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3.11 Conclusions

This chapter introduced the fundamental concepts of object orientation, open systems, and object-oriented architectures. It also discussed object orientation in terms of isolating changes in software systems by combining the data and processing into modules called objects. Object technology is a capability that is already present and entering the mainstream of software development. Object technology is broadly supported by commercial industry through software vending and by many mainstream end-user organizations in their application development.

As discussed, the only sustainable commercial advances are through open systems forms of commercial technology. With proprietary technologies, the obsolescence of capabilities conflicts with the need to build stable application environments that support the extension of application functionality.

Additionally, stovepipe systems are the pervasive form of application architecture but can be reformed into more effective component object architectures. In the next chapter, object technologies and various reference models that make these technologies understandable will be described.

This chapter considered one of the key concepts in object-oriented architecture—the application of standards in software development. A proper understanding of how standards are utilized is very important to the successful exploitation of commercial technologies and the interoperability of application functions.

In this chapter, object-oriented client-server technologies were described. These technologies focus on the underlying distributed computing capabilities and how they compare with related technologies from the procedural generation. The companies that supply these technologies have highly overlapping interests that are expressed through commercial standards consortia and formal standards bodies. In fact, the distributed computing environments vary from the CORBA mechanism to the Microsoft technologies that are more closely related to remote procedure call. Finally, some of the details of CORBA infrastructure and how they relate to the Cargill model were described.

Also, the different architectural layers, including two-tier, three-tier, N-Tier, and peer-to-peer approaches, were examined. The advantages of using different layering techniques were covered and provide essential guidance in deciding when a particular project merits one of the more complex architectural alternatives.

In conclusion, a wide range of open systems client-server technologies support object orientation. These technologies enable the construction of a wide array of distributed systems based upon objects and components.

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