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An Advanced Communication Toolkit

This work presents an advanced design for communication systems as well as functionality required for sophisticated distributed applications. ACT, unlike other systems, combines flexibility at the application level with extensibility of primitive communication mechanisms. It introduces a set of core toolkit components and a layer-based design which results in reusability and implementation hiding for each layer. This architecture supports various high-level communication protocols (HTTP, IIOP, SMTP, etc.) and systems (CORBA, RPC, MOM, etc.).

A CORBA implementation built using ACT core possesses the advantages of component-based software, where modifications of one component do not affect the others. Therefore, it minimizes the programmer's effort when adopting new features and technologies. The paper compares and contrasts several CORBA implementations and shows the advantages of the ACT implementation.

Sophisticated messaging is built by incorporating quality of service attributes. This facilitates implementation of application management mechanisms as well as application-specific extensions (reliable datagrams, resequencing of packets, guaranteed delivery, priorities of messages, etc.).

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Last update: October 9th, 1997

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