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Not Either, But Both?

I recently dug up an old DDS tutorial pitch by distributed system middleware expert extraordinaire, Doug Schmidt. The last slide in the pitch shows a side-by-side, high-level feature comparison of CORBA and DDS:

High performance middleware technologies like CORBA and DDS are big, necessarily complex beasts that have high learning curves. Thus, I’m not so sure I agree with Doug’s assessment that complex software systems (like sensor-based command and control systems) need both. One can build a pub-sub mechanism on top of CORBA (using the notification, event, or messaging services) and one can build a client-server, request-response mechanism on top of DDS (using the TCP/IP-like  “reliability” QoS). What do you think about the tradeoff? Fill the holes yourself with a tad of home-grown infrastructure code, or use both and create a two-headed, fire-breathing dragon?

  1. emilia
    March 19, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    Dr. Doug will defend his creation until he dies.
    Corba is not situable for safety-critical systems. This middleware architecture is outdated, but the US market seems to need it. Why? In my oppinion, is because a lot of device/component systems rely on its translations mechanism, even degradating the response time. Use it or your business will collapse!
    DDS came recently to slowly replace this dinosaur. Despite of having a corba plu-in just in case… its seems to be a better middleware architecture.
    Lets the product be tested, then we can tell…

    • March 20, 2013 at 4:34 am

      Doug’s a good guy. I’ve listened to several podcast interviews and technical webinars with him. He’s actually a paid consultant to one of the premier DDS vendors – PrismTech.

      Like COBOL, CORBA has been around for a long time. There are lots of legacy CORBA-based systems out there and they’ll need maintenance for years to come. However, I don’t think many new projects are using CORBA, but as usual, I have no data to backup my claim.

  1. April 22, 2013 at 1:00 am

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