Bits & Bytes
IBM BUYS A DATA BASE THAT CONJURES UP OBJECTS
Big Blue is staking more of its future on object-oriented software. A way of assembling programs from pretested chunks of code, this technology is the basis of a forthcoming operating system being designed by Taligent, a joint venture between IBM and Apple Computer Inc. IBM's latest foray is with Object Design Inc., a Burlington (Mass.) maker of object-oriented data-base software. In a deal valued at $27 million, IBM will buy a minority stake in the five-year-old company as well as sell the outfit's technology. Programmers at IBM's Santa Teresa Laboratory in San Jose, Calif., will also make sure the start-up's ObjectStore data base can swap information with IBM's own data bases running on mainframes, RS/6000 workstations, and PCs running IBM's OS/2 software.
IBM itself has already been using ObjectStore. In developing chips for mainframes, IBM finds it simpler to keep the technical data about each of a chip's components in a separate object. This way, when a specific transistor needs to be linked to a memory module, the engineers know exactly where to find the information about it since the assembly of the software objects mimics the assembly of the chip itself.EDITED BY PAUL M. ENG