Introduction to ORBLink

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, 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 (despite its name, use that address for questions as well as bug reports).