Configuration-Level Programming of Distributed Applications Using Implicit Invocation

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An event-based distributed application is a group of software components interacting with each other by producing events that in turn trigger the invocation of procedures. In this work, we are concerned with the technology and methods for integrating an event-based application, whether that application is being constructed from scratch or synthesized from existing systems. Developing an event-based application is a complex task for programmers, who must address several issues not found in traditional systems and, currently, must do so without much assistance. These issues include event declaration, structure, binding, and naming. Our objective is to provide the same software engineering benefits to programmers of event-based applications as are currently provided to programmers of applications using traditional RPC or message-passing mechanisms.

In this work, we broaden the technology for integration to encompass event-based programming. A method is described for separating event interaction properties from the implementation of the application modules so that system integration can be performed using only the abstractions. Then based upon the abstract aggregate, all interface software needed to validly implement the system can be generated automatically. A software bus model has been enhanced to accommodate the models which drive event-based distributed applications. In this way, designers may define complex event-based interactions abstractly, thus making it easier to integrate and experiment with event-based distributed applications. (Also cross-referenced as UMIACS-TR-95-70)