[R] R as a server in client server computing

Paul Gilbert pgilbert at bank-banque-canada.ca
Tue Jun 27 18:15:41 CEST 2000

J> I like to have a continuously running R process, which can receive a
J> dataframe from a client (over TCP/IP), does some processing, and sends some
J> data back. What is the prefered way to do this? Using the socket interface?
J> Using omega's CORBA stuff?
J> Does anyone has example code for doing so?

I have a working example using RPC over TCP/IP with R as the client (calling
some C code)  and the server runs a C front end to a (time series) database.
Many aspects of this are symmetric so it would be a reasonable example if you
want to use RPC, but I don't necessarily recommend that. The code is available
at <http://www.bank-banque-canada.ca/pgilbert> and has worked fairly reliably
for almost 10 years now (at least the S version is almost that old), but I'm
thinking about updating it to use CORBA.

D> One of the good things about the CORBA and DCOM approaches is that
D> while there is an up-front cost of configuration and installation
D> (which is not really prohibitive), one then avoids low-level details
D> of communication and can leverage tools to query the current state of
D> the system.

I would like to leverage some other tools from CORBA but I'm not sure if they
are available. Does anyone know if CORBA can provide authentication and
encryption, and what the implications are for trying to run it through a
firewall? (The RPC approach is not very good for these things.)

Paul Gilbert

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