A server calling a method on client? Help

10 Aug 2006 09:13:52 -0700
Can RMI go both ways? More precise, can I use a remote object to call
from the server a method that runs on the client (assume client has RMI
connection already to server and created the remote object locally and
passed it to server)?

In the RMI tutorial

only one way happens: the client calls a method that runs on server.
So, the ClientPi uses the remote object Compute to run the method
executeTask on the server.

To demonstrate if RMI can go both ways, suppose we depart from the RMI
tutorial, but server wants to run a method on the client. I think you
can have this interface:

package compute;

import java.rmi.Remote;
import java.rmi.RemoteException;

public interface Compute2 extends Remote {
    void executeAtCli(Integer i) throws RemoteException;

Suppose we change the server so we can send from client a reference to
our remote object Compute2:

package compute;

import java.rmi.Remote;
import java.rmi.RemoteException;

public interface Compute extends Remote {
    Object executeTask(Task t) throws RemoteException;
    public void recvCompute2(Compute2 c2) throws RemoteException;

Then the server implementation can do this (I only list important

public class ComputeEngine extends UnicastRemoteObject
                           implements Compute
    public ComputeEngine() throws RemoteException {

    public Object executeTask(Task t) {
        return t.execute();
    private Compute2 c2;
    public void recvCompute2(Compute2 c2) throws RemoteException {
      this.c2 = c2; }

    // non-remote method to invoke on client
    public void cliRun() {
      Integer ret = (Integer)c2.executeAtCli(new Integer(1));
      System.out.println("Client computed: " + ret); }

The ClientPi will have to create the Compute2 instance and pass it to
server (again, I put only important lines):

        try {
            String name = "//" + args[0] + "/Compute";
            Compute comp = (Compute) Naming.lookup(name);
            Pi task = new Pi(Integer.parseInt(args[1]));
            BigDecimal pi = (BigDecimal) (comp.executeTask(task));
        Compute2 c2 = new Compute2Imp(); // created locally
        } catch (Exception e) {
            System.err.println("ComputePi exception: " +
Compute2Imp is a concrete of Compute2 and exists on client as (again,
only some lines):

public class Compute2Imp extends UnicastRemoteObject // need this?
                           implements Compute2
    public ComputeEngine() throws RemoteException {

    public Object executeTask(Integer i) {
      // some simple computation
        return new Integer(i + 10);

I am having many troubles running the tutorial, so I can't check this
so that's why I post. If I run tutorial, I will post my result.

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