The OMG (Object Management Group) was formed in 1989 by a group of vendors for the purpose of creating a standard architecture for distributed objects (also known as "components") in networks. The architecture that resulted is the Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA). A central element in CORBA is the Object Request Broker (ORB). An ORB makes it possible for a client object to make a server request without having to know where in a network the server object or component is located and exactly what its interfaces are.
A number of middleware products use CORBA and it appears to be a strategic architecture for distributed objects. The OMG now has over 500 member companies.