"The Internet, with its simple protocol and ubiquity, has opened
up huge opportunities for programs to communicate between
computers, a task that always seemed complex and daunting in the
past. Now there is a new dilemma. Which framework should you use
for automating communication?"
"What many developers have done is to use what is in place and
what works now. And what works is XML-RPC. It's easy, quick, and
consistent. XML-RPC fits a "glue" role that its big brother, SOAP,
cannot. If you are looking for a large-scale framework for
communicating between diverse servers and enterprise functionality
like automated discovery of services, then XML-RPC will not fit.
XML-RPC is, however, a quick, easy-to-use, reliable means of
communicating between distributed locations, without worrying about
what language the "other guy" has used. XML-RPC is a hybrid
solution. It's not strictly object-oriented. The "RPC" portion of
the acronym stands for Remote Procedure Call. RPC is very simple --
a user sends a request over the network to a specific location and
receives a reponse. If this sounds suspiciously familar, it is --
the Web works this way. The death-knell for RPC was heard in the
1990s. Its developers were unable to standardize on the structure
of data. Sun did try to implement a standard in XDR. It never quite
caught on. With the rise of object-oriented programming, RPC fell
into disfavor. By adding XML to the RPC portion, a standard,
popular structure for data has been added to the process, breathing
new life into RPC. So why use it?"
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