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A Simple C++ Client/Server in CORBA

, 27 Sep 2009 GPL3
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An introduction to the Visual C++ CORBA development

Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Developing a Simple Client-server Application
  3. CORBA Benefits and Drawbacks
  4. Further Reading
  5. Acknowledgements

1 Introduction

The Object Management Group is a not-for-profit organization that promotes the use of object-oriented technologies. Among other things, it defines the UML and CORBA standards.

CORBA is an acronym for Common ORB Architecture. The phrase common architecture means a technical standard, so CORBA is simply a technical standard for something called an ORB.

In turn, ORB is an acronym for object request broker, which is an object-oriented version of an older technology called remote procedure call (RPC). An ORB or RPC is a mechanism for invoking operations on an object (or calling a procedure) in a different (“remote”) process that may be running on the same, or a different, computer. At a programming level, these “remote” calls look similar to “local” calls. In fact, CORBA makes it possible for a client application written in one programming language, say, Java, to make a remote call to a server implemented in a different programming language, say, C++. This language independence arises because the public interfaces of a server application are defined in an IDL file and CORBA defines mappings from IDL to many programming languages, including C, C++, Java, COBOL, Ada, SmallTalk and Python.

1.1 Interface Definition Language (IDL)

An IDL file defines the public application programming interface (API) that is exposed by objects in a server application. The type of a CORBA object is called an interface, which is similar in concept to a C++ class or a Java interface. An example IDL file is shown below.

module Finance {
  typedef sequence<string> StringSeq;
  struct AccountDetails {
    string     name;
    StringSeq  address;
    long       account_number;
    double     current_balance;
  };
  exception insufficientFunds { };
  interface Account {
    void deposit(in double amount);
    void withdraw(in double amount) raises(insufficientFunds);
    readonly attribute AccountDetails details;
  };
};

As the above example shows, IDL types may be grouped into a module. This construct serves a purpose similar to a C++ namespace or a Java package: it places a prefix on the names of types to prevent namespace pollution. The scoping operator in IDL is “::”. For example, Finance::Account is the fully-scoped name of the Account type defined in the Finance module.

An IDL interface may contain operations and attributes (and, if you want, also nested types). Many people mistakenly assume that an attribute is similar in concept to an instance variable in C++ (a field in Java). This is wrong. An attribute is simply syntactic sugar for a pair of get- and set-style operations. An attribute can be readonly, in which case it maps to just a get-style operation.

The parameters of an operation have a specified direction, which can be in (meaning that the parameter is passed from the client to the server), out (the parameter is passed from the server back to the client) or inout (the parameter is passed in both directions). Operations can also have a return value. An operation can raise (throw) an exception if something goes wrong. There are over 30 predefined exception types, called system exceptions, that all operations can throw, although in practice system exceptions are raised by the CORBA runtime system much more frequently than by application code. In addition to the pre-defined system exceptions, new exception types can be defined in an IDL file. These are called user-defined exceptions. A raises clause on the signature of an operation specifies the user-defined exceptions that it might throw.

Parameters to an operation (and the return value) can be one of the built-in types—for example, string, boolean or long—or a “user-defined” type that is declared in an IDL file. User-defined types can be any of the following:

  • A struct. This is similar to a C/C++ struct or a Java class that contains only public fields.
  • A sequence. This is a collection type. It is like a one-dimensional array that can grow or shrink. The IDL-to-C++ mapping predates the C++ standard template library so, unfortunately, an IDL sequence does not map to a std::vector. Instead, the IDL-to-C++ mapping defines its own vector-like data type.
  • An array. The dimensions of an IDL array are specified in the IDL file, so an array is of fixed size, that is, it cannot grow or shrink at runtime. Arrays are rarely used in IDL. The sequence type is more flexible and so is more commonly used.
  • A typedef. This defines a new name for an existing type. For example, the statement below defines age that is represented as a short:
     typedef short age;

    A common, and very important, use of typedef is to associate a name with a sequence or array declaration. For example:

     typedef sequence<string> StringSeq; 
  • A union. This type can hold one of several values at runtime, for example:
     union Foo switch(short) {
       case 1: boolean  boolVal;
       case 2: long     longVal;
       case 3: string   stringVal;
     }; 

    An instance of Foo could hold a boolean, a long or a string. The case label indicates which value is currently active.

  • An enum is conceptually similar to a collection of constant integer declarations. For example:
     enum color {red, green, blue}; 

    Internally, CORBA uses integer values to represent different enum values.

1.2 Mapping IDL to a Programming Language

As already mentioned, IDL is used to define the public API that is exposed by objects in a server application. IDL defines this API in a way that is independent of any particular programming language. However, for CORBA to be useful, there must be a mapping from IDL to a particular programming language. For example, the IDL-to-C++ mapping enables people to develop CORBA applications in C++, while the IDL-to-Java mapping enables people to develop CORBA applications in Java.

The CORBA standard currently defines mappings from IDL to the following programming languages: C, C++, Java, Ada, Smalltalk, COBOL, PL/I, LISP, Python and IDLScript. These officially-endorsed language mappings provide source-code portability of applications across different CORBA products. There are unofficial mappings for a few other languages, such as Eiffel, Tcl and Perl.

1.3 IDL Compilers

An IDL compiler translates IDL definitions (for example, struct, union, sequence and so on) into similar definitions in a programming language, such as C++, Java, Ada or Cobol. In addition, for each IDL interface, the IDL compiler generates both stub code—also called proxy types—and skeleton code. These terms often cause confusion, so I explain them below:

  • A dictionary definition of stub is “the short end remaining after something bigger has been used up, for example, a pencil stub or a cigarette stub”. In traditional (non-distributed) programming, a stub procedure is a dummy implementation of a procedure that is used to prevent “undefined label” errors at link time. In a distributed middleware system like CORBA, remote calls are implemented by the client making a local call upon a stub procedure/object. The stub uses an inter-process communication mechanism (such as TCP/IP sockets) to transmit the request to a server process and receive back the reply.
  • The term proxy is often used instead of stub. A dictionary definition of proxy is “a person authorized to act for another”. A CORBA proxy is simply a client-side object that acts on behalf of the “real” object in a server process. When the client application invokes an operation on a proxy, the proxy uses an inter-process communication mechanism to transmit the request to the “real” object in a server process; then the proxy waits to receive the reply and passes back this reply to the application-level code in the client.
  • The term skeleton code refers to the server-side code for reading incoming requests and dispatching them to application-level objects. The term skeleton may seem like a strange choice. However, use of the word skeleton is not limited to discussions about bones; more generally, it means a “supporting infrastructure”. Skeleton code is so called because it provides supporting infrastructure that is required to implement server applications.

A CORBA product must provide an IDL compiler, but the CORBA specification does not state what is the name of the compiler or what command-line options it accepts. These details vary from one CORBA product to another.

1.4 Making a Remote Call

CORBA uses the term servant to refer to an object written in a programming language (for example, C++ or Java) that implements an IDL interface. The diagram below shows what happens when a client application invokes an operation on an object/servant in a server process.

The application code in the client makes an invocation upon a local proxy object (recall that the proxy class is generated by the IDL compiler). The proxy marshals information about the request—such as the name of the operation being invoked, and its in and inout parameters—into a binary buffer. The proxy object then passes this binary buffer to the ORB library (provided with the CORBA product), which transmits the request message across the network to the server process. The ORB in the client process waits to read a reply message from the server process. The ORB returns the reply buffer back to the proxy object, which unmarshals inout and out parameters and the return value (or a raised exception), and returns these to the client application code.

On the server side, a thread inside the ORB sits in an event loop, waiting for incoming requests. When a request arrives, the ORB reads the request’s binary buffer and passes this to some code that unmarshals the parameters and dispatches the request to the target servant. The code that performs the unmarshalling and dispatching is spread over two components. One component is called a POA, and I will discuss that later in this article. The other component is the skeleton code that was generated by the IDL compiler. The generated skeleton code is not explicitly shown in the diagram because it takes the form of a base class that is inherited by the servant class. When the operation in the servant returns, the skeleton code marshals the inout and out parameters (or a raised exception) into a binary buffer and this is returned via the POA to the server-side ORB, which transmits the reply message across the network to the client process.

1.5 CORBA Services

Many programming languages are equipped with a standardized library of functions and/or classes that complement the core language. These standardized libraries usually provide collection data-types (for example, linked lists, sets, hash tables and so on), file input-output and other functionality that is useful for the development of a wide variety of applications. If you asked a developer to write an application in, say, Java, C or C++ but without making use of that language’s standard library, then the developer would find it very difficult.

A similar situation exists for CORBA. The core part of CORBA (an object-oriented RPC mechanism built with IDL and common on-the-wire protocols) is of limited use by itself—in the same way that a programming language stripped of its standardized library is of limited use. What greatly enhances the power of CORBA is a standardized collection of services—called CORBA Services—that provide functionality useful for the development of a wide variety of distributed applications. The CORBA Services have APIs that are defined in IDL. In effect, you can think of the CORBA Services as being like a standardized class library. However, one point to note is that most CORBA Services are provided as prebuilt server applications rather than as libraries that are linked into your own application. Because of this, the CORBA Services are really a distributed, standardized class library.

Some of the commonly-used CORBA Services include the following:

  • The Naming Service and Trading Service allow a server application to advertise its objects, thereby making it easy for client applications to find the objects.
  • Most CORBA applications use synchronous, one-to-one communication. However, some applications require many-to-many, asynchronous communication, or what many people call publish and subscribe communication. Various CORBA Services have been defined to support this type of communication.
  • In a distributed system, it is sometimes desirable for a transaction to span several databases so that when a transaction is committed, it is guaranteed that either all the databases are updated or none are updated. The Object Transaction Service (OTS) provides this capability.

2 Developing a Simple Client-server Application

I have used the Orbacus implementation of COBRA to develop a sample client-server application. Orbacus is available for both Java and C++.

2.1 The Business Logic Domain

My demonstration server application provides encrypt() and decrypt() operations. The client application invokes encrypt() on an object in the server to encrypt some plain text. Later the client invokes decrypt() to decrypt the text again.

The encryption/decryption algorithm is based on the Caesar cipher which is one of the simplest encryption techniques. It is a substitution cipher in which each letter in the plain text is replaced by a letter that is a fixed number of positions down the alphabet. I added an XOR operation with an encryption key after the shift operation to obscure the relationship. You can see the substitution technique in the diagram below:

2.2 Writing the IDL

The first step in implementing the client-server application is to write an IDL file that defines the public API of the server. This consists of one interface that provides encrypt() and decrypt() operations. The interface also contains a shutdown() operation so we can gracefully ask the server to terminate.

The IDL for the demonstration application is shown below:

// Crypt.idl
interface CaesarAlgorithm {
    typedef sequence<char> charsequence;
    charsequence encrypt(in string info,in unsigned long k,in unsigned long shift);
    string decrypt(in charsequence info,in unsigned long k,in unsigned long shift);
    boolean shutdown();
};

2.3 Generating the Skeleton and the Stub

After writing the IDL file, we convert the IDL definitions into corresponding C++ definitions by running the IDL compiler supplied with Orbacus.

idl crypt.idl

Running that command generates the following files:

  • crypt.h and crypt.cpp: These files define and implement the C++ types corresponding to IDL types (such as structs, unions, sequences and so on) defined in the IDL file. These files also implement the client-side proxy classes corresponding to IDL interfaces.
  • crypt_skel.h and crypt_skel.cpp: These files define and implement the server-side functionality required to read incoming requests and dispatch them to servants (the C++ objects that represent the CORBA objects).

Note that the CORBA specification has not standardized the name of the IDL compiler, and different CORBA implementations may use different names. For example, the IDL compilers in Orbacus, Orbix and omniORB are called idl, while TAO calls its IDL compiler tao_idl, and both VisiBroker and Orbit call theirs idl2cpp.

2.4 Implementing the Servant Class

The next step is to implement the servant class, that is, a C++ class that implements an IDL interface. To do this, we create a class (CryptographicImpl) that inherits from the skeleton class (POA_CaesarAlgorithm) generated by the IDL compiler. You can see this below.

#include <iostream>
#include <string>

#include "OB/CORBA.h"
#include "crypt_skel.h"

class CryptographicImpl : virtual public ::POA_CaesarAlgorithm,
				virtual public PortableServer::RefCountServantBase

{
	CORBA::ORB_var orb; // Reference to CORBA ORB

	public:
		CryptographicImpl(CORBA::ORB_var orb)
		{
			this->orb = orb;
		}

		// Caesar text encryption algorithm
		virtual ::CaesarAlgorithm::charsequence* 
		encrypt(const char* info,::CORBA::ULong k,::CORBA::ULong shift)
			throw(::CORBA::SystemException)
		{
			std::string msg = info;
			int len = msg.length();
			::CaesarAlgorithm::charsequence* outseq = 
				new ::CaesarAlgorithm::charsequence;
			outseq->length(len + 1);
			std::string::iterator i = msg.begin();
			std::string::iterator end = msg.end();
			int j = 0;
			while (i != end)
			{
				 *i+= shift;
				 *i ^= k;
				 (*outseq)[j++] = *i++;
			}
			(*outseq)[len] = '\0';
			return outseq;
		}

		// Caesar text decryption algorithm
		virtual char* decrypt(const ::CaesarAlgorithm::charsequence& 
				info,::CORBA::ULong k,::CORBA::ULong shift)
			throw(::CORBA::SystemException)
		{
			char* r = CORBA::string_alloc(info.length());

			for (int i = 0;i < info.length() - 1;i++)
			{
				r[i]  = info[i];
				r[i] ^= k;
				r[i] -= shift;

			}
			r[info.length() - 1] = '\0';
			return r;
		}

		// Terminate CORBA message
		virtual ::CORBA::Boolean shutdown() throw(::CORBA::SystemException)
		{
			orb->shutdown(false);
			return true;
		}
};

The servant implements the operations defined in the IDL interface. When a client makes a remote call, the dispatch code (implemented in the inherited POA_CaesarAlgorithm class) unmarshals the parameters of the incoming request and invokes the operation.

2.5 Creating the Server

Having implemented the servant class, we must now implement the server mainline. This performs some CORBA initialization steps, creates the servant, advertises its object reference in the naming service and then enters an event loop to wait for incoming requests. Before showing the code, there are two more CORBA concepts that I need to explain: POA and POA Manager.

From reading this article so far, you might have the impression that a client invokes operations on remote objects, and those remote objects live in a server process. That is almost correct. In reality, the objects live in a container called a POA (the term stands for Portable Object Adapter, but the origin of the name is not particularly interesting), and the POAs, in turn, live in a server process. The motivation for this is that different POAs can provide different qualities of service (or policies in CORBA terminology). For example, one POA might be single-threaded while another POA might be multi-threaded. The quality of service provided by a POA is applied to the servants within that POA. So by putting some servants in one POA and other servants in another POA, a single server process can host objects with a variety of different qualities of service: some objects might be single-threaded, while others are multi-threaded; some objects might be transient (meaning temporary), while other objects might be persistent (meaning that a client application can continue communicating with the object even if the server processes crashes and is restarted). CORBA provides an API that enables server developers to create multiple POAs, each with a potentially different quality of service. The CORBA runtime system in a server pre-creates a “rootPOA” that is multi-threaded and transient. Since that quality of service is suitable for the needs of our demonstration server, we do not need to explicitly create a POA.

A water tap (or faucet as the Americans call it) is used for turning on and off the flow of water. A POA manager is similar to a water tap except that it controls the flow of incoming requests. When a CORBA server starts, the POA manager associated with the root POA is in a holding state, which means if any requests from clients arrive then they will be queued up. This holding state enables a server process to complete its initialization without having to worry about processing incoming requests. When the server has completed its initialization, it puts its POA manager(s) into the active state, so that incoming requests can be dispatched, via POAs, to servants.

#include <iostream>
#include "OB/CORBA.h"
#include <OB/Cosnaming.h>
#include "crypt.h"
#include "cryptimpl.h"

using namespace std;

int main(int argc, char** argv)
{
	// Declare ORB and servant object
	CORBA::ORB_var orb;
	CryptographicImpl* CrypImpl = NULL;

	try {
		// Initialize the ORB.
1		orb = CORBA::ORB_init(argc, argv);
		// Get a reference to the root POA
2		CORBA::Object_var rootPOAObj = 
			orb->resolve_initial_references("RootPOA");
		// Narrow it to the correct type
		PortableServer::POA_var rootPOA = 
			PortableServer::POA::_narrow(rootPOAObj.in());

		// Create POA policies
		CORBA::PolicyList policies;
		policies.length(1);

		policies[0] =
			rootPOA->create_thread_policy
			(PortableServer::SINGLE_THREAD_MODEL);

		// Get the POA manager object
		PortableServer::POAManager_var manager = rootPOA->the_POAManager();

3		// Create a new POA with specified policies
		PortableServer::POA_var myPOA = rootPOA->create_POA
						("myPOA", manager, policies);

		// Free policies
		CORBA::ULong len = policies.length();
		for (CORBA::ULong i = 0; i < len; i++)
			policies[i]->destroy();

		// Get a reference to the Naming Service root_context
4		CORBA::Object_var rootContextObj = 
			orb->resolve_initial_references("NameService");
		// Narrow to the correct type
		CosNaming::NamingContext_var nc =
			CosNaming::NamingContext::_narrow(rootContextObj.in());

		// Create a reference to the servant
5		CrypImpl = new CryptographicImpl(orb);
		// Activate object
		PortableServer::ObjectId_var myObjID = 
				myPOA->activate_object(CrypImpl);
		// Get a CORBA reference with the POA through the servant
6		CORBA::Object_var o = myPOA->servant_to_reference(CrypImpl);
		// The reference is converted to a character string
		CORBA::String_var s = orb->object_to_string(o);
7		cout << "The IOR of the object is: " << s.in() << endl;

		CosNaming::Name name;
		name.length(1);
		name[0].id = (const char *) "CryptographicService";
		name[0].kind = (const char *) "";
		// Bind the object into the name service
8		nc->rebind(name,o);

		// Activate the POA
		manager->activate();
		cout << "The server is ready. 
			Awaiting for incoming requests..." << endl;
		// Start the ORB
9		orb->run();

	} catch(const CORBA::Exception& e) {
		// Handles CORBA exceptions
		cerr << e << endl;
  }

  // Decrement reference count
  if (CrypImpl)
10		CrypImpl->_remove_ref();

  // End CORBA
  if (!CORBA::is_nil(orb)){
	  try{
11		orb->destroy();
		cout << "Ending CORBA..." << endl;
	  } catch (const CORBA::Exception& e)
	  {
		  cout << "orb->destroy() failed:" << e << endl;
		  return 1;
	  }
  }
  return 0;
}
  1. Initializes the ORB.
  2. Get the root POA. Later on, we will create a servant object and activate (that is, insert) it into this POA.
  3. Access the root POA’s POA manager. Initially this POA manager is in the holding state, so any incoming requests are queued up. When the server’s initialization is complete, we will put this POA manager into the active state so that incoming requests can be dispatched.
  4. Obtain a reference for the naming service so that after we create a servant we can export its object reference to the naming service.
  5. A CryptographicImpl servant object is dynamically created.
  6. Calling servant_to_reference() provides us with a object reference for the servant.
  7. The reference is converted to a character string in order to display it.
  8. The rebind() operation is used to register the servant’s object reference in the naming service.
  9. The ORB enters an event loop, so it can await incoming requests.
  10. Servants are reference counted. When a servant is created, its reference count is initialized to 1. Now that we are finished with the servant, we decrement its reference count so the CORBA runtime system knows it can be deleted safely.
  11. Destroy the ORB.

2.6 Implementing the Client

The client application performs some CORBA initialization steps, retrieves the server’s object reference from the naming service and then goes into a loop, invoking encrypt() and decrypt() on it. When the client is finished, it invokes shutdown() to ask the server to terminate.

#include <iostream>
#include <string>
#include "OB/CORBA.h"
#include "OB/Cosnaming.h"
#include "crypt.h"

using namespace std;

int main(int argc, char** argv)
{

	// Declare ORB
	CORBA::ORB_var orb;

	try {

		// Initialize the ORB
1		orb = CORBA::ORB_init(argc, argv);

		// Get a reference to the Naming Service
2		CORBA::Object_var rootContextObj = 
			orb->resolve_initial_references("NameService");
		CosNaming::NamingContext_var nc =
			CosNaming::NamingContext::_narrow(rootContextObj.in());

		CosNaming::Name name;
		name.length(1);
		name[0].id = (const char *) "CryptographicService";
		name[0].kind = (const char *) "";
		// Invoke the root context to retrieve the object reference
3		CORBA::Object_var managerObj = nc->resolve(name);
		// Narrow the previous object to obtain the correct type
		::CaesarAlgorithm_var manager =
4			::CaesarAlgorithm::_narrow(managerObj.in());

		string info_in,exit,dummy;
		CORBA::String_var info_out;
		::CaesarAlgorithm::charsequence_var inseq;
		unsigned long key,shift;

		try{
			do{
				cout << "\nCryptographic service client" << endl;
				cout << "----------------------------" << endl;

				do{ // Get the cryptographic key
					if (cin.fail())
					{
						cin.clear();
						cin >> dummy;
					}
					cout << "Enter encryption key: ";
					cin >> key;

				} while (cin.fail());

				do{ // Get the shift
					if (cin.fail())
					{
						cin.clear();
						cin >> dummy;
					}
					cout << "Enter a shift: ";
					cin >> shift;

				} while (cin.fail());

				// Used for debug pourposes
				//key = 9876453;
				//shift = 938372;
				getline(cin,dummy); // Get the text to encrypt
				cout << "Enter a plain text to encrypt: ";
				getline(cin,info_in);

				// Invoke first remote method
5				inseq = manager->encrypt
					(info_in.c_str(),key,shift);
				cout << "------------------------------------------"
					 << endl;
				cout << "Encrypted text is: " 
					<< inseq->get_buffer() << endl;
				// Invoke second remote method
6				info_out = manager->decrypt(inseq.in(),key,shift);
				cout << "Decrypted text is: " 
					<< info_out.in() << endl;
				cout << "-------------------------------------------"
					 << endl;
				cout << "Exit? (y/n): ";
				cin >> exit;
			} while (exit!="y");

			// Shutdown server message
7			manager->shutdown();

		} catch(const std::exception& std_e){
			cerr << std_e.what() << endl;
		  }
	}catch(const CORBA::Exception& e) {
		// Handles CORBA exceptions
		cerr << e << endl;
   }
   // End CORBA
	if (!CORBA::is_nil(orb)){
		try{
			orb->destroy();
			cout << "Ending CORBA..." << endl;
		} catch(const CORBA::Exception& e)
		{
			cout << "orb->destroy failed:" << e << endl;
			return 1;
		}
   }
   return 0;
}
  1. Initialize the ORB.
  2. Obtain a reference for the naming service.
  3. Call resolve() (which means lookup) on the naming service to retrieve the server’s object reference.
  4. The narrow() operation is, in essence, a typecast. We have to narrow() the object reference received from the naming service into the correct subtype so we can invoke operations on it.
  5. Make a remote invocation of the encrypt() operation.
  6. Make a remote invocation of the decrypt() operation.
  7. Make a remote invocation of the shutdown() operation.

2.7 Running the Client-server Application

Once we have implemented the client and the server, it’s time to connect them. Because our demonstration client and server exchange object references via the naming service, we must ensure that the naming service (which is called nameserv in Orbacus) is running. We use some command-line options to tell the naming service the host and port on which it should listen.

nameserv -OAhost localhost -OAport 8140

After this, we can start the server with a command-line option to tell it how to contact the naming service.

server -ORBInitRef NameService=corbaloc:iiop:localhost:8140/NameService

Finally we can start the client, again with a command-line option to tell it how to contact the naming service.

client -ORBInitRef NameService=corbaloc:iiop:localhost:8140/NameService

3 CORBA Benefits and Drawbacks 

CORBA offers several benefits.

First, implementations of CORBA are available for many programming languages (such as C, C++, Java, COBOL, Ada, SmallTalk and Python, Tcl and Perl) and many operating systems (including Windows, UNIX, mainframes and embedded devices). Not all client-server technologies can claim this. For example, Microsoft technologies (COM, DCOM and .NET) have traditionally been available only on Windows. Java RMI works across multiple operating systems, but it can be used only in Java-based applications.

Second, when making a remote call, CORBA marshals parameters into a compact binary format for transmission across the network. This compact format saves on network bandwidth. In addition, the CPU overhead required to marshal parameters into the binary format is also quite low. In contrast, some newer client-server technologies, such as SOAP, marshal parameters into XML format when making remote calls. XML is very verbose so it uses a lot of bandwidth; usually at least ten times more bandwidth than an equivalent CORBA call. In addition, when a SOAP-based server receives a request, it must parse the XML to extract the parameter data. Doing this requires a lot of CPU time. In contrast, parameters can be marshaled in and out of CORBA’s binary message format much more quickly.

Third, CORBA has been around for well over a decade, which means that its technology is quite stable and feature rich.

Of course, CORBA is not perfect. Its main drawback is that the power and flexibility of CORBA comes with a relatively steep learning curve. An open-source library called the CORBA Utilities eases some, but not all, of the learning curve for C++ and Java developers.

4 Further Reading

  • You can find a good overview of CORBA concepts in CORBA Explained Simply.
  • For details of writing CORBA applications in C++, read Advanced CORBA programming with C++ by Michi Henning and Steve Vinoski.
  • About theory and fundamentals:
    • Distributed Systems: Concepts and Design by George Coulouris, Jean Dollimore and Tim Kindberg. 
    • Books and notes from the National University for Distance Education - UNED - Spain

5 Acknowledgements

I would like to thank Ciaran McHale in Progress Software for his feedback on a draft of this article.

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The GNU General Public License (GPLv3)

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About the Author

Carlos Jiménez de Parga
Software Developer
Spain Spain
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Comments and Discussions

 
QuestionORBacus download link? PinmemberDesmondWindmore19-Aug-13 3:10 
AnswerRe: ORBacus download link? PinmemberCarlos Jiménez de Parga19-Aug-13 4:49 
Generalgenerate stub and skeleton PinmemberMember 37690317-Dec-10 3:01 
GeneralRe: generate stub and skeleton PinmemberCarlos Jiménez de Parga7-Dec-10 3:58 
GeneralRe: generate stub and skeleton PinmemberMember 37690317-Dec-10 4:15 
GeneralRe: generate stub and skeleton PinmemberCarlos Jiménez de Parga7-Dec-10 9:26 
QuestionSir,I am using eclipse+Qt+mingw,I cannot find the command "nameserv",can you tell me your compile settings? PinmemberUD.Goto29-Mar-10 15:17 
QuestionLink broken? PinmemberDave Cross1-Jul-09 0:39 
AnswerRe: Link broken? PinmemberCarlos Jiménez de Parga1-Jul-09 3:14 
Generalgood work Pinmemberliusj200023-Jun-09 2:20 
GeneralRe: good work PinmemberCarlos Jiménez de Parga23-Jun-09 3:56 
GeneralRe: good work Pinmemberliusj200024-Jun-09 2:07 
Questionidl compiler error PinmemberMember 46456756-Jan-09 9:23 
good article after installing orbacus i tried to compile the idl file using idl.exe but an error message informs me that there is some dll component missing and that re-installing may fix the problem
AnswerRe: idl compiler error PinmemberCarlos Jiménez de Parga6-Jan-09 9:29 

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