Object-oriented strategies multiply

Software objects promise to allow greater reuse of code, allowing vendors to focus on core functionality. Several object platforms have emerged recently and were demonstrated during NMW.Intellution's (Norwood, Mass.) Fix Dynamics "i-Core" set of services and Object Automation's (Santa Ana, Calif.


Software objects promise to allow greater reuse of code, allowing vendors to focus on core functionality. Several object platforms have emerged recently and were demonstrated during NMW.

Intellution 's (Norwood, Mass.) Fix Dynamics "i-Core" set of services and Object Automation 's (Santa Ana, Calif.) Framework platform sounded similar enough that Control Engineering requested a joint meeting of technology representatives from each company. After initially agreeing, each company respectfully declined, opting for private discussions to compare object-oriented approaches.

Sun Microsystems (Palo Alto, Calif.) demonstrated its Java Control and Automation (JCAF) initiative with a coffee-production implementation using the Modicon TSX Momentum I/O module from Schneider Automation (North Andover, Mass.) and reusable Java software objects from Cyberonix (Berkeley, Calif.).

"We feel Java control can eliminate the bottleneck between the plant floor and IT" by working in PLCs, PCs, and bridging the gap from legacy systems to year-2000-compliant open platforms, explains Bob Atherton, worldwide manager of industrial controls market development at Sun.

Playing off some of the recent software vendor hype—including implementation of objects—Carl Henning, Wonderware 's (Irvine, Calif.) director of FactorySuite marketing, joked that the latest revision of FactorySuite is "100% buzzword compliant." (See also CE , March and April 1998, News).

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