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.NET Tool Enables Bi-Directional Network Apps

New toolset enables bi-directional network applications

Developers using Microsoft's .NET Remoting API to facilitate interprocess communication now have a tool for building bi-directional network applications. Australia-based Amplefile is providing this and other new capabilities designed to extend that API in the latest release of its DotNetRemoting software development kit (SDK) for .NET.

Version 2.0.1, which the company is calling DotNetRemotingPlus, provides a communication library and universal network-communication framework for Windows (XP and Vista), Windows CE, Windows Mobile 5 and Mobile 6, Linux and Unix. It enables bi-directional synchronous/asynchronous communication by sending the objects or executing methods on the server/client.

The tool supports both the standard and compact .NET Frameworks, as well as Mono tools. The .NET Compact Framework doesn't support remoting, which makes Amplefile's product one of the only bi-directional frameworks for Windows-based handheld devices.

First released in 2002, Microsoft's .NET Remoting API is designed to facilitate interprocess communication, which is sometimes called "inter-thread communication" because it involves the exchange of data among threads in two or more processes.

Unlike standard Microsoft remoting, which extends the event-based model, DotNetRemotingPlus implements direct method calls, which improve performance between different operating systems. Also, it doesn't require the database to be stored locally on the handheld device; duplex communication allows the database to be on the server. Consequently, the PDA becomes the system's front-end, and synchronization of the local database and the server database is no longer needed.

Amplefile claims that its approach, in which the server and client may be on different platforms, is 10 to 100 times faster than Web services.

Joining Tasks
The DotNetRemoting SDK is designed to unify ASP.NET server and client programming. It builds the initialized objects on the client (the Web browser), which are exact copies of the server objects. The server objects are .NET classes of unlimited complexity, according to Amplefile. The tools also provide a means of manipulating the objects on the client, including call-by-name, hashtables and arraylists.

In addition, this version also comes with special anti-firewall components-ProxyConnector, NoFirewall Tunnel, Peer-To-Peer channel, and Skype-based remoting-that support "firewall transparency." It uses Amplefile's Fast Serialize Generator, a program designed to increase serialization speed by 30 to 300 times, depending on the object, the company says.

DotNetRemoting can scale to 2,000-plus simultaneous clients and supports a range of hardware platforms, from PCs to Pocket PCs to smartphones, Amplefile says. On mobile devices, the tool supports GPRS-based connections, Wi-Fi and any other socket-based connections.

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance author and journalist based in Silicon Valley. His latest book is The Everything Guide to Social Media. Follow John on Twitter, read his blog on ADTmag.com, check out his author page on Amazon, or e-mail him at john@watersworks.com.


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