14th European Conference on Object-Oriented Programming
Sophia Antipolis and Cannes, France, June 12 - 16, 2000

Workshop #24

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Object Interoperability

Organizers : A. Vallecillo <av@lcc.uma.es>, University of Málaga - Spain
J. Hernandez <juanher@unex.es>, University of Extremadura - Spain
J.M. Troya <troya@lcc.uma.es>, University of Malaga - Spain
Day :  Monday
Location (Room) : room T-308 (IUT)

Interoperability is one of the key aspects related to the construction of large object-oriented systems, and can be defined as the ability of two or more entities to communicate and cooperate despite differences in the implementation language, the execution environment or the model abstraction.

The first ECOOP Workshop on Object Interoperability (WOI'99) was held in Lisbon, Portugal, in conjunction with ECOOP'99. It successfully contributed to gather a number of researchers interested in object interoperability, and allowed them to start building a common understanding of the different problems and yet unexplored areas to be investigated. Basically, three main levels of interoperability between objects were distinguished at WOI'99: the signature level (names and signatures of operations), the protocol level (partial ordering between exchanged messages and blocking conditions), and the semantic level ("meaning" of operations).

Interoperability at the signature level is now well defined and understood, and currently middleware architects and vendors are trying to establish different interoperational standards at this level (e.g. CORBA, JavaBeans or DCOM) and bridges among them. Nevertheless, all parties are starting to recognize that this sort of interoperability is not sufficient for ensuring the correct development of applications in open systems. Typical interface definition languages (IDLs) provide just the syntactic descriptions of the objects' public methods, i.e. their signatures. However, nothing is said about the ordering in which the objects expects their methods to be called, their blocking conditions, or their functionality. Basically, current IDLs do not describe the usage, capabilities and behaviour of objects.

The variety of topics covered during WOI'99 revealed the wide range of challenges and issues that the study of object interoperability at both protocol and semantic levels brings out when objects have to interoperate in open and independently extensible systems. At WOI'00 we intend to discuss some of those questions, review the progress made so far in these two levels, and explore new ideas that help addressing object interoperability issues in open systems. As a WOI'00 new feature, we want to pay special attention to some of the commercial object models (CORBA, COM, ...), studying how to extend their IDLs in order to cope with some of those interoperability issues, and how to check them during compilation and run time in real commercial applications. Further topics of interest can be found in the Call for Papers.

To enable lively and productive discussions, attendance will be limited to 20 participants and submission of a position paper is required. All papers will be formally reviewed by at least two referees, and selected papers will be made available to participants prior to the workshop to improve the productivity. A book with the proceedings of the workshop will be produced, containing all selected papers.

Contact Person : A. Vallecillo <av@lcc.uma.es>
ETSI Informatica, Campus Teatinos.
29071 Malaga. Spain
Tel.: +34 95 213 2794
Fax: +34 95 213 1397
Additional Information : http://webepcc.unex.es/juan/woi00/
Number of participants : Between 10 and 20

Last modified on May 29, 2000.
Maintained by the ECOOP'2000 Web Team