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RMI, IIOP and SOAP

Can you explain the differences, and pros and cons, between SOAP, RMI and IIOP?

RMI and IIOP are very similar, both synchronous, both use TCP/IP as their base, both exist to invoke methods within remote objects. RMI is bound to Java, providing a simple mechanism to invoke java methods within objects running in other memory spaces, intra- or inter-machine.

Simple Object Access Protocol, or SOAP, is an XML-based protocol for invoking RPCs through firewalls. SOAP uses a method-invocation mechanism where return values are carried as HTTP requests and responses, allowing the protocol to operate through fire walls. Information about the methods being carried out is placed into the HTTP header and body, and carried over the network. SOAP leverages an XML-based document for encoding the operational details.

Editor's note: EAI expert Adam Greissman has also answered this question; click here to view.


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