The implementation of Internet GIS requires not only network infrastructures to disseminate geospatial information, but also software architecture to provide interactive GIS functions and applications. This chapter will focus on the software technologies which empower the capabilities of Internet GIS to allow distributed GIS users to access, download, and operate GIS applications remotely in real-time. Basic concepts of distributed systems from a software perspective will be introduced. Based on that, a user scenario will be introduced and used to demonstrate two types of client/server software architecture: traditional client/server systems and distributed component frameworks. Cutting-edge technologies applied to distributed components, including Microsoft’s DCOM/.NET, Sun Microsystems’s Java Platform, and OMG’s CORBA, will be discussed in terms of their advantages, disadvantages and implications to Internet GIS

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Chapter 3: Client/Server Computing and Distributed Component Framework

3.1 Introduction to Distributed Systems and Client/Server Computing

      3.1.1. A Site Selection Scenario

      3.1.2. Traditional GISystems Solution

      3.1.3. Internet GIS Solution

3.2 Introduction to Client/Server and Distributed Systems Architecture

      3.2.1 The Client

      3.2.2 The Server

      3.2.3 The Glue

      3.2.4 Client/Server System Partition

      3.2.5 Two-Tier, Three-Tier, and n-Tier Architectures

      3.2.6 Advantages and Disadvantages of the Client/Server Architecture

3.3 The Web Client/Server Architecture

      3.3.1 The Web Client - Web Browser with Client-Side Applications

      3.3.2 The Server - Web Server with Server-Side Applications

      3.3.3 The Glue - HTTP

3.4 Distributed Component Frameworks

      3.4.1 Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM) and .NET

      3.4.2 Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA)

      3.4.3 Java Platform

      3.4.4 From Client/Server, Web Client/Server, to Distributed Component Models

3.5 The Deployment of the Dynamic GIService Architecture
3.6 Summary


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  • Java 2 Software (
    The JavaTM platform is based on the power of networks and the idea that the same software should run on many different kinds of computers, consumer gadgets, and other devices. Any Java application can easily be delivered over the Internet, or any network, without operating system or hardware platform compatibility issues. The website of Sun Company provides detailed information and capabilities of different versions of Java 2 platform. You can also explore related multiple topic of Java technologies and download the Java 2 Software Development Kit, Standard Edition (SDK) at

  • .NET Framework (
    Microsoft .NET is a set of software technologies designed to connect your world of information, people, systems, and devices. The foundation of .NET is XML Web services: small, reusable applications written in Extensible Markup Language that allow users to connect with applications and data on the Internet or on an intranet. The website provides a complete introduction on and comprehensive resources links to the .net technologies and applications. You may check the technical resources to get the latest tools, guides, code samples, and community links to help you build XML Web services and deploy and maintain a .NET-connected environment. You can also register to download the Windows .Net 2003 software at:

  • CORBA 3 (
    CORBA is the abbreviated from Common Object Request Broker Architecture. It is Object Management Group (OMG)'s open, vendor-independent architecture and infrastructure that computer applications use to work together over networks. One of CORBA's most important, as well most frequent, uses is in servers that must handle large number of clients, at high hit rates, with high reliability systems. Founded in 1989, OMG aims to create a component-based software marketplace by hastening the introduction of standardized object software. The website provides detailed information on the organization itself, as well as the technical specifications for CORBA.

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