Java remote method invocation

Posted By on March 23, 2016


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RMI basics
Clock synchronization

The Java Remote Method Invocation (Java RMI) is a Java API that performs remote method invocation, the object-oriented equivalent of remote procedure calls (RPC), with support for direct transfer of serializedJava classes and distributed garbage collection.

  1. The original implementation depends on Java Virtual Machine (JVM) class representation mechanisms and it thus only supports making calls from one JVM to another. The protocol underlying this Java-only implementation is known as Java Remote Method Protocol (JRMP).
  2. In order to support code running in a non-JVM context, a CORBA version was later developed.

Usage of the term RMI may denote solely the programming interface or may signify both the API and JRMP, IIOP, or another implementation, whereas the term RMI-IIOP (read: RMI over IIOP) specifically denotes the RMI interface delegating most of the functionality to the supporting CORBA implementation.

The basic idea of Java RMI, the distributed garbage-collection (DGC) protocol, and much of the architecture underlying the original Sun implementation, come from the ‘network objects’ feature of Modula-3.

Example

RmiServer class — listens to RMI requests and implements the interface which is used by the client to invoke remote methods.

import java.rmi.Naming;
import java.rmi.RemoteException;
import java.rmi.server.UnicastRemoteObject;
import java.rmi.registry.*; 
public class RmiServer extends UnicastRemoteObject implements RmiServerIntf {
    public static final String MESSAGE = "Hello World";

    public RmiServer() throws RemoteException {
        super(0);    // required to avoid the 'rmic' step, see below
    }

    public String getMessage() {
        return MESSAGE;
    }

    public static void main(String args[]) throws Exception {
        System.out.println("RMI server started");

        try { //special exception handler for registry creation
            LocateRegistry.createRegistry(1099); 
            System.out.println("java RMI registry created.");
        } catch (RemoteException e) {
            //do nothing, error means registry already exists
            System.out.println("java RMI registry already exists.");
        }
           
        //Instantiate RmiServer

        RmiServer obj = new RmiServer();

        // Bind this object instance to the name "RmiServer"
        Naming.rebind("//localhost/RmiServer", obj);
        System.out.println("PeerServer bound in registry");
    }
}



RmiServerIntf interface — defines the interface that is used by the client and implemented by the server.

import java.rmi.Remote;
import java.rmi.RemoteException;

public interface RmiServerIntf extends Remote {
    public String getMessage() throws RemoteException;
}

 

 

RmiClient class — this is the client which gets the reference (a proxy) to the remote object living on the server and invokes its method to get a message. If the server object implemented java.io.Serializable instead of java.rmi.Remote, it would be serialized and passed to the client as a value.

import java.rmi.Naming;

public class RmiClient { 
    public static void main(String args[]) throws Exception {
        RmiServerIntf obj = (RmiServerIntf)Naming.lookup("//localhost/RmiServer");
        System.out.println(obj.getMessage()); 
    }
}

Before running this example, we need to make a 'stub' file for the interface we used. For this task we have the RMI compiler - 'rmic'
  • Note: we make a stub file from the ‘*.class’ file with the implementation of the remote interface, not from the ‘*.java’ file.
rmic RmiServer
 
RMI basics
Clock synchronization

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