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Lesson 4 Remote Procedure Calls (RPCs)
ObjectiveDescribe the function of RPCs.

What is RPC?

RPC, short for remote procedure call, is a client-server based protocol. It was an important tool in the early history of middleware development.
Note: RPCs are no longer widely used, though they are important in the context and history of integration software.
RPCs allow a program on one computer to execute a program on a server computer. Using RPC, a system developer need not develop specific procedures for the server. The client program sends a message to the server with appropriate arguments and the server returns a message containing the results of the program executed. RPC-based products are procedure- or function-oriented. Developers create an RPC in three stages:
  1. They define functions using an interface description language (IDL).
  2. They compile that function into client and server stubs that actually do the networking.
  3. They use function calls within a development tool, such as 3GL languages and 4GL products, to call the function.
The key for the developer is whether the RPC-based middleware generates functions in the very tool in which the applications were developed. For applications that were once multi-user system based but are now being distributed, the RPC approach is very intuitive. Each existing function can be split across the network as needed.
The next lesson covers data integration middleware.