Last month, the Object Management Group (OMG) held a technical meeting, sponsored in part by RTI, in Jacksonville, Florida. There were a lot of important developments, and I'd like to give you a short recap:
- Perhaps the most important milestone for DDS followers was the recommendation for adoption of the new specification Extensible and Dynamic Topic Types for DDS (sometimes abbreviated "DDS-XTypes"). I wrote about DDS-XTypes late last year; it will make it much easier for DDS users to upgrade and evolve their systems over time. It will also enable whole new categories of plug-and-play tools and integration components - such as database connectors, recorders, and bridging/routing services - to be developed in a way that's portable and interoperable across DDS implementations, increasing the size and diversity of the DDS marketplace and increasing competition. RTI was a lead author of this specification, and a number of the capabilities defined in it are available in pre-standard form in RTI Data Distribution Service today.
- The meeting also saw the presentation of three initial submissions, representing six different companies, to the Web-Enabled DDS RFP that was released last year. (The previous link is only accessible to OMG members; sorry. When it's finished, the specification will be publicly available.) This very strategic initiative will produce a specification for the integration of systems based on DDS with those based on web technologies. For the first time, it will be possible for SOAP- or REST-based client applications to consume data flowing along a DDS data plane, and for them to provide services back to applications in that plane, in a standards-based way with COTS technology. RTI is currently developing an implementation of this technology in parallel with the standard; this component, called RTI Web Integration Service, will be included in the Professional and Elite Editions of RTI Data Distribution Service. You can see a video demo of DDS-web integration, based on a pre-release version of this component, on YouTube.
- Work continues on further improving the portability and usability of DDS implementations with updated C++ and Java API bindings. The improved C++ APIs are already in the revised submission stage, and we expect them to be adopted within the next small number of OMG meetings. The improved Java APIs will be presented as initial submissions at the next OMG meeting, to be held in Minneapolis in June. RTI's initial proposal will be based on the DataDistrib4J APIs, which we have made available in open source.
- Finally, the group had a lively discussion of DDS security, especially with respect to data tagging and labeling. We expect to take these discussions to a formal RFP in the coming months.
I think it's a testament to the strength of the DDS ecosystem that while its core standards remain stable and support significant real-world deployments, at the same time the depth and breadth of that ecosystem continues to grow. It's an exciting time to be involved with this technology.