On January 15, 1999, the Object Management Group (OMG), a non-profit industry consortium which oversees CORBA specifications, voted to issue a Request For Information (RFI) in the area of macromolecular structure. This is the first step in a process to create an official CORBA specification detailing Internet access methods for PDB data. At their upcoming May meeting, interested OMG members, which include representatives from RCSB, will review the RFI responses to evaluate recommendations and requirements for specification proposals.
The OMG consists of more than 800 member institutions including all major computer companies and many large corporate users of information technology. The OMG developed the Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) as an open standard to support the development of distributed, object-oriented interfaces independent of hardware platform, operating system, or implementation language.
The OMG relies on domain task forces in areas such as finance, manufacturing, and transportation to create interfaces specific to their industry. By issuing this RFI, the OMG Life Sciences Research Domain Task Force has recognized the potential value of an industry standard for network access to macromolecular structure information.
One benefit of a CORBA macromolecular structure specification would be to allow efficient application access to PDB data via the Internet. Client programs written by end users or third-party software vendors could to use the OMG specified interface to obtain the most up-to-date information from PDB CORBA servers.
The complete text of the RFI is available in PDF format. Interested parties are encouraged to respond by the April 26, 1999, deadline.
Further information about CORBA and the OMG is available at http://www.omg.org/.
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