Short for Common Object Request Broker Architecture, an architecture that enables pieces of programs, called objects, to communicate with one another regardless of what programming language they were written in or what operating system they're running on. CORBA was developed by an industry consortium known as the Object Management Group (OMG).
There are several implementations of CORBA, the most widely used being IBM's SOM and DSOM architectures. CORBA has also been embraced by Netscape as part of its Netscape ONE (Open Network Environment) platform. Two competing models are Microsoft's COM and DCOM and Sun Microsystems' RMI.