|Publication number||USRE41706 E1|
|Application number||US 11/331,418|
|Publication date||14 Sep 2010|
|Priority date||30 Nov 1999|
|Also published as||US6678743|
|Publication number||11331418, 331418, US RE41706 E1, US RE41706E1, US-E1-RE41706, USRE41706 E1, USRE41706E1|
|Inventors||Graham W. Glass, Chris K. Wensel|
|Original Assignee||Glass Graham W, Wensel Chris K|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (99), Non-Patent Citations (43), Classifications (15), Legal Events (6)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The present invention relates in general to object-oriented technologies and more particularly to a method for moving objects in a distributed computing environment.
In object oriented programming, real world objects are modeled by software objects that have encapsulated therein special procedures and data elements. In object-oriented programming terminology, procedures are referred to as methods. To avoid having to redefine the same methods and data members for each and every occurrence of an object, object-oriented programming provides the concept of classes. An inherent structure of one or more levels of increasingly more specialized classes is created to provide templates that define the methods and variables to be included in the objects of each class. The classes at the lower levels of the inheritance structure inherit the behavior, methods, and variables of the classes above. Classes above a certain class in an inheritance structure are referred to as parent classes setting up a parent-child relationship. Therefore, an object belonging to a class is a member of that class, and contains the special behavior defined by the class. In this manner, each object is an instance of a defined class or template and the need to redefine the methods and data members for each occurrence of the object is eliminated.
One example of an object-oriented programming language is Java, developed by Sun Microsystems. To define a class in Java, the programmer creates a .java file containing the source code to define the class. The .java file is compiled to create a .class file containing the executable code to define the class. Instances of the class file are instantiated to create an object containing data and methods defined by the .class file.
Object-oriented programming is a method of programming that abstracts a computer program into manageable sections. The key to object-oriented programming is the concept of encapsulation. Encapsulation is a method by which the subroutines, or methods, that manipulate data are combined with the declaration and storage of that data. This encapsulation prevents the data from arbitrarily being accessed by other programs' subroutines, or objects. When an object is invoked, the associated data is available and can be manipulated by any of the methods that are defined within an object to act upon the data.
The basic component of encapsulation is a class. A class is an abstraction for a set of objects that share the same structure and behavior. An object is a single instance of a class that retains the structure and behavior of the class. Objects also contain methods that are the processes by which an object is instructed to perform some procedure or manipulation of data that it controls. Classes may also be characterized by their interface which defines the elements necessary for proper communication between objects.
Often, a programmer needs to add functionality to an existing class of objects but either does not want to change the existing .class file or does not have access to the source code and, therefore, does not have the ability to alter the source code. In addition, the programmer may not want to alter the functionality of the existing .class file since a .class file may be used in more than one application program. Therefore, it is desirable to add functionality to an existing class of objects during the execution of an application program without altering the associated source code.
Distributed computing allows an object on one computer system to seamlessly communicate with and manipulate an object contained in a second computer system when the two computer systems are connected by a computer network. The second computer system may also be referred to as another address space. Client/server systems are an example of this type of distributed computing system. Sophisticated distributed computing systems have removed the communications burden from the computer programs, or objects in an object oriented programming environment, and placed it in a mid-level operating system that manages communications across a computer network to facilitate a client's access to and manipulation of data contained on a server system. The server system could be a computer in a different address space and remote to a user on a client system.
In distributed processing environments, objects in different address spaces may exchange a large number of messages. Using traditional distributed processing communications techniques may lead to slow response time and increased network traffic. Moving a first object to the same address space as a second object makes communications between the two objects local and, therefore, reduces network traffic. Local messages are often at least one thousand times faster than remote messages sent through the distributed computing system.
From the foregoing, it may be appreciated that a need has arisen for a method for moving objects in a distributed computing environment. In accordance with the present invention, an improved method for moving objects in a distributed computing environment is provided that substantially eliminate or reduce disadvantages and problems associated with conventional methods for moving objects in a distributed computing environment.
According to an embodiment of the present invention, there is provided a method for moving objects in a distributed computing system that includes receiving a move indication at a mobility object. The mobility object is aggregated with the primary object through an aggregate object located at a current host address and port number. The move indication instructs the mobility object to move the primary object to a new host address and port number. The aggregate object has the primary object as a primary facet object and the mobility object has as a facet object.
The method then creates a serialized version of the mobility object in response to the move indication. The method then sends the serialized version of the mobility object to the new host address and port number and creates a new version of the mobility object at the new host address and port number from the serialized version of the mobility object. The method then creates a serialized version of the primary object in response to a serialize and move message received from the new version of the mobility object. The method then sends the serialized version of the primary object to the new host address and port number and creates a new version of the primary object at the new host address and port number from the serialized version of the primary object. The method then creates a new aggregate object with the new version of the primary object as a new primary facet object and the new version of the mobility object as a new facet object at the new host address and port number.
The present invention provides various technical advantages over conventional methods for moving objects in a distributed computing environment. For example, one technical advantage is providing a method for objects that exchange a large number of messages to move to a common computer to reduce the amount of time needed for communications and to conserve system resources. Other technical advantages may be readily apparent to one skilled in the art from the following figures, description, and claims.
For a more complete understanding of the present invention and the advantages thereof, reference is now made to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference numbers represent like parts, in which:
Aggregate object 14 is an aggregation of one or more facet objects 28 within an object-oriented environment. Aggregate object 14 and the associated facet objects 28 function as a single logical object within the object-oriented environment. A change to one of the facet objects 28 creates a logical change in the other facet objects 28 and aggregate object 14. For example, if one of the facet objects 28 moves to a different processing environment, or address space, the aggregate object 14 to which the particular facet object 28 is linked and any other associated facet objects 28 will move as a single logical object to the new, processing environment, or address space. Primary facet objects 16, first facet object 20, and second facet object 24 represent a group of one or more facet objects 28.
Each aggregate object 14 communicates directly with its associated set of facets 32. Each facet within a set of facets 32 is linked to a particular facet object 28. Each facet in the set of facets 32 contains basic information related to its associated facet object 28 to facilitate use of the aggregate object 14 within application program 12. The information contained in each facet in the set of facets 32 for its associated facet object 28 includes the class of the facet object 28 and any interfaces implemented by the facet object 28. In one embodiment, each facet in set of facets 32 is a proxy object created from the associated facet object 28. The proxy object is created by using Java Reflection to determine a particular facet object's 28 name, class, and interfaces. This information is then packaged into a facet in set of facets 32. The particular facet in set of facets 32 is an object that includes the name, class, and interfaces for the associated facet object 28. An interface in an object oriented environment defines the format and information needed to communicate with a particular object. An interface may be referred to as the public view of the object.
During application program development, the software developer may utilize aggregate objects 14 to extend the functionality of existing objects without modifying source code. The software developer extends functionality of an existing object by placing it in an aggregate object 14 as the primary facet object 16 and aggregating additional objects within aggregate object 14 as facet objects 28. Within application program 12, a particular object may be the primary facet object 16 of only one aggregate object 14. Each aggregate object 14 in application program 12 will have a unique primary facet object 16. In one embodiment, a software developer desires to extend the functionality of a specified object to add additional functions such as mobility within a distributed processing environment or the ability to function as an agent within a distributed processing environment. Another example of adding functionality to an existing object would be adding repair history to a car object or adding a bonus plan to an employee object.
The software developer dynamically creates an aggregate object 14 with the specified object as the associated primary facet object 16. The term “dynamically” is used here to refer to using program statements during execution of application program 12 to create aggregate object 14. The software developer then dynamically adds first facet object 20 and second facet object 24 to aggregate object 14. First facet object 20 and second aggregate object 24 provide additional functionality for primary facet object 16. Any method of any facet object 28 may affect all facet objects 28 within aggregate object 14. Therefore, invoking a method on first facet object 20 will effect a change in primary facet object 16.
Application program 12 may create and utilize one or more aggregate objects 14. Each aggregate object 14 has one or more associated facet objects 28. Facet objects 28 may be added and deleted as application program 12 progresses depending upon processing requirements. To access a particular facet object 28, application program 12 may request access to the particular facet object 28 that extends the functionality of a primary facet object 16 by requesting a class or interface using commands that invoke facet control module 30. Facet control module 30 then scans the set of facets 32 associated with the aggregate object 14 identified in the facet control system command until locating the particular facet object 28 that has a class that equals or extends the requested class or implements the requested interface. Facet control module 30 returns a reference to the first facet in the set of facets 32 that has a class that equals or extends the requested class or implements the requested interface. Application program 12 can then invoke the particular facet object 28 by using the returned reference to the facet in the set of facets 32. In another embodiment, facet control system 30 may return a list of all facets within the set of facets 32 with associated facet objects 28 that have a class that equal or extend the requested class or implement the requested interface. Application program 12 can then determine which facet object 28 in the returned reference list to invoke.
If no facet object 28 exists that has a class that equals or extends the requested class or implements the requested interface, a not-found condition is returned to application program 12 as a null reference. Application program 12 can then determine whether a new aggregate object 14 should be created, whether an object should be added to an existing aggregate object 14 as an additional facet object 28, or whether appropriate error handling procedures should be performed.
In system 40, application program 12, facet control module 30, aggregate object 14, set of facets 32 and primary facet object 16 all exist within a first environment 42. First facet object 20 exists within a second environment 44. Communications between aggregate object 14 and first facet object 20 are facilitated by using an appropriate distributed processing system such as an object request broker. In one embodiment, a first facet object proxy 46 resides in first environment 42 and is logically coupled to first facet object 20 in second environment 44. First facet object proxy 46 may be a conventional proxy object created from first facet object 20. First facet object proxy 46 has an interface 47 modeled on first interface 22. Interface 47 has a format and needed information similar to first interface 22. Second facet object 24 resides in a third environment 48. Communications between aggregate object 14 and second facet object 24 are facilitated by using an appropriate distributed processing system such as an object recognition broker. In one embodiment, a second facet object proxy 50 resides in first environment 42 and provides communications between aggregate object 14 and second facet object 24. Second facet object proxy 50 may be a conventional proxy object created from second facet object 24. Second facet object proxy 50 has an interface modeled on second interface 26. Interface 51 has a format and needed information similar to second interface 26.
In one embodiment, the following syntax may be used to create an aggregate object 14:
Facets myFacets=new Facets (myPrimary);
where myPrimary identifies an existing object which will become primary facet object 16 within the newly created aggregate object 14 identified as myFacets. Facet control module 30 creates an aggregate object 14 identified as myFacets. Next, facet control module 30 creates a primary facet 34 identified as primaryFacet. Primary facet 34 is linked to aggregate object 14. Next, facet control module 30 creates a primary facet object 16 identified as myPrimary. Primary facet object 16 is linked to primary facet 34. Facet control module 30 creates primary facet 34 such that primary facet 34 contains the class of primary facet object 16 and the interfaces implemented by primary facet object 16.
myfacets.get (“class name”);
where myfacets.get identifies the aggregate object 14 (myfacets) and the operation (get) for class/interface finder 76. The class name in the above example may also identify a requested interface name. The method proceeds to step 124 where a facet reference is set to aggregate object's 14 primary facet, primary facet 34. Primary facet 34 should be the first facet in the set of facets 32.
The method proceeds to decisional step 125 where class/interface finder 76 determines if the facet referenced by facet-reference has a class that equals the requested class, has a class that extends the requested class, or implements the requested interface. If the facet in the set of facets 32 identified by the facet-reference meets one of the above tests, the Yes branch of decisional step 125 proceeds to step 126 where class/interface finder 76 returns a reference to the facet in the set of facets 32 identified by the facet-reference. The method proceeds to step 128 where application program 12 uses the returned reference to identify the facet object 28 through the reference to a facet in the set of facets 32. Application program 12 then invokes the facet object 28. After step 128, the method terminates.
Returning to decisional step 125, if the facet in the set of facets 32 identified by the facet-reference does not meet one of the aforementioned tests, the No branch of decisional step 125 proceeds to decisional step 130 where class/interface finder 76 determines whether aggregate object 14 has more facets within its associated set of facets 32. If the set of facets 32 includes more facets, the Yes branch of decisional step 130 proceeds to step 132 where the facet-reference is set to the next facet, first facet 36 in this example, in the set of facets 32 associated with aggregate object 14. The method returns to decisional step 125 to process the next facet identified by the facet-reference.
Returning to decisional step 130, if the set of facets 32 associated with aggregate object 14 does not include more facets, the No branch of decisional step 130 proceeds to step 134 where a null reference is returned. Application program 12 would then perform appropriate error processing upon receipt of the null reference. After step 134, the method terminates.
myFacets.of (“class name”);
where the desired aggregate object 14 is identified (myFacets) and the desired operation is also identified (.of). “Class name” refers to an existing .class file. When adding facet objects to aggregate object 14, class names should be used so that an instance of the class may be generated and added to aggregate object 14 as a facet object 28.
The method proceeds to step 154 where the method of
The method proceeds to decisional step 156 where a determination is made regarding whether a null reference was returned. If a null reference was not returned, the No branch of decisional step 156 proceeds to step 158 where the reference received from step 126 in the method of
Returning to decisional step 156, if a null reference is received, the Yes branch of decisional step 156 proceeds to step 160 where object adder 72 creates an instance of the requested class. The method proceeds to step 162 where object adder 72 creates a new facet for the instance of the requested class. Object adder 72 creates the new facet by adding the requested class and the interfaces implemented by that class to the new facet. The new facet is an object that summarizes available information regarding the associated facet object that in this example is the created instance of the requested class. The new facet becomes a member of the set of facets 32 associated with the aggregate object 14.
The method proceeds to step 164 where object adder 72 links the instance of the requested class created in step 160 to the new facet created in step 162. The method proceeds to step 166 where object adder 72 links the new facet created in step 162 to the aggregate object 14. The method proceeds to step 168 where a reference to the new facet created in step 162 is returned. After step 168, the method terminates.
In one embodiment, the facets.of command that is used to add objects to an existing aggregate object 14 may be used by software developers when they have determined that a requested class should be part of aggregate object 14 but they are not sure that the requested class has been added to facet objects 28 that are associated with aggregate object 14. By using this type of command, the software developer requests a facet object 28 that has a class that equals or extends a requested class and is guaranteed that a reference to a facet object 28 will be returned.
In addition to the above-referenced sample commands, one embodiment of the present invention includes the following command to determine the primary facet object 16 of aggregate object 14:
myFacets.getPrimary ( );
where the desired aggregate object 14 is identified as myFacets and the desired operation is identified as getPrimary. The sample command returns a reference to primary facet object 16.
Another sample command from one embodiment of the present invention includes the following command to determine the members of set of facets 32 associated with aggregate object 14;
myFacets.getFacets ( );
where the desired aggregate object 14 is identified as myfacets and the desired operation is identified as getfacets. The sample command returns a list of each facet object 28 associated with aggregate object 14.
Object deleter 74 of facet control module 30 provides a software developer with the ability to delete a specified object from facet objects 28. The software developer identifies the particular facet object 28 to be removed from aggregate object 14 and instructs facet control module 30 to remove the specified facet object from aggregate object 14. Object deleter 74 physically deletes the associated facet in set of facets 32 and removes the link between the specified facet object and aggregate object 14. If the specified facet object has no remaining references, an operating system of the object oriented environment may remove the specified facet object from the object oriented environment during a garbage collection procedure.
An object may be made mobile within a distributed processing environment by defining the object as a primary facet object 16 linked to an aggregate object 14 and aggregating a mobility object as a second facet object 24 as previously described. To move an object from one address space to another address space, a mobility method is invoked within aggregate object 14. As previously described, aggregate object 14 then locates the facet without one or more facet objects 28 that provides the requested method. The mobility method may be invoked directly on the mobility facet object. In that case, the mobility facet object informs the aggregate object that the mobility method has been invoked. In another embodiment, the functionality of mobility is built into the object. To cause that object to move from one address space to another address space, a mobility method is invoked on the object.
The movement process begins in
In response to move indication 224, the move operation continues in
The move operation continues in
The move operation continues at
The move operation continues at
The move operation continues at
Messages that were blocked by lock object 230 are released and forwarded as necessary to new host address and port number 234 as discussed in detail with relation to
The forwarding operation continues at
Reference holder 302 receives message MSG and determines that it is a remote message. In one embodiment, a remote message is determined by comparing the host address of the object originating the message with the host address of the reference holder 302. After determining that message MSG2 is a remote message, reference holder 302 throws an “object moved” exception to object 310. Object 310 catches the “object moved” exception and resends message MSG2 to new host address and port number 316 identified in the “object moved” exception. All future messages from object 310 are sent directly to object 314 at new host address and port number 316. By using the “object moved” exception, messages destined for a target object do not pass through an intermediate host address thereby making communications between objects more efficient.
After new aggregate group 244 registers at new host address and port number 234 but prior to aggregate group 200 disconnecting its component parts, a post-departure callback notification may be sent to primary facet object 204. At this point, the component parts of aggregate group 200 are considered stale since a new active aggregate group 244 exists at new host address and port number 234. The post-departure callback notification allows aggregate group 200 to perform internal final processing before its component parts are delinked and garbage collected and prior to unblocking any messages at current host address and port number 222.
Thus, it is apparent that there has been provided in accordance with the present invention, a method for moving objects in a distributed computing environment that satisfies the advantages set forth above. Although the present invention and its advantages have been described in detail, it should be understood that various changes, substitutions, and alterations may be readily apparent to those skilled in the art and may be made herein without departing from the spirit and the scope of the present invention as defined by the following claims.
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|U.S. Classification||719/317, 719/316, 709/202, 719/315, 709/201|
|International Classification||G06F9/44, G06F9/54|
|Cooperative Classification||G06F9/443, G06F9/4862, G06F9/4435, G06F9/4433|
|European Classification||G06F9/48C4P2M, G06F9/44F2A, G06F9/44F2B, G06F9/44F2C|
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