Developing with XML-RPC

Using XML-RPC in your applications generally means adding an XML-RPC library and making some of your function calls through that library. Creating functions that will work smoothly with XML-RPC requires writing code that uses only the basic types XML-RPC supports. Otherwise, there is very little fundamental need to change your coding style. Adding XML-RPC support may require writing some wrapper code that connects your code with the library, but this generally isn’t very difficult.

Tip

As XML-RPC becomes more and more widespread, some environments are building in XML-RPC. UserLand Frontier has done that for years, while the Perl and Python communities are discussing similar integration.

To demonstrate XML-RPC, we’re going to create a server that uses Java to process XML-RPC messages, and Java and Perl clients to call procedures on that server. Although this demonstration is simple, it illustrates the connections needed to establish communications between programs using XML-RPC.

The Java side of the conversation uses the Apache XML Project’s Apache XML-RPC, available at http://xml.apache.org/xmlrpc/. The Apache package includes a few key pieces that make integrating XML-RPC with Java easier:

  • An automated registration process for adding methods to the XML-RPC server

  • A built-in server that only speaks XML-RPC, reducing the need to create full-blown servlets

  • A client package that makes calling remote methods fairly simple

This demonstration will use a procedure ...

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