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A Brief Look at DCE RPC

The ONC implementation of RPC is not the only one available. The Open Software Foundation has developed a suite of tools called the Distributed Computing Environment (DCE) that enables programmers to develop distributed applications. One of these tools is DCE RPC, which forms the basis for all of the other services that DCE provides. Its operation is quite similar to ONC RPC in that it uses components that closely parallel those of ONC RPC.

Application interfaces are defined through an Interface Definition Language (IDL) that is similar to the language used by ONC RPC to define XDR filters. Network Data Representation (NDR) is used to provide hardware-independent data representation. Instead of using programmer-defined integer program numbers to identify servers as does ONC RPC, DCE RPC uses a character string called a universal unique identifier (UUID) generated by a program called uuidgen. A program called rpcd (the RPC daemon) takes the place of portmap. An IDL compiler can be used to generate C headers and client/server stubs in a manner similar to rpcgen.

Although the entire DCE suite is commercially sold and licensed, the RPC component (which is the basis for all the other services) is available as freeware. See the "References" section for more information on DCE RPC.

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