Object Request Broker

What Does Object Request Broker Mean?

An object request broker (ORB) is a middleware application component that uses the common object request broker architecture (CORBA) specification, enabling developers to make application calls within a computer network. ORB is an agent that transmits client/server operation invocations in a distributed environment and ensures transparent object communication.


ORB supports a wide variety of middleware services, including but not limited to notification, event triggers, transaction processing, persistence and security. ORB can be configured to fit into a variety of environments and handle a wide range of client requests. Thus, developers can modify ORB to meet task requirements for inbound client requests.

Techopedia Explains Object Request Broker

ORB does the following:

  • Searches, matches and instantiates remote machine objects
  • Gathers parameters between application objects
  • Handles security issues across machine boundaries
  • Retrieves and publishes data objects on local machines available for other ORBs
  • Invokes remote object methods using static and dynamic method invocation.
  • Instantiates idle objects automatically
  • Routes callback methods
  • Communicates Inter-ORB Protocol (IIOP) with other ORBs via the Internet

Developers should handle ORB with knowledge and care when applied as a solution to recurring distributed environment issues. If handled incorrectly, issues may intensify. The disadvantages of ORB include:

  • Lack of asynchronous transaction support
  • Lack of nonobject-oriented legacy application integration support
  • Lack of standard ORB implementation in CORBA standard

Microsoft has developed proprietary ORB approaches in the Common Object Model (COM) and Distributed Common Object Model (DCOM).


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.