A COBOL data item, declared as OBJECT REFERENCE which can hold an object handle. You can pass object references as parameters when you send a message or make a COBOL CALL, in effect enabling you to pass objects between different parts of an application. Object references are untyped, so the same data item can hold an object reference for any class or instance object. That is, there is no distinction between the type of object reference declared to hold an instance of one class or another.
A link to an object. Object references can be used as if they were the objects they link to. The concept of object references arises when assigning the same object to more than one property. Each assigned property does not hold a copy of the object. Instead, they hold object references that link to the same object. In practice, this means that if the object is modified, all properties referring to the object reflect the modification.
A construct containing the information needed to specify an object within an ORB. An object reference is used in method invocations to locate a CORBA object. Object references are the CORBA object equivalent to programming language-specific object pointers. They may be obtained from a factory object or from the Naming Service. An object reference, which is opaque (its internal structure is irrelevant to application developers), identifies the same CORBA object each time it is used. It is possible, however, for multiple object references to refer to the same CORBA object.