Java Remote Method Invocation over the Internet Inter-ORB Protocol represents J2EE’s default mechanism for accessing remote objects in a distributed enterprise environment. RMI-IIOP allows developers to create distributed objects and enable them for communication across Java Virtual Machines. Originally, RMI technology was used to execute remote object access by importing the java.rmi package. RMI offers distributed garbage collection and object activation. J2EE uses RMI-IIOP and the Java Naming and Directory Interface (JNDI) for access to remote objects, providing true cross-platform and cross–operating system interoperability.
Developers can also leverage the much simpler lightweight Remote Procedure Call (RPC) request-response technology, provided the client is sending parameters rather than objects to the server. RPCs usually interact with procedural applications, whereas RMI-IIOP provides interoperability with applications written in non-Java languages, the main focus of this book.
This chapter covers some background and specifics of these remote object access technologies along with a detailed discussion on deployment descriptors and how they affect an application’s behavior.