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Wrapping DCE/OSF Client/Server Applications

Israel Gold and Uri Shani
Haifa Research Laboratory
IBM Israel Science and Technology
Matam -- Advanced Technology Center
Haifa 31905, Israel


DCE is a comprehensive RPC-based solution for client/server applications across networks of heterogeneous machines. Unfortunately, DCE is hard to learn and use. The fact is, that even simple DCE applications may have a rather complicated structure, requiring a good understanding of the elaborate DCE technology. This paper presents GLUEGEN -- an automatic tool for "wrapping" plain C code to become part of a distributed application. The approach taken separates DCE-specific from DCE-independent elements of the application, via a high-level specification language. This language provides an easy and flexible way to describe the distributed application topology, and frees the programmer from having to get into the gory details of the DCE run-time.

Using GLUEGEN, the development of simple DCE applications remains a rather simple task, requiring very little knowledge of DCE, and of the DCE run-time. The tool is particularly useful for splitting existing monolithic programs into clients and servers, with almost no change to the original application code. Complex DCE applications which do not neatly fit splitting are supported as well.

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