OMG Internet Platform Special Interest Group

Minutes of Meeting #15

February 9, 1998
Salt Lake City, Utah
OMG document internet/98-02-01
             OMG Internet Platform SIG homepage:



OMG-DARPA Workshop on Compositional Software Architectures, Craig Thompson, OBJS

The OMG-DARPA Workshop on Compositional Software Architectures was held in Monterey, California, on 6-8 January, 1998. The homepage for the workshop is The list of 100+ participants, 90+ workshop position papers, and the workshop report are available from the workshop homepage. The workshop focused on Thompson presented a summary of the workshop (.ppt).  He mentioned that many of the ideas in the workshop have been forwarded to the ORMSC.

Brainstorming on OMG Relationship to Java

We continued a discussion started at the OMG Internet SIG meeting in East Brunswick (see past discussion) on whether and how to make OMG more Java-friendly.   Our motivations were that OMG and Java will increasingly overlap in turf as Java is used for enterprise, middleware, server, and distributed applications, and that it seems in both groups' interests, and definitely in the interests of customers if the two camps tend toward convergence and not divergence.

Near the beginning of the discussion, we also noted that there may be a need to make OMG more web/XML friendly but then limited discussion to Java friendliness.  From the last meeting's discussion, we listed these thoughts:

Many felt that a good thing to do would be to sponsor some sort of workshop or summit that gathered together OMG and JavaSoft technical management to share tentative plans to try to see how they might be converged.  The output would be paired roadmaps that attempted to align the two communities.  Going in assumptions would involve the realization that both communities have different processes, scopes, timelines; both have technology strengths and gaps; both have similar business motivations and should both be interested in what customers want.  Bifurcating the community with incompatible choices seems not to be in the best interests of the OMG or JavaSoft communities though it might benefit the DCOM community.  Some pointed out OMG is lite on semantics, a programming model, a binary standard, garbage collection, versioning; others that Java enterprise solutions won't meet customer needs; there are areas of common interest like messaging;  controversial areas like RMI; and areas where both camps need work like federation of components and services.  Some very tentative names were listed as possibly helpful in a summit:  Richard Soley, Andrew Watson, Dave Curtis, Jon Siegel (all OMG technical management); Pranab Baruah (Boeing) representing customers, maybe also DARPA; Jim Trezzo (Oracle), Simon Nash (IBM) (or Leo Uzcategui (IBM) and Ian Brackenberg (IBM)), and Andrew Eisenberg (Sybase) with some idea of how the roadmaps might fit; Jim Mitchell (JavaSoft), Rick Cattell (JavaSoft), other technical management TBD.  The action item is for Craig to make initial inquiries of OMG staff to see what they think there might be willingness for a joint meeting (workshop or summit), then to approach others.  Timeframe:  nothing visible will have happened by OMG Manchester, maybe something will be brewing by Orlando.  It is likely any meeting would not happen on any one's turf, e.g., not at an OMG meeting.

Brainstorming on Web-ORB Integration Architectures and Data Models

Thompson started the brainstorming by asking if there is an ideal integration of ORB technology and Web technology so we can "have our cake and eat it too" and avoid having both communities re-invent each other's wheels as the Web increasingly adds enterprise middleware services to its list of architectural standards.  He then broke the general problem into two subproblems: We listed Web-ORB integration architectures.
Variations including ORB client built into Web client.  And downloading an application via IIOP instead of HTTP.  Someone mentioned Microsoft has associated dynamic events with DOM objects.

We discussed some places where web and ORB architectures overlap beyond the basic architecture and object model listed above.  One of these was RDF versus MOF, which uses UML.  In addition, Bill Janssen mentioned some projects he'd like to see someone in Internet SIG take on:

If someone is interested, we'd welcome a presentation on your thoughts on any of these.

Work Session on OTAM, Mike Bigrigg, CMU

OTAM is a proposed information access facility (composed of services) based loosely on ISO FTAM. It consists of a virtual file system that provides an interface to a collection of physical file stores and database records. A Trader stores the file and database schemas plus potentially more (e.g., data conversions). This is an attempt to objectify file systems so CORBA can operate on them. FTAM can be viewed as a file system adapter.

Mike Bigrigg (CMU) led this discussion.  He said the initial goal is an OTAM White Paper (initial draft by Shel Sutton at the East Brunswick meeting) followed by an OTAM RFP.

As envisioned, OTAM sits in front of plug-in file systems Unix, NFS, AFS, Win NT, others.  It provides a standard interface across all these.

Internally, OTAM seems like it would depend on a number of CORBAservices and capabilities:

There are more issues than answers about OTAM at this time.  We need a careful analysis and an OTAM architecture.  Open issues are:

Collaboration Working Group, Henry Rothkopf, MITRE

Henry Rothkoph (MITRE) is interested in building support for an Internet SIG Working Group on Collaboration. He is generally interested in a variety of application domains like healthcare and C4I where people perform a variety of tasks accessing a variety of data sources, with changes over time to both the task mix and data sources needed. We discussed the need for We also talked about subsetting the problem so one only looked at the subarchitecture for accessing multiple data sources (see OTAM discussion above). We looked for examples of people doing this kind of work-one noted was the NIIIP Consortium's puzzle of configuring virtual enterprising them, then provisioning roles. We ended up talking about the MITRE Collaborative Virtual Workspace (CVW) tool, which will be demoed on Wednesday.

Next steps are to continue to build interest in a Collaboration Working Group at OMG Manchester then to invite several speakers to OMG Orlando to talk about aspects of collaborative workspaces.  Action item:   Henry to invite to Orlando 4-6 speakers at 20-30 minutes each, plus a one hour discussion, 2-3 hours in all.