Thoughts on Interoperable Objects

Distributed communication protocols such as those in DCE use remote procedure calls (RPC) to provide an easy-to-use front-end for a client-server architecture. This approach makes the older "protocol" style of client-server communication as old-fashioned as pre-object-oriented programming languages. The same interface-specification techniques used for regular object documentation and creation can now be used for network protocol design.

DCE extends function calls across the net; CORBA, SOM, and COM go further, extending object orientation across the net. All these systems define only interfaces, actual implementation is done in whatever language you prefer that can hook up to the interfaces.

DCE is more mature than the object models, with services such as security, authentication, directory, time, and threading. But that advantage is next to nothing compared to the disadvantage of not fitting today's programming languages well.

For a larger discussion of component object models, see Components For Software Development.


R. Valdes, "Introducing Interoperable Objects", Dr. Dobb's Sourcebook, Winter 1994/95, Vol 19 Issue 16.
Substantive changes:
    April 10, 1996: created.
    May 29, 1996: Tightened after reading about COM.
Copyright © 1996, Steve Colwell, All Rights Reserved
Home page