Chapter 11. XML-RPC

XML-RPC is actually a specific flavor of RPC, which stands for remote procedure calls. If you are new to programming, or have worked with the Java language only a short time, remote procedure calls may be new for you; if you’ve been around the block in the development world, you may be a bit rusty, as RPC has fallen out of vogue in recent years. In this chapter I look at why those three little letters in front of RPC are revolutionizing what was becoming a computing dinosaur, and how to use XML-RPC from the world of Java. I also spend some time at the end of this chapter looking at real-world applications of XML-RPC, trying to shed some light not only on how to use this technology, but when to use it.

If you are part of the tidal wave of object-oriented development that has come along in the past three to five years, even hearing the word “procedure” may send shivers down your back. Procedural languages such as PL/SQL and ANSI C are not popular for a long list of very good reasons. You have probably been scolded for calling a Java method a function or procedure before, and almost certainly know better than to write “spaghetti code,” code that has method after method chained together in a long line. RPC has fallen by the wayside much as these languages and techniques have. There are new, object-oriented ways of achieving the same results, often with better design and performance. Surprisingly, though, the rise of XML has brought with it the rise and prominence ...

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