Component middleware has gained popularity over the past few years as it addresses several limitations of object-oriented middleware by defining a higher level of abstraction for software design. Through these abstractions, component middleware defines a ``virtual'' boundary of a component, in addition to the types and properties of its ports and its interaction with other components/clients. Component middleware also defines the necessary runtime environment, as well as the packaging, deployment, and configuration mechanisms and standards. These mechanisms and standards facilitate the effective design and reuse of software components.

By using component middleware, systems can be developed through assembly of components, rather than the conventional programming from scratch approach. As a result, there are a broader set of software developer roles in a component-based system's lifecycle, including:

The Component-Integrated ACE ORB (CIAO) is an implementation of the Lightweight CORBA Component Model (CCM) and Real-time CORBA built on top of The ACE ORB (TAO). CIAO provides the component paradigm to the domain of distributed, real-time, embedded (DRE) systems by abstracting DRE-critical systemic aspects, such as real-time QoS policies, as installable/configurable units supported by the component framework. Promoting these DRE-critical aspects as first-class metadata disentangles code for controlling these non-function aspects from application logic and makes DRE system development more flexible. Since mechanisms to support various DRE-critical non-functional aspects can be easily verified, CIAO will also make configuring and managing these aspects easier.


CIAO Architecture

CIAO is the default platform-specific model supported by CoSMIC, which is a set of tools for supporting model-driven development (MDD). As many of the non-functional aspects can be configured and programmed by specifying them in the component composition metadata (known as ``component assembly descriptors'' in CCM nomenclature) it allows CoSMIC to realize the non-functional aspects of an application easily and correctly.

The combination of CoSMIC and CIAO provides the tool and platform foundation for the next-generation of software development.


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Last modified 08:08:10 CDT 18 May 2010