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[ObjectWeb Consortium] -> [Amibition and Scope]
ObjectWeb Ambition and Scope
ObjectWeb is an open-source software community created at the end of 1999 by Bull, France Telecom R&D and INRIA. Its goal is the development of open-source distributed middleware, in the form of flexible and adaptable components. These components range from specific software frameworks and protocols to integrated platforms. ObjectWeb developments follow a systematic component-based approach.
In 2002, ObjectWeb evolved into an international consortium hosted by INRIA, the French National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control. The consortium is an independent non-profit organization open to companies, institutions and individuals.
Focusing on Middleware
The concept of middleware appeared as networked systems became increasingly dependent on sophisticated protocols and architectures. The middleware layer stands between the operating system and the applications, and handles the communications between nodes. Since distributed computing architectures get ubiquitous, this layer becomes pivotal to an ever growing number of applications. For this reason, one can expect middleware to be one of the key enabling technologies of the coming digital age.
But a dysfunction or deficiency in middleware may impact a wide range of applications and even of a whole distributed system. To enhance reliability, performances, and eventually mutual trust, the peer-review of the code that operates behind the scenes, as allowed by open-source, is a must.
A Unique Mix of Skills
The purpose of the consortium is to achieve strength through unity. ObjectWeb's ambition is to federate – not only developers, but also users and projects. After two decades of proven success, the open-source development scheme appears as a major trend in the software industry. However, giving away the source code is not enough. To live and thrive, open-source projects need a complex environment, pretty much like plants in an ecosystem. ObjectWeb's ambition is to federate a coherent set of related projects, help them find their place in their environment, and ensure their durability as they gain momentum on their way to success.
Each project is independently conducted by a leader and the expertise is shared between projects via a College of Architects. They build a common vision of the development strategies. They also make sure that short-term necessities do not jeopardize the viability of the whole structure on the long-term. Project leaders are typically senior architects from software companies or experts from research centers. Such a set of highly skilled professionals gathering R&D efforts and sharing their knowledge with the community represents a world-wide première in the middleware industry.
Building a Community
ObjectWeb therefore targets alternative solutions to commercial off-the-shelf products addressing e-business, EAI, house automation, and telecommunications but also datastore connectivity, grid computing, enterprise messaging or micro-kernel design. In order to be future-proof, developments are based on recognized open standards, such as J2EE, CORBA, XML, GLOBUS, OSGi, to name a few.
Successful projects are a mix of technological accuracy and compliance to users expectations. ObjectWeb is a place where a wide community of researchers and developers, but also of end users and decision makers meet and talk about technical and industrial issues. The consortium gives an extra push in the right direction by facilitating communication between people, increasing the projects visibility and providing hosting infrastructure.
You are keenly invited to review our undergoing works and join us if you think we would have common views and interests : becoming a member is as simple as 1,2,3 thanks to our online registration wizard !
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