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Simple Activation for Distributed Objects

Ann Wollrath, Geoff Wyant, and Jim Waldo

Sun Microsystems Laboratories
{ann.wollrath, geoff.wyant, jim.waldo}


In order to support long-lived distributed objects, object activation is required. Activation allows an object to alternate between periods of activity, where the object implementation executes in a process; and periods of dormancy, where the object is on disk and utilizes no system resources. We describe an activation protocol for distributed object systems. The protocol features overall simplicity as well as applicability to several different activation models. We use the Modula-3 network object system as a base for our implementation; while we make no changes to the underlying network object subsystem, we suggest a minor modification that could be made to the marshalling of network objects to assist in lazy activation, our preferred activation model.

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