Tibco Takes a Pragmatic Approach to Multicasting

  • Written By: M. Reed
  • Published: January 3 2001

Tibco Takes a Pragmatic Approach to Multicasting
M. Reed - January 3, 2001

Event Summary

Tibco Software Inc. (NASDAQ: TIBX), a provider of real-time infrastructure software for e-business, today announced it has delivered open source code for its Pragmatic General Multicast (PGM) networking software to software developers and content providers. PGM software ensures reliable simultaneous delivery of messages to many locations over the Internet or on a corporate network. With PGM, the author of the broadcast is guaranteed that all data is delivered to the intended receivers, or is informed of any unrecoverable data packet loss. Through the open source program, developers can download the PGM software for free through a GNU Public License (GPL), modify it and develop software applications that combine data, voice and video.

The PGM protocol was co-designed by Tibco and Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) and has been submitted to Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the organization responsible for setting Internet architecture standards. PGM software is a reliable multicast transport protocol for applications that require delivery from multiple sources to multiple recipients. PGM ensures delivery of messages to all intended recipients, provides a high-level of online security, and reduces network traffic by sending a message just once from a server or publisher. Conventional network software requires the server to send a copy of the same message to each user on a point-to-point basis - slowing delivery and making it less reliable.

Market Impact

The improvements provided by Tibco and Cisco will be quickly embraced by the market. Point-to-Point delivery methods (sending the message once for each user on the distribution list) are hard on network bandwidth, and it is more difficult for network administrators to track the successful delivery of each message. This development should be especially useful in products which use the Publish/Subscribe model of messaging, where the server(s) may potentially have to deliver the same piece of information to hundreds or thousands of clients.

Tibco is one of the leaders in the Enterprise Application Integration market, and this development, coupled with the fact they are publishing PGM as open-source, should increase their visibility even further.

User Recommendations

Companies considering the use of a publish/subscribe model, or indeed any push technology which requires one-to-many distribution of messages, should look at PGM. Even if the company is not using Tibco integration products, the fact that the program is open source should allow them to integrate PGM with whatever applications are currently in place.


Multicast: To transmit a message to multiple recipients at the same time. Multicast is a one-to-many transmission similar to broadcasting, except that multicasting implies sending to a list of specific users, whereas broadcasting implies sending to everybody.

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