This book has its roots in a Series of OOPSLA workshops on "The Role of a Corporate Object Technology Center" starting with OOPSLA 93. There was general agreement among participants that the position papers submitted to the workshop should be developed into case studies on object technology centers. The core of the current book is a set of four contributed case studies that cover the experience gained on object technology centers at IBM, BNR, The Travelers Group, and WilTel.
The first OTC workshop at OOPSLA '93 has grown into a sequence of yearly workshops at OOPSLA and a yearly conference on object technology centers sponsored by the Consortium for the Management of Emerging Software Technologies (Comsoft). This book has been greatly influenced by these workshops, conferences, and the Comsoft OTC Newsletter. For example, the list of OTC activities which appears in some form in all the chapters was developed in the 1993 workshop, and the first survey of these activities was reported in the 1994 workshop.
This book's purpose is to provide managers and technology insertion specialists with guidance on setting up a corporate infrastructure for object technology. The OTCs discussed are representative of the diversity in OTCs which range from grassroots organizations to formal committees to funded entities. An important theme of the book is lessons learned in introducing object technology.
This book's primary audience is any individual or group participating in setting up and running the corporate infrastructure necessary for a successful transition to object technology, as well as those charged with justifying and approving such infrastructures. A secondary audience is anyone interested in the current state of object technology within corporations.
We begin with an introductory chapter providing general advice on the goals, activities, and organization of an object technology center. The next four chapters are case studies of specific OTCs which focus on the specific cultural and technical factors relevant to the featured center. The topics covered in these chapters include the following: mission, activities, evolution, and lessons learned. Another chapter presents a survey of seven OTCs which were among those whose representatives participated in the first Object Technology Centers Conference in 1995 (OTC '95). We conclude with a chapter that synthesizes the case studies and relates them back to the generic material presented in the first chapter.
This book owes its existence to the series of OTC workshops at the OOPSLA conference, and the conference on object technology centers sponsored by Comsoft, and thus is indebted to all the participants in these events. It has benefited from the cooperation, encouragement, and prodding of Marjan Bace and Lee Fitzpatrick at Manning Publications Co., and the production assistance provided by Aaron Lyon. Finally, special thanks go to the families of the authors for encouragement and support in making this book a reality.
TIMOTHY D. KORSON
VIJAY K. VAISHNAVI