Software AG is now shipping the first commercial version of Microsoft's Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM) software for a non-Windows platform. DCOM for UNIX on Sun Solaris is the first step toward making Microsoft's component software strategy cross-platform. Analysts, however, are unconvinced.

"The reason they're doing it is not so people can develop and use DCOM natively on UNIX. It's totally from the standpoint of allowing native Windows applications to get at UNIX resources, which they characterize as legacy," said Stan Dolberg, of Forrester Research. "They're creating interoperability so DCOM can be used as the wire protocol to invoke a UNIX application \[from Windows\]."

The Solaris DCOM release includes UNIX versions of COM, the DCOM libraries, Structured Storage, Monikers, Automation, Uniform Data Transfer, Registry, Service Control Manager, MSRPC (Microsoft's version of the DCE RPC) with TCP/IP support, Microsoft Interface Definition Language Compiler, the ActiveX Template Library, and Windows NT LAN Manager Security.

The software is available free of charge from the Software AG Web site