This timely and excellent book deals with both architecture and programming. The authors deliver what the title promises. The material is clearly presented and nicely organized.
Readers should be familiar with the general concepts of Visual Basic, ActiveX, COM, and CORBA. The book begins with an example of a simple Visual Basic application that uses a bridge tool to connect to a CORBA server; that example sets the tone for the rest of the book. Next, chapters on “interworking architecture” and the mapping of COM, automation (Active X), and CORBA clearly explain the structure and relationship of these object architectures and the role of bridge connecting tools. A visual model is presented for client/bridge/server architectures. The main body of the book presents several example programs (using Visual Basic and some C++) to illustrate aspects of the Automation/COM-CORBA mapping. All of the source code (but not bridges and servers) is available at the book’s Web site (http://www.wiley.com/compbooks/rosen/). Several bridge tools and CORBA servers are mentioned in the book and linked at the Web site; it is possible to download trial versions of some of these programs. A later chapter illustrates the construction of an ActiveX control to interact with CORBA objects. The authors note that, given such controls, applications programmers need not deal with the details of COM or CORBA.
The book ends with a discussion of distributed applications and future directions; DCOM is noted, but not treated in the examples. There are no questions or problem sets. Still, the book is suited for self-study or for a laboratory course on COM and CORBA programming.