The ACE ORB (TAO) is a freely available, open-source, and standards-compliant real-time implementation of CORBA that provides efficient, predictable, and scalable quality of service (QoS) end-to-end. Unlike conventional implementations of CORBA, which are inefficient, unpredictable, non-scalable, and often non-portable, TAO applies the best software practices and patterns to automate the delivery of high-performance and real-time QoS to distributed applications.
Many types of real-time applications can benefit from the flexibility of the features provided by the TAO ORB and its CORBA services. In general, these applications require predictable timing characteristics and robustness since they are used in mission-critical real-time systems. Other real-time applications require low development cost and fast time to market.
Traditionally, the barrier to viable real-time CORBA has been that many real-time challenges are associated with end-to-end system design aspects that transcend the layering boundaries traditionally associated with CORBA. That's why TAO integrates the network interfaces, OS I/O subsystem, ORB, and middleware services in order to provide an end-to-end solution. For instance, consider the CORBA Event Service, which simplifies application software by supporting decoupled suppliers and consumers, asynchronous event delivery, and distributed group communication. TAO enhances the standard CORBA Event Service to provide important features, such as real-time event dispatching and scheduling, periodic event processing, efficient event filtering and correlation mechanisms, and multicast protocols required by real-time applications.