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In recent years, several vendors and consortia have independently developed standards that define the basic mechanics for building and interconnecting software components. Sun?s JavaBeans has emerged as the leading rival to Microsoft?s DCOM, supplanting the OpenDoc standard from the now defunct Component Integration Laboratories. Component software is moving from its original focus on desktop-bound compound documents to enterprise applications that include distributed server components. The backers of competing standards are racing to capture market leadership by delivering the tangible benefits of component standards via distributed component platforms?integrated development and runtime environments that isolate much of the conceptual and technical complexity involved in building component-based applications. With DCPs, businesses can assign their few highly skilled programmers to component construction and use less sophisticated developers to carry out the simpler assembly tasks. By making component standards available to the broadest possible spectrum of developers, DCPs essentially drive those standards to market. This article reviews the state of component software as embodied in DCPs. The two DCP market leaders are Microsoft?s DCOM (or ActiveX/DCOM) and Sun?s JavaBeans. However, Internet and OMG component standards are emerging that will likely impact both the content and status of these two DCPs. The authors also discuss component frameworks, which extend DCPs to provide more complete application development solutions.

R. M. Adler and D. Krieger, "The Emergence of Distributed Component Platforms," in Computer, vol. 31, no. , pp. 43-53, 1998.
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