Monday, December 24, 2012

Introduction to RPC - Part 1



I have worked with client-server applications for a couple of years now, all of these applications use RPC as the layer of communication between the client and the server. I found it strange that no real article existed on this matter here on CodeProject, so I decided to write one of my own to spread my knowledge on this matter.

The matter is, on the other hand, a bit big so I will split it into several articles of different levels of difficulty. This first one is at beginner level.

IDL, RPC and you

In order to use RPC, you need to have some knowledge about IDL, but don't you worry, this article will help you.

Interface Definition Language (IDL)

IDL stands for Interface Definition Language and it's a language for defining interfaces (no kidding). Writing an IDL file is somewhat like writing a C header file with some additional keywords and constructs. IDL is an attributed programming language and thus it can describe parameters, functions and interfaces in more detail than C.

Remote Procedure Call (RPC)

Remote Procedure Call (RPC) defines a powerful technology for creating distributed client/server programs. The RPC runtime libraries manage most of the details relating to network protocols and communication. This enables you to focus on the details of the application rather than the details of the network.

With RPC a client can connect to a server running on another platform. For example: In theory the server could be written for Linux and the client could be written for Win32.  The reality is somewhat more complicated.

Are you scared yet?

If you're not scared, I think it's good time for an example.

The standalone application

This standalone application will not use RPC and it is a simple HelloWorld application that we later will transform into a RPC client/server application.

Read more: Codeproject
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