IBM preps NC middleware tools

Guy Kewney reporting from the IBM Technical Interchange conference in St Louis, Missouri

IBM has moved its object technology firmly into the Network Computing arena, now that the BOSS project, long secret inside IBM, has been announced. Big Blue promised a September ship date under the Component Broker product name for the middleware "glue" product, here at the IBM Technical Interchange in St Louis, Missouri.

The floodgates are likely to open: there will be announcement after announcement of similar products, with support being promised by major middleware suppliers such as Oracle, Sun and Netscape.

The most significant part of this week's announcements will probably turn out to be the major support for the Java Beans component language, not just on the browser end, but at the server end of client-server solutions, and even at the "enterprise server" end. That is current IBM jargon for "mainframe."

Patti Dock, the general manager of the Component Broker initiative, warned that there would be little apparent visible effect until next year. "There's a big wave of things that become available December. And I think we'll see an impact by next Technical Interchange, same time next year."