Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA)

What is Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA)?

Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) is a standard for distributed object communication that was developed by the Object Management Group (OMG). It provides a framework for building distributed, heterogeneous systems that can interact with one another in a transparent and platform-independent manner.

CORBA uses the Object Request Broker (ORB) to mediate communication between objects that may be running on different machines or in different programming languages. The ORB acts as a kind of intermediary, allowing objects to send and receive messages without knowing the details of the underlying network or the location of the objects they are communicating with.

One of the key features of CORBA is its use of the Interface Definition Language (IDL) to define the interfaces of objects. IDL is a language-independent, platform-independent way to describe the methods and properties of an object, and it is used to generate the stubs and skeletons (also known as proxies and skeletons) that are required for communication between objects.

CORBA is widely used in enterprise systems, particularly in the telecommunications, finance, and aerospace industries. It is also used in many open-source projects, such as the Eclipse IDE and the OpenOffice suite of office applications.

However, CORBA usage has decreased in recent years due to the emergence of alternative technologies such as SOAP, REST and gRPC.

See Also

The Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) is an open standard defined by the Object Management Group (OMG). It enables pieces of programs, called objects, to communicate with one another regardless of where they are located or who has designed them. CORBA is designed to facilitate the development of distributed, heterogeneous, and interoperable applications by providing a framework for object interaction across networks. To deepen the understanding of CORBA and its role in the development of distributed systems, as well as its interaction with other technologies and standards, exploring the following topics related to distributed computing, middleware technologies, and systems integration is highly beneficial:

  • Distributed Systems: Explores the principles, designs, and implementations of distributed systems, focusing on how components located on networked computers communicate and coordinate their actions only by passing messages.
  • Middleware Technologies: This term refers to the software that lies between an operating system and the applications running on it, facilitating communication and data management for distributed applications.
  • Object Oriented Programming (OOP) covers the programming paradigm based on the concept of "objects," which can contain data in the form of fields, often known as attributes, and code in the form of procedures, often known as methods.
  • Interface Definition Language (IDL): Examines the language used in CORBA (and other middleware technologies) to define the interfaces that objects present to the outer world, enabling interoperability among distributed systems.
  • Service Oriented Architecture (SOA): Explores the architectural pattern in computer software design in which application components provide services to other components via a communications protocol, typically over a network.
  • Remote Procedure Call (RPC): Discusses a protocol that one program can use to request a service from a program located on another computer on a network without having to understand network details.
  • Component-Based Software Engineering (CBSE): Covers the approach to software development that relies on software reuse, where components are pre-produced, purchased, and assembled into applications.
  • Enterprise Application Integration (EAI): Explores the use of software and computer systems architectural principles to integrate a set of enterprise computer applications.
  • Web Services and RESTful APIs: This chapter discusses the standards and protocols for designing web-based applications that interact with each other without knowledge of each other's code, focusing on how CORBA integrates with or contrasts with modern web services and RESTful APIs.
  • Security in Distributed Systems: This chapter covers the security challenges, strategies, and solutions in distributed systems, including authentication, authorization, encryption, and secure communication protocols.
  • Scalability and Performance Optimization: This chapter explores strategies for scaling distributed systems and optimizing their performance, including load balancing, caching, and distributed databases.
  • Legacy System Integration: This chapter discusses the challenges and techniques for integrating legacy systems with modern applications and infrastructures, highlighting the role of CORBA in facilitating such integrations.
  • Emerging Trends in Distributed Computing: This chapter highlights the latest developments and emerging trends in distributed computing, including cloud computing, microservices, and containerization, and their relationship with traditional CORBA-based architectures.

Delving into these topics offers a comprehensive understanding of CORBA's foundational role in distributed computing, the challenges and solutions in middleware integration, and how evolving technologies interact with or diverge from the CORBA standard. This exploration provides valuable insights into the complexities of building interoperable, scalable, and secure distributed applications.