Just found this new middleware technology called the Internet Communications Engine (Ice) from a company called ZeroC. It claims to be a better RPC/middleware than SOAP, XML-RPC, or CORBA. They take the Sleepycat licensing approach by releasing their software under GPL and commercial licenses. I find it particularly interesting that one of ZeroC’s founders is Michi Henning of CORBA fame. For some fun reading, check out this thread on comp.object.corba.

I’ve always been interested in CORBA. I’ve felt that Web Services (and SOAP) was started because CORBA wouldn’t work through firewalls and as a way to (ab)use XML. Also, Microsoft hated CORBA. My prediction is that Web Services will fail to catch on due to its many limitations. But what will fill its shoes? CORBA hasn’t made any progress. I’ll be watching Ice. In a way, this reminds of of how small, agile Hibernate has mopped the floor with EJB.