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Case Study: CORBA Implementation Migration
Global telephony system test equipment and management systems supplier.
OCI helped the client migrate from a proprietary implementation of CORBA to open source products, with equivalent functionality, enhanced flexibility, improved standards compliance, and substantial cost savings by eliminating recurring license fees. OCI provided architectural guidance, training, implementation and testing support throughout the project.
The client contacted OCI when their existing proprietary CORBA vendor began raising support rates and forcing customers to upgrade to a newer version. The client's software required substantial modernization to move to the newer version, which was based on the latest CORBA specifications. Since code modernization was needed anyway, the client chose to drop their vendor and port their software to an open source CORBA solution with zero licensing fees. The client selected TAO (C++) and JacORB (Java), and chose OCI to help them with both the modernization of their code base and the migration to open source products.
OCI had previously guided clients through migrations from proprietary CORBA implementations to the open source TAO and JacORB products, and had developed a road map to assist with such migrations. Using this road map, we analyzed the client's code base and determined the best approach for a successful migration, while at the same time improving the portability and flexibility of their code. We developed and executed a migration plan with the customer that included:
- Training classes for the client's development team to upgrade their CORBA programming skills
- A pilot migration of a portion of the client's application to validate the migration approach
- Development of a new, open source "object repository" service to replace a proprietary feature on which the client's code base depended (thereby minimizing changes to the application code)
- A partitioning of migration activities between the client and OCI that allowed OCI to focus on CORBA implementation details and the client to focus on the details of their application code
- On-going consulting and support to ensure a successful migration
As a result of OCI's involvement in the project, the customer successfully migrated their software from a technically obsolete version of a proprietary CORBA product to modern, open source alternatives. Benefits to the customer included:
- Elimination of recurring license fees
- Escape from vendor lock-in
- Improved application code portability
- A more open and flexible architecture
- Application developer skills upgrade
- An extension of their product's useful life