This book is intended to provide a self-contained text on Open Distributed Processing. We assume that the reader has a basic knowledge of programming, operating systems and the facilities provided by low level communications architectures. Knowledge of Distributed Operating Systems or Applications is not required, since the text introduces many of the concepts that are in common with Open Distributed Systems.
The text is partly based around material taught in a specialist Masters course in Distributed Systems, and partly around material taught in several commercial courses, as well as the author's own research. It should therefore be suitable for the third year of an undergraduate course, for postgraduate students, as well as for those in industry working with Standards and Distributed Systems.
Each chapter covers a different aspect of the technology. Each chapter is also presented in a different way. There are many aspects to these systems, and many valid approaches. Our publisher would throw up his hands in horror if we attempted to show all approaches to all aspects. The advantage of this approach is that most chapters can be read independently. For example, the chapter on formal methods can easily be omitted at a first read. Also, the chapters on examples of distributed system problems are each independent of the other. The penultimate chapter is presented at a greater level of detail, and finally, the final chapter is deliberately contentious.