Exposing COM via XML-RPC or Something Else

Edward Muller edwardam at home.com
Mon Nov 29 23:57:00 EST 1999

I'm playing around with a way to expose Windows COM object via
XML-RPC (or something else).

Let me explain:

My first thought was to write an XML-RPC API to expose the MAPI COM
object and it's methods. This way I (or others) could write a
MAPI client on other platforms (Linux, Web, Java, etc) and these would
talk to my XML-RPC-MAPI server (Lets ignore MAPI Profiles for a second,
jsut for arguments sake). As I thought about the project a little more I
figured that Microsoft already has an object heirarchy and API built,
why should I recreate the wheel, adding another layer of complexity (and
another API) ontop. So I started to look deeper into the XML-RPC
protocol and Python xmlrpclib, trying to figure out a way to expose the
COM objects via XML-RPC. I realized (I should have already know this,
but I was being a DUH) that XML-RPC doesn't have any idea about Objects,
just simple data types (int, short, long, string, etc, etc).

So my current question, can anyone think of an existing technology or
library that will allow me to expose these COM objects in a way that
could be used by other platforms/languages. Corba (FNORB), ILU, PYRO?

Or am I really just going a little crazy?

Should I just stick to my original idea? Writing an XML-RPC API exposing
the MAPI COM objects. This was someone could write a client using the
XML-RPC API to access MS Exchange Servers from Linux, or a Web Server or
a Java Client, et. al. OR should I shot for the stars and try to write
an abtraction layer allowing us to expose MS COM objects with something
like Corba, ILU or PYRO? This (if it worked) would allow us all to use
COM objects from other platforms that support whatever library I've used
to abstract/expose the COM object(s). This all assumes someone is
running a COM server on the machine the client would connect to...


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