UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Object properties: a mechanism for providing runtime services to objects in a distributed system Finkelstein, David


Object-oriented systems are increasingly used as a means to develop distributed applications. Objects provide a natural unit of encapsulation for remote data, and the system can make remote invocations transparent to local users. Generally the underlying system provides a variety of services to objects in the system, such as persistence or concurrency control, which are used by developers of distributed applications. There are problems with existing mecha nisms for providing such services, however: they may require the programmer to design a dif ferent subclass of each user class for every service available, limit the choices of services available, or inhibit performance by providing services to all objects even when not every sevice is needed. The work in this thesis attempts to solve these problems through a new mechanism for providing services to objects called properties. Properties allow services to be delivered transparently to objects on an as-requested basis. Additionally, a mechanism for describing inter-object relationships has been incorporated into the property scheme, allowing properties to be used to provide complex services such as atomic transactions. Properties were developed for the Raven distributed system and language developed in the Department of Computer Science at the University of British Columbia.

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