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Second USENIX Conference on Object-Oriented Technologies (COOTS), 1996

The Any Framework - A Pragmatic Approach to Flexibility

Kai-Uwe Maetzel and Walter Bischofberger
Union Bank of Switzerland


During the development of Beyond-Sniff, a distributed multi-user development platform, we were confronted with various, apparently unrelated problems: data, control, and user interface integration of distributed components, system configuration, user specific preferences, etc. Undoubtedly, it is not trivial to find solutions for such issues, but C++ makes it even more challenging due to its static nature and insufficient meta-information. To overcome these shortcomings, we implemented a small and powerful framework called Any. The Any framework augments C++ with a flexible, dynamic, garbage-collected data representation mechanism. It serves as a language-independent data integration vehicle and provides data management and declarative retrieval facilities.
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