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NEED ADVICE: Distributed computing in Delphi.

Hi folks,

I'm embarking on a final year practical project for my computing
degree, here at Cambridge University UK. Preliminary ideas are that
I'm going to implement a "MUSENET" a multimedia usenet.

My project supervisor and I have thrashed out a basic idea as follows:

1. Interface from client set server will be via HTTP/HTML.
2. The server architecture will be completely different from USENET. I
intend to have a fine grained distributed server approach, with
several small servers, or "clusters" of servers taking the place of
monolithic UNIX boxes.

Now the important points:

3. Since there will be many small servers transferring multimedia
documents in a complicated manner, a distributed, object oriented
approach will be needed. Since this may be quite a complicated
project, I really need a fairly heavyweight distributed object broker
system. Obviously, the two that spring to mind are CORBA and DCOM.

4. Delphi has excellent database integration, and I'd really like to
write the project in Delphi, since this would get rid of a lot of the
inevitable data storage problems that I would otherwise have.

With these in mind, here are my questions:

1. Could somebody please explain to me the naming oddities of
COM/DCOM/OLE/ActiveX... I'd like to clear up which of the standards is
a subset of which.... basically... I'm slightly fazed by the jargon.

2. Does anyone know of an implementaton of CORBA or COM which has a
mapping from the IDL to Delphi instead of C++ ... The penalty for late
submission of my project is EXTREMELY severe.. I have 20 weeks in
which to do everything, in addition to my normal degree work, and once
I run over that by even a few minutes, I instantly lose 1/4 of the
marks.... so I don't want to waste time translating C++ to Delphi...

Any other useful advice would be greatly appreciated.

Martin Harvey.
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Martin Harvey
Uni email: mch24@remove this.cam.ac.uk
Home email: mch24@remove this.harvey27.demon.co.uk
NEW AND REVISED WEB PAGES AT:
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Re:NEED ADVICE: Distributed computing in Delphi.


Hi Martin.

1. COM/DCOM/OLE/ActiveX is... well the same thing. COM = Component Object
Model, MicroSofts object model. DCOM = Distributed COM, ability to call
interface methods across machines. OLE is, as far as I know, now used only
for the specific compound document aspects of COM (OLE=Object Linking and
Embedding). ActiveX is more or less the whole thing, given that anything
that MicroSoft does these days is called ActiveSomething. Anyway, I have
not talked to anyone who was not confused about MicroSofts naming of these
things. They change the names as rapidly as they change the specs :-).

2. Mapping from COM to Delphi is built-in, so it could not be easier.
Mapping from CORBA IDL to Delphi is forthcoming from IONA (www.iona.com)
but given your time constraints I would not count on it. IONA
alternatively has a two-way gateway between CORBA and COM that I have used
experimentally to allow Delphi COM servers to be wrapped as CORBA objects.
This might be a worthwhile alternative if you expect multi-platform
clients.

-- Jan Holst, Denmark

Quote
Martin Harvey wrote:
> Hi folks,

> I'm embarking on a final year practical project for my computing
> degree, here at Cambridge University UK. Preliminary ideas are that
> I'm going to implement a "MUSENET" a multimedia usenet.

> My project supervisor and I have thrashed out a basic idea as follows:

> 1. Interface from client set server will be via HTTP/HTML.
> 2. The server architecture will be completely different from USENET. I
> intend to have a fine grained distributed server approach, with
> several small servers, or "clusters" of servers taking the place of
> monolithic UNIX boxes.

> Now the important points:

> 3. Since there will be many small servers transferring multimedia
> documents in a complicated manner, a distributed, object oriented
> approach will be needed. Since this may be quite a complicated
> project, I really need a fairly heavyweight distributed object broker
> system. Obviously, the two that spring to mind are CORBA and DCOM.

> 4. Delphi has excellent database integration, and I'd really like to
> write the project in Delphi, since this would get rid of a lot of the
> inevitable data storage problems that I would otherwise have.

> With these in mind, here are my questions:

> 1. Could somebody please explain to me the naming oddities of
> COM/DCOM/OLE/ActiveX... I'd like to clear up which of the standards is
> a subset of which.... basically... I'm slightly fazed by the jargon.

> 2. Does anyone know of an implementaton of CORBA or COM which has a
> mapping from the IDL to Delphi instead of C++ ... The penalty for late
> submission of my project is EXTREMELY severe.. I have 20 weeks in
> which to do everything, in addition to my normal degree work, and once
> I run over that by even a few minutes, I instantly lose 1/4 of the
> marks.... so I don't want to waste time translating C++ to Delphi...

> Any other useful advice would be greatly appreciated.

> Martin Harvey.
> ***********************************************
> Martin Harvey
> Uni email: mch24@remove this.cam.ac.uk
> Home email: mch24@remove this.harvey27.demon.co.uk
> NEW AND REVISED WEB PAGES AT:
>  http://www-stu.pem.cam.ac.uk/~mch24/

> Remove appropriate bits from my sig to reply to me
> (The junk mail is driving me barmy).
> ***********************************************

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