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Distributed paradigms

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This free course, Distributed paradigms, looks at some of the architectural and programming paradigms used in distributed system development. You will learn about synchronous and asynchronous message passing, distributed objects technology and event-based bus architecture, before finally moving on to tuple architecture.

After studying this unit you should be able to:

  • describe some of the architectural and programming paradigms used in distributed system development;
  • describe message passing and the role of protocols within a message passing paradigm;
  • introduce the concept of a distributed object;
  • describe how event-based architectures are used within distributed system development;
  • introduce one implementation of an event-based architecture;
  • outline the concept of tuple-based development;
  • introduce the main ideas behind remote procedure call;
  • introduce one commercial example of a tuple-based technology.

By: The Open University

  • Duration 4 hours
  • Updated Thursday 11th October 2012
  • Advanced level
  • Posted under Systems (Computer)
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Distributed paradigms


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In this unit I look at a number of different programming and design styles associated with distributed system development. The unit first examines message passing and the role of protocols – both fixed and adaptive protocols. Two styles of message passing are also examined: synchronous and asynchronous message passing. The next part of the unit introduces distributed object technology. Event-based development relies on listener objects listening to events which are propagated along a bus; the unit looks at this form of implementation and details its relationship to multicasting. A commercial implementation of event-based technology is presented. The unit also includes a description of the oldest paradigm: remote procedure call. The unit concludes with a description of the most abstract model we have available for distributed system development: that of tuple architectures. A Java implementation known as JavaSpaces concludes the unit.


Adaptive protocol, API, asynchronous message passing, distributed event. distributed object, fixed protocol, hub and spoke architecture, interface definition language, message passing, multicast bus architecture, multicasting, protocol, pull technology, push technology, remote procedure call, RPC-XML, space, synchronous message passing, tuple.

This unit is from our archive and is an adapted extract from Distributed Applications and eCommerce (M879) which is no longer taught by The Open University. If you want to study formally with us, you may wish to explore other courses we offer in this subject area [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

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