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Re: [oscar] Re:need info - servlet, RMI, SOAP...

How about the serialization issues in XMLRPC? You have to stick to
simple data types, don't you? That's the strong point of RMI: you can
use almost any type you want... as long as you can pay the bandwith
bill ;-)
I think "serialization" is one of the reasons I dislike RMI so much as a client<>server interface:. It creates a "hidden" need for your client to have the relevant classes from the server packages, or be able to load them. Not only does this trip a lot of people up inititally, it also has a bad habit of "bleeding" the number and range of classes needed on both client and server side to support the interface. In my experience, this approach tends to lead to an API which spawns many hideous, nastily coupled heads rather then being carefully designed from the outset.

I value XMLRPC precisely for it's simple and limited set of data types - it forces you to think in terms of language neutral, clean and simple, client<>server API functions. We typically wrap these in a "Java API bundle" which actually hides the XMLRPC aspect and provides a natural Java API for developing client functionality. That bundle API is nice and easy to build, deploy and update through the likes of OSGi , OBR etc.

Along the way, we also know:

- we've created a clean and easy-to-follow separation of client and server logic - should someone want to, all of our server functionality would be accesible from C, C++, etc. etc,
- we've created a firewall friendly, HTTP transportable interface

It's a liberating experience .... ;)

-- Rob

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