HOW MUCH IS THAT OBJECT IN THE WINDOW?
Perhaps the most promising method for creating software these days is to use objects. These are prefabricated chunks of programming that can be slapped together quickly to create large and complex programs. But shopping for just the right ebject can be a major hassle, since they are available from so many different sources. So two companies have joined forces to create an electronic marketplace of software objects, with suppliers and buyers meeting over a computer network.
The Object Management Group, a standards-setting body backed by some 420 software companies, is working with Connect Inc., a business networking company in Cupertino, Calif., to start a service called Information Brokerage. Scheduled to begin business next year, the service will let software companies list the software objects they want to sell, take orders, and deliver the goods electronically. In some cases, customers will even be able to give an object a "test drive" before purchasing rights to use it.EDITED BY JOHN W. VERITY