Component-Based Software (October 1994)
Scalable Business Application Development Components and Tools
Apply object-oriented technology to provide efficient, scalable parallel-computing software and algorithms that can be incorporated easily into business applications that are hardware-systems independent.
Sponsor: Astoria Software (formerly Links2Go.com/formerly Continuum Systems)21-G Olympia Avenue
Woburn, MA 01801
Parallel computers--those with several processors that can work on computations simultaneously--hold great promise for coping with the vast amounts of data and complex calculations often required of modern business applications. Parallel hardware tends to be far more cost effective than traditional mainframes of comparable power, and scalable parallel systems that allow the user to add incremental hardware as computation needs expand are even more advantageous. Widespread use of powerful parallel systems, however, has been blocked by the lack of equally powerful application software that takes advantage of the hardware's capabilities. Continuum Software proposes to attack this problem by using object-oriented technology to provide efficient, scalable parallel-computing software suitable for business applications. Object-oriented software, the company argues, can insulate application programmers from the difficulties of parallel programming, integrating the functions into the traditional--and familiar--languages used for business systems such as COBOL or C++. Specific goals of the project include: identifying a broad range of business-related computing tasks that would benefit from scalable parallel systems; developing a software layer that captures the characteristics of various parallel hardware; developing methods to select the best parallel algorithms based on hardware and application characteristics; and investigating graphical application development tools targeted at the efficient, error-free composition, analysis, and execution of scalable business applications. The principals of Continuum Systems, a start-up company, have significant expertise in parallel computing. Web page: http://www.continuumsi.com