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Object Request Broker (ORB)

Definition - What does Object Request Broker (ORB) 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)

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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