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System Object Model (SOM) is an object-oriented library packaging technology developed by IBM that allows various programming languages to share class libraries, regardless of the language in which they were originally written.
The most widespread use of SOM within IBM is in OS/2 and Workplace Shell. Other implementations of SOM include Unix, Windows and Mac. However, the active development of this technology ended in the mid-'90s, around the time that Apple withdrew its support and development resources.
System Object Model was intended to be used as a solution to many of the interoperability and reuse problems that occur while sharing class libraries between object-oriented and non-object-oriented languages. SOM was designed to be used across IBM’s mainframe computers and desktops. It serves as an object-oriented model that can be distinguished from other models contained in object-oriented programming languages. SOM basically includes an interface definition language, a runtime environment with procedure calls and a set of enabling frameworks.
SOM was originally a technology developed for IBM's range of computers and desktops, but eventually came to be used by other companies, which extended its benefits to different software environments.
Some of the important characteristics of SOM include: