ORBLink is a CORBA Object Request Broker (ORB) for Allegro Common Lisp. ORBLink allows a Lisp program to communicate with programs written in other languages, possibly running on other machines.
CORBA stands for Common Object Request Broker Architecture. CORBA is a set of protocols that enable distributed applications, potentially running in multiple languages, to communicate with one another. The CORBA specification is managed by the Object Management Group, at http://www.omg.org, a consortium of hundreds of industry, government, and academic institutions. Another good set of links is available from Cetus.
CORBA data types are specified in a simple description language called IDL, the Interface Description Language.
ORBLink provides functionality that converts IDL into native Lisp types, and that allows a Lisp program to invoke operations on objects, possibly remote specified in IDL.
There are numerous books and references on CORBA. In addition, here is another high-level, non-technical overview of ORBLink based on a cover story on the Franz Inc. Web site.
Because CORBA applications typically involve multiple distributed components, they can become somewhat complicated. Feel free to ask questions of firstname.lastname@example.org (despite its name, use that address for questions as well as bug reports).