This content is part of the Buyer's Guide: Application integration software: A buyer's guide

A look at Micro Focus' CORBA offerings Orbix and VisiBroker

Micro Focus' CORBA portfolio includes Orbix and VisiBroker, two application integration tools that help manage applications from various sources with diverse components.

Micro Focus provides a broad portfolio of Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) implementations with add-on products and components that enable users to build, manage and integrate high-performance distributed applications.

These applications can be developed using different programming languages such as Java, C++, C, Visual Basic, and COBOL, and deployed on a wide variety of platforms including Windows, Red Hat Linux, SUSE Linux, Solaris, HP, AIX and z/OS.

Micro Focus' CORBA application integration offerings are Orbix (3, 6.3, and Mainframe) and VisiBroker.

Core to any CORBA solution is the object request broker (ORB) which facilitates the distribution of messages between applications and systems that adhere to the CORBA specification. Micro Focus has a portfolio of 10 different ORBs. ORB messages also can be formatted according to Web services standards.

Built on top of the Micro Focus ORB is a set of CORBA services that provide additional quality of service functionalities such as topic-based notifications, varying levels of security, as well as transaction processing. The ORB run time environment lives within the application and enables point-to-point communication between processes.

In general, CORBA removes integration complexities while retaining the features and APIs.  The use of CORBA can be as trivial or complex as the application being created.

Orbix delivers performance, high availability

Micro Focus Orbix is an enterprise CORBA product designed for organizations that require extreme performance, high availability, security and systems management. While Orbix 3 was Micro Focus' first CORBA product and is still available for purchase from Micro Focus, Orbix 6.3.6 is the latest instance. Orbix 6 is a multi-protocol, multi-platform application integration product that bridges the gap between different operating systems and the diverse programming languages found in heterogeneous IT environments. Micro Focus' Adaptive Runtime Technology (ART) enables developers to add new features and support for technology through standard CORBA services at runtime.

Orbix Mainframe is designed for businesses that want to incorporate their mainframes into their e-business capabilities without rewriting these legacy systems in Java; link mainframe applications to other corporate computing resources using industry-standard application integration technologies; deploy enterprise-quality Web services; or bridge component technology domains, such as COBOL and J2EE, using industry standard technologies including Web services.

VisiBroker supports building distributed applications

VisiBroker is a comprehensive CORBA environment for building, deploying and managing distributed applications and systems. VisiBroker is designed for low latency, complex, data-oriented, transaction-intensive environments. With its thread and connection management and Internet Inter-ORB Protocol (IIOP), VisiBroker can scale to large numbers of clients and servers. The current release is VisiBroker 8.5.

VisiBroker supports the Real-time CORBA specifications for deployment within embedded systems and provides all the functionality needed for interoperability of CORBA applications with other technology stacks, including Web services, .NET and J2EE, that enable service-oriented architectures (SOAs). VisiBroker allows CORBA applications to be SOA-enabled by providing out-of-the-box functionality to interoperate with applications based on web services and J2EE standards.

VisiBroker also enables developers to write .NET applications in any .NET language -- such as Microsoft C++, C# and Visual Basic -- that can talk to existing and unmodified CORBA and J2EE applications. Through integration with the Artix enterprise service bus (ESB), VisiBroker applications can interact with any required protocol or technology. VisiBroker is backward compatible.

Although CORBA is used primarily within the telecom, finance, defense and manufacturing markets, it can be used in any type of organization from large multinationals to SMBs.

All Micro Focus products adhere to the CORBA specification using the industry standard IIOP protocol and thus communicate with any other product that understands the same protocol. Micro Focus also provides coding-free enterprise middleware integration, Web services integration, J2EE integration and .NET integration through its Artix ESB, which is based on the same ART plug-in framework as Orbix.

CORBA is licensed as an on-premises product, but the applications may be deployed in a variety of fashions. There are a range of pricing options depending on the needs of the user and are sold directly from Micro Focus as an on-premises offering. There is a free, 30-day trial of each product; longer trials can be negotiated.

Standard support provides either standard business hours support or 24/7 support, depending on the product and support agreement.

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