From RPC to Web Applications: Trends in Client-Server Systems

Thursday 4 March 2010, 6.00pm

The Davidson Building, 5 Southampton Street, London WC2 7HA. The nearest underground stations are Covent Garden and Charing Cross.

Professor George Coulouris, Cambridge University

Client-server system goals and technology have come a long way from their original purpose as an infrastructure for the sharing of networked hardware resources.

Driven by the demand for widely-available and rich user interaction, the prevalent client-server infrastructure has become the web application environment.

We trace the evolution of software design and technology developments that have led us to this point. RPC, CORBA, REST and AJAX are salient points that will be visited along the way, with some comparisons. 

We shall critically review the current web application environment (Javascript, Dynamic HTML, XML, JSON, AJAX and web services/APIs) and briefly visit its counterparts for mobile platforms. In conclusion we'll open a discussion on the options for further development of this environment.

Biographical Note: George Coulouris is Emeritus Professor of Computer Systems at Queen Mary, University of London and a Research Associate at the Cambridge University Computer Laboratory.

Free, but to gain admission please email your name to our Membership Secretary, Dr Frank Martin, at

CPD Value:
Half unit

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