ciaran@CiaranMcHale.com.
Since developing the CORBA Utilities, the author has completely overhauled IONA’s CORBA development training courses so that they now embody the CORBA Utilities package. For example, the courses:
- Discuss both the raw CORBA APIs for creating POAs and the PoaUtility class (Chapter 5). Students usually agree that the PoaUtility class is far simpler to use.
- Discuss the raw CORBA APIs for importing and exporting object references via files and the Naming Service, plus the importObjRef() and exportObjRef() functions (Chapter 2). Students can appreciate the ease-of-use and flexibility offered by the latter.
- Source code portability is stressed throughout the training courses. The exercise system of the C++ course makes use of the portability header files (Chapter 4). In fact, the source code of the entire C++ exercise system (about 15,000 lines of code) compiles cleanly with Orbix, Orbacus, TAO and omniORB. Likewise, the entire source code of the Java exercise system compiles cleanly with Orbix and Orbacus. We may consider enhancing the training courses to cover other open-source CORBA implementations in the future, if there is demand.
If you are impressed with the high quality and practical advice of the CORBA Utilities package then you will probably also find the training courses to be equally impressive. You can find details of these training courses on the IONA web site (www.iona.com).
First, thank you to: Roland Schnir for contributing Chapter 1 (Tips for Windows); Adrian Trenaman for porting the importObjRef() and exportObjRef() functions (Chapter 2) from C++ to Java; Perry Russell for providing TAO support; and Duncan Grisby for his help that made the omniORB port possible. Thanks also to Oliver Kellogg who has given me information that will help me port the utilities to other CORBA implementations (although, unfortunately, that will have to wait until I have more spare time).
Second, hank you to people who have given me feedback on the utilities that has allowed me to mature them: Adrian Trenaman, Brian Kelly, Donal Arundel, Michael McKnerney, Perry Russell, Rebecca Bergersen and Steve Vinoski.
Third, thank you to others who have helped, in one way or another, with the practical issues of making the CORBA Utilities freely available: Jane Merritt, Klaus Hofmann zur Linden, Neil Kenealy, Stephen Zangerl-Salter, and Roland Tritsch.
Finally, although the CORBA Utilities have been available free-of-charge for several years, they were originally released under a license that did not qualify as open source. Thank you to IONA for agreeing to changing the copyright so the CORBA Utilities are now open source.