Web Service versus Distributed Objects: A Case Study of Performance and Interface Design

Web Service versus Distributed Objects: A Case Study of Performance and Interface Design

William R. Cook (University of Texas at Austin, USA) and Janel Barfield (University of Texas at Austin, USA)
Copyright: © 2007 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/jwsr.2007070103
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Web services are promoted as a new model for distributed systems, yet many skeptics see them as simply a poor implementation of traditional remote procedure calls (RPC) or distributed objects. Previous comparisons, which show Web services to be significantly slower than RPC, are biased because they use a RPC communication style and ignore the document-oriented style that is recommended for Web services. We compare the straightforward design and implementation of a small file server application implemented using proxy-based RMI and document-oriented Web services. We show that Web services outperform RMI when accessing multiple/deeply nested files, especially over high-latency networks. However, the automatically generated Web service interfaces are awkward to use, so we develop a technique for wrapping the Web service to make it as easy to use as the distributed object implementation. This case study provides a more detailed comparison of the relationship between Web services and distributed objects.

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