The Johns Hopkins Gazette: July 3, 2000
July 3, 2000
VOL. 29, NO. 40


APL Launches Spin-off Company to Commercialize Software

Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

The Applied Physics Laboratory has launched a spin-off company, Dot21 Real-Time Systems Inc., to commercialize a type of APL-developed software, commonly referred to as message-oriented middleware.

For years, APL has been developing middleware called Common Genealogy Architecture Infrastructure, or CGAI, for Navy programs. Middleware is software that moves information, or messages, from one place to another within a single system or between multiple systems.

Integrating systems is a key challenge in today's information technology environment. APL's CGAI provides real-time distribution of data using a publish-subscribe paradigm--a type of interface used to effortlessly distribute data. Combined, CGAI's real-time data distribution and analysis tools can drastically reduce the amount of effort involved in system development and integration.

Dot21, a company specializing in communications software for networked and embedded devices, was incorporated to commercialize CGAI software, and to develop custom real-time middleware software and systems.

"[This] middleware makes integrating and developing multiprocessor systems much easier," says Paul Bade, Dot21's vice president. "There are a lot of people who will benefit greatly from this software--people who are building systems and need to get them up and running quickly." Businesses that could benefit from this technology, Bade says, include military aerospace, factory automation, space satellite and medical imaging companies.

"The establishment of Dot21 is a wonderful example of dual-use technology developed from government funding," says Wayne Swann, director of APL's Office of Technology Transfer. "The commercial applications of the technology have the potential to lower the cost of government-purchased middleware products and provide licensing income to APL to further its research endeavors. In addition, the establishment of Dot21 creates new jobs and provides associated benefits to the local economy."

"Our intent is to grow quickly by providing low-cost 'turn-key' signal processing systems and software," says Al de Baroncelli, president of Dot21. "This license agreement allows us to develop new and improved products while providing superior engineering services and leveraging internal skills and resources through strategic alliances."

Dot21 was one of the first four businesses accepted into the Howard County, Md., Economic Development Authority's NeoTech Business Incubator.