Q: What about CORBA, then?
A: OMG continues to promote and develop CORBA, and the CORBA market continues to expand, particularly in real-time & embedded systems, and the large, mission-critical, fault tolerant systems essential to enterprise computing. Because CORBA is the only multi-platform, multi-language solution for systems integration, many enterprises will use CORBA to build and integrate applications defined in the MDA. OMG and its member companies have always recognized the value of interoperating with other standards as well as proprietary platforms & languages. OMG created the COM/CORBA interoperability specification in 1995 (for connections to Microsoft’s proprietary desktop systems) and expanded it in 1997, and designed and constructed the many ways that CORBA works with Java and XML. Amongst its other benefits, MDA continues this work of defining cross-middleware interoperability, and will provide tool support to speed and automate the process. This will be a great benefit to users who find themselves supporting multiple middleware platforms.
Q: How does MDA enable cross-platform interoperability?
A: In the MDA, interfaces and implementations of a specification all derive from a common base UML model. This structure of linked models allows automated building of the bridges that connect implementations on those various middleware platforms. And, when the base model for a new specification is being designed, interoperability with other specifications and services can be designed into it.
Q: How does MDA compare or compete with Microsoft’s .NET or Sun's ONE?
A: MDA works at a different level than .NET and ONE. These are platforms, aimed at specific albeit broad application targets, while the MDA is (as its name declares) a Model Driven Architecture that works above the level of every middleware platform, .NET and ONE included. A middleware platform is incorporated into the MDA as a platformspecific profile. As ONE and .NET establish market share, OMG members will define platform-specific profiles for them, allowing them to participate in the MDA along with the other platforms which will almost certainly include Java/EJB, XML and one or more protocols dictated by the industry or the marketplace (SOAP or XP), and others.