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COOTS 1998 Abstract

COBEA: A CORBA-Based Event Architecture

Chaoying Ma and Jean Bacon
University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory


Events are an emerging paradigm for composing applications in an open, heterogeneous distributed world. In Cambridge we have developed scalable event handling based on a publish-register-notify model with event object classes and server-side filtering based on parameter templates. After experience in using this approach in a home-built RPC system we have extended CORBA, an open standard for distributed object computing, to handle events in this way.

In this paper, we present the design of COBEA - a COrba-Based Event Architecture. A service that is the source of (parameterised) events publishes in a Trader the events it is prepared to notify, along with its normal interface specification. For scalability, a client must register interest (by invoking a register method with appropriate parameters or wild cards) at the service, at which point an access control check is carried out. Subsequently, whenever a matching event occurs, the client is notified.

We outline the requirements on the COBEA architecture, then describe its components and their interfaces. The design and implementation aim to support easy construction of applications by using COBEA components. The components include event primitives, an event mediator and a composite event service; each features well-defined interfaces and semantics for event registration, notification and filtering. We demonstrate that COBEA is flexible in supporting various application scenarios yet handles efficiently the most common event communications. The performance of server-side filtering for various registration scenarios is presented. Our initial experience with applications is also described.

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