July 24, 2008

Remote Method Invocation (RMI)

Java Remote Method Invocation (Java RMI) enables the programmer to create distributed Java technology-based to Java technology-based applications, in which the methods of remote Java objects can be invoked from other Java virtual machines*, possibly on different hosts. RMI uses object serialization to marshal and unmarshal parameters and does not truncate types, supporting true object-oriented polymorphism.
The original RMI API was generalized somewhat to support different implementations, such as an HTTP transport. Additionally, work was done to CORBA, adding a pass by value capability, to support the RMI interface. Still, the RMI-IIOP and JRMP implementations are not fully identical in their interfaces.

There are two common implementations of the API. The original implementation depends on Java Virtual Machine (JVM) class representation mechanisms and it thus only supports making calls from one JVM to another. The protocol underlying this Java-only implementation is known as Java Remote Method Protocol (JRMP). In order to support code running in a non-JVM context, a CORBA version was later developed. Usage of the term RMI may denote solely the programming interface or may signify both the API and JRMP, whereas the term RMI-IIOP, read RMI over IIOP, denotes the RMI interface delegating most of the functionality to the supporting CORBA implementation.

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