OLE4BioTech

deodiaus at my-dejanews.com deodiaus at my-dejanews.com
Fri Dec 4 22:51:10 EST 1998


Hi Y'all:	I would like to share some thoughts with you on future
directions of computing.  Basically, I see the software industry relying
heavily on Component Object Modeling, as successfully marketed by Microsoft. 
What this entails is the development of small modules which are linked at
run-time and behave as an interconnect software module.  Some of the greatest
advantages of this approach are that it allows a component update to be
easily implemented without having to update the entire executable.  While I
was working at Intergraph on their CAD/CAM product (SolidEdge, see
http://www.solid-edge.com), I saw the advantages of this approach when
development team embarked on setting a standard called OLE for Design and
Modeling (http://www.dmac.org) which are now run by the "Design and
Manufacturing Automation Corporation".	SolidEdge concentrates on an
assembly-centric modular which allows the updates of various components. 
SolidEdge demonstrated the value of this approach by changing its underlying
boolean engine from ACIS to Parasolids going from release 3 to release 4. 
This became the start of a trend in the CAD industry where not only
SolidEdge, but its competitor, SolidWorks, began to set standards which could
be used by third parties (e.g. Delcam, which developed analysis tools) to
interact with the CAD modular.	Furthermore, users could extend the
capabilities of the modular by writing Visual Basic code which would control
the modular and perform automated tasks.  One early example was to illustrate
motion analysis by showing how the part would interfere with parts in an
assembly.  Microsoft supports the branching of these standards into industry
specific solutions.  I know that there are other COM standards in the banking
industry.	Similarly, I believe that such standards can be set in the
biotechnology industry by far reaching visionaries.  Since so much progress
has all ready been accomplished by the CAD industry, it is possible to build
on top of all ready made progress because many of the ideas coincide.  By
publishing and exposing interfaces, we could set the standard in the biotech
industry just as Microsoft has set the standard in document architecture.   
One advantage OLE has over Java is that it is a binary interface standard
which uses fast platform specific code without having to be byte code
interpreted at run-time.  As I learned during my tenure at Intergraph, one
difficulty with COM is to slice up the problem into such an arrangement where
the server lag does not render the approach unfeasible.  Basically, I would
like to set up a working group similar to DMAC for Biotech modeling.  In
addition, we will try to follow any standards established by DMAC that are
useful to our application, which should be quite extensive.  I will get a web
site established where your proposals will be submitted and reviewed.  Please
post your ideas to this and similar groups until we reach a critical mass
where it would make sense to branch off a new newsgroup.  Secondly, we need
to write a freeware modular (using development model as set forth in the GNU
copy-left agreements or as is being done in Linux) or modify an existing
[freeware with copyleft disclaimer] modular which adheres to these standards.
 Any volunteers?  Come with me, and I will build the future!	 Please let
me know of what you think of my ideas.

©1998 Deodiaus

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