New Netscape One Platform Brings Distributed Objects to the Internet and Intranets

Open Network Environment Solidifies Broad Industry Support for IIOP - The Standard Protocol for Distributed Computing on the Internet

Mountain View, Calif (July 29, 1996) -- Netscape Communications Corporation today announced it will embrace the Internet Inter-ORB Protocol (IIOP) standard as the basis for its distributed object model in its new Netscape ONE, the open network environment. Netscape is joining the Object Management Group consortium in supporting IIOP as an open standard for distributed computing on the Internet and intranets, providing enterprise developers with a link to existing applications as well as an easy means for creating new distributed applications. More than 50 companies today announced their support for Netscape ONE as an open standards-based framework for building interoperable Internet applications.

IIOP is the open Internet protocol for communication between objects and applications. It is based on the Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA), an open, cross-platform object standard currently used by developers in thousands of corporations to write distributed applications and integrate information systems running on a broad range of operating systems.

Netscape has licensed an IIOP-compliant Object Request Broker (ORB) from Visigenic Software to include in the "Galileo" release of Netscape Navigator client software and the "Orion" release of Netscape SuiteSpot server software, thus adopting CORBA as its overall distributed object model.

Netscape also plans to ship an IIOP-compliant infrastructure that transparently supports distributed method invocation for Java classes, including IIOP-compliant Netscape Internet Foundation Classes, as part of its Netscape ONE platform to make it easy for developers to build Web-based distributed applications.

"Netscape's integration of IIOP into the Netscape ONE platform clearly underscores CORBA as the standard for distributed objects over the Internet," said Christopher Stone, president and CEO of the Object Management Group, the open object technology industry consortium. "By adding support for IIOP in future versions of Netscape Navigator, the most popular software application in history with over 40 million users, Netscape will bring object technology to millions of Internet and intranet users."

The Object Management Group (OMG) is the world's largest software development consortium with more than 660 industry leaders working to further development of object technology for distributed computing. OMG has announced its support for IIOP as the open standard for distributed object communication on the Internet. Members include 3M, American Airlines, Amdahl, American Express, Anderson Consulting, ARCO, Bankers Trust, Boeing, Caterpillar, Citibank, Credit Lyonnais, Computer Associates, Daimler-Benz AG, Digital Equipment, EDS, Expersoft, Fidelity Investments, General Motors, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Iona Technologies, Levi Strauss, Mitsubishi Electric, Oracle, Phillips, Price Waterhouse, SAP AG, Schlumberger, Siemens-Nixdorf, Sun, Time Warner Cable, Unisys and W.R. Grace.

"Enterprise customers want to leverage their existing corporate applications to build a new generation of network-based applications for their intranets," said Marc Andreessen, senior vice president of technology at Netscape. "Support for IIOP in the Netscape ONE platform will enable developers to build Internet and intranet applications using distributed objects that transparently access thousands of enterprise applications in place today through standard CORBA interfaces."

"Netscape's integration of IIOP/CORBA into Netscape ONE is a quantum leap for corporate development because it allows developers to combine the power and ease of use of Internet technology on the desktop with a proven, scalable enterprise technology on the back end," said Jeff Scherb, chief technology officer for Dun & Bradstreet Software. "We are building Web applications today using the CORBA standard, and the fact that the Netscape ONE platform ties them all together greatly enhances our efforts to extend the enterprise."

IIOP is part of the CORBA specification, a standard that allows developers to define standard network interfaces to their applications using a cross-platform, cross-language distributed object model. The interfaces are then available to other CORBA/IIOP-compliant programs as if they were part of the same program, even if the programs are running on different computers over the Internet. CORBA has been implemented and deployed by Fortune 1000 companies for more than five years and is time-tested, robust and scalable. There are more than 16 ORB implementations on 20 different operating environments, assuring broad interoperability.

Netscape's integration of a Java-based Object Request Broker (ORB) into its client and server software products will, for example, enable a Java applet running in Netscape Navigator to communicate via IIOP with a stock quote server running over the Internet and directly use the information to further process the data on the client side. Alternately, a Java applet running on Netscape Enterprise Server software can directly connect to a CORBA-compliant payroll application through IIOP.

Visigenic Software is an industry expert in software connectivity tools that provide developers with access to heterogeneous databases and enable multitier distributed applications for the Internet, intranets and enterprise computing environments. Evaluation copies for the Visigenic ORB products are available from the Visigenic Web site.

Netscape Communications Corporation is a premier provider of open software for linking people and information over enterprise networks and the Internet. The company offers a full line of clients, servers, development tools and commercial applications to create a complete platform for next-generation, live online applications. Traded on NASDAQ under the symbol "NSCP," Netscape Communications Corporation is based in Mountain View, California.

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