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USENIX Technical Program - Abstract - USENIX Annual Conference, General Session - June 2000

Distributed Computing: Moving from CGI to CORBA

James FitzGibbon and Tim Strike, Inc.


In this paper, we document the evolution of a banner ad delivery system from a simple CGI script written in Perl running on a single host into a distributed computing application using CORBA.

While CORBA has an established history in the enterprise-computing world, it is only recently that the OpenSource¨ community has begun to embrace it. Starting without any RPC programming experience, it took TargetNet a little less than half a year to integrate CORBA into the Apache web server and convert all their CGI programs into CORBA servers.

Performance of the system increased from 50 transactions per second to over 400 per second. Thanks to the cross-platform capabilities of CORBA, future components can be developed on virtually any operating system and programming language. By adding inexpensive servers, the capacity of the system scales in a near-linear fashion. Most importantly, the switch to CORBA didn't require a change of operating system or development environment - everything runs on a free operating system using OpenSource components.

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Last changed: 6 Feb 2002 ml
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