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3.15.2. Objects as transportable data

One of the most common needs in distributed applications development is the ability to ship objects over a network. Currently, when data has to move from one machine to another this is usually done using hard-coded structures over a low-level communications interface such as Berkeley sockets or the System V Transport Layer Interface. Moving data in this way has several disadvantages:

Engineers developing distributed systems using object-oriented methodologies place great emphasis on data encapsulation and clean interfaces. One of the goals of NetClasses has been to preserve these properties in the communication interfaces.

Therefore, instead of shipping byte buffers over the network, NetClasses allows applications to ship objects. In an object-oriented program virtually all information is stored in objects, making objects the most natural form in which to transfer information over a network.