Architectural Support for Quality of Service for CORBA Objects

Citation: Zinky JA, Bakken DE, Schantz RE. Architectural Support for Quality of Service for CORBA Objects. Theory and Practice of Object Systems. April, 1997.

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Abstract. CORBA is a commercial standard for distributed object computing which shows great promise in the development of distributed programs. Its interface description language (IDL) enables objects to be developed independently of the underlying programming language, operating system, or computer architecture on which they will execute. Programs deployed in a wide-area distributed system encounter conditions which are much more hostile and varying than those operating in a single address space or within a single local area network. In this paper we discuss four major problems we have observed in our developing and deploying wide-area distributed object applications and middleware. First, most programs are developed ignoring the variable wide area conditions. Second, when they do try to handle these conditions, application programmers have great difficulty because they are different from the local objects they are used to dealing with. Third, IDL hides information about the tradeoffs any implementation of an object must make. Fourth, there is presently no way to systematically reuse current technology components which deal with these conditions, so code sharing becomes impractical.

In this paper we also describe our architecture, Quality of Service for CORBA Objects (QuO), which we have developed to overcome these limitations and integrate their solution by providing QoS abstractions to CORBA objects. First, it makes these conditions first class entities and integrates knowledge of them over time, space, and source. Second, it reduces their variance by masking. Third, it exposes key design decisions of an objectís implementation and how it will be used. Fourth, it supports reuse of various architectural components and automatically generates others.