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Chapter 11. CORBA Services Reference

The CORBA standard includes a rich set of object services. These services can be optionally offered by a CORBA provider as part of its CORBA-compliant environment. Most vendors include a Naming Service, since it is the principal means for finding CORBA objects. The other services, such as Security and Event Services, are not required by all users, so they are often provided as optional add-ons.

This quick reference for the CORBA services is just that: a quick reference, not a comprehensive one. While it is important for you to understand what the various CORBA services can offer, it is beyond the scope of this book to provide a complete reference for all 15 of them. I've provided a short overview of each service, along with a few of its particulars, such as its principal interfaces and other services that it depends upon. If any of the services seem like a viable solution for your needs in a CORBA environment, you can get full details on the specification for the services from the OMG (CORBA Services: Common Object Services Specification, published by the OMG and available at www.omg.org ).

Generally speaking, each of the CORBA services defines a standard, ordered, explicit way of doing something. You may be able to do this activity in another way using only the core CORBA interfaces, but whatever technique you use will be nonstandard, ad hoc, and implicit. As an example, you might construct a means whereby your object is automatically notified of a change in another, possibly remote, object, just using standard CORBA constructs. The Event Service provides a standardized set of interfaces for defining these notification channels, so that outside agents can participate as well. When you are deciding between developing a custom approach or using a CORBA service, you should consider the level at which you need to depend on this service, your need for interoperability with other agents in this area, and the costs involved.

11.1. Naming Service

The Naming Service is the most commonly used service in CORBA, since it provides the principal way for clients to find objects on the network. Remote object references can be bound to names within the Naming Service, and clients can access these object references over the network by asking for them by name from the Naming Service. There are more details on the Naming Service available in Chapter 4, Java IDL.

The principal interface in the Naming Service is the NamingContext. It represents a directory or subdirectory of named objects. This interface can bind, look up, and unbind objects and subcontexts within the naming directory. The names of objects within a NamingContext are composed of NameComponent arrays. Browsing through the contents of a NamingContext can be done with a BindingIterator.

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