Introduction to .NET Remoting – Part [1]

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Welcome to the world of Distributed Application!

The article will give you introduction to the world of Distributed Application development and its respective technologies.

What is Remoting?

Remoting” is the process of programs interacting across certain boundaries. The boundaries are either different processes or different machines. In .NET Framework, Remoting can be called the foundation of distributed application.

Remoting implementation generally distinguishes between Remote Objects and Mobile Objects.

Remote Object” provides the facility to execute methods on remote servers. You can pass parameters as well as return values. The “Remote Object” will always “Stay” at server and only a reference to it will be passes around other machines / processes.

While “Mobile Objects” passes the boundary, they are serialized in to some general representation – XML – and then deserialized to the other boundary involved in the process. Both the processes – server and client – hold the copies of the same object. Method execution will always be carried out in local context boundary, and no message will travel back to the process from where the object is actually originated. We can say, there is no distinction between a server object and a client object.

Scenarios for .NET Remoting

I mean, why Remoting comes into picture?

At the beginning of Client/Server era, Remoting was mostly used to access Server Resources; as each database or file server has an implementation which allow code to be executed remotely.

Now-a-days, it’s quite feasible building a distributed application among various machines to improve performance, scalability and maintainability using Remoting.

  • Centralized Business Logic

One of key scenario for remoting implementation is the concentration of business logic on one or more central servers. This simplifies the maintainability and operability of a large-scale application. Because any changes in business logic do not entail you to roll out the application at all user’s end – you just have to update one single server only.

Thus, in this scenario; we need a technique which can be used to communicate in between two process / context boundaries that is the program or process running at user end and another one is running at business server.

  • Physical Separation of Layers

The security is the common concern in web-enabled business. So, general recommendation is against for directly connecting from web server to database server. Instead of that, we used to have one application server / business server as discussed above.

  • Accessing Other Platforms

You will commonly encounter a heterogeneous combination of different platforms, frameworks and programming languages. It is uncommon to find that a bunch of tools, programming languages have been used and implemented to develop an application for a mid-to-large scale enterprise.

Integrating these systems can be a daunting task. Remoting architecture is an absolute necessity in large scale enterprise application integration.

  • Third Party Access

Opening your system for third party access in a business-to-business environment is quite common now-a-days. Application like online Order-entry, which allows third party to place orders from one system to other, is one good example of an application utilizing remoting architecture. More application examples are – address verification system, online price comparison, distributed visitor guard house application etc.

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