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RNSO is a server where the well known Observer Design Pattern is implemented with Distributed COM.

The Observer Design Pattern helps you to build applications when a change on a data need to be notified to another of your app.
The Datas are called Subjects, and parts of applications interrested by the changes is (are) Observers.
Changes are notified from Subjects to Observers by notifications, throught a Server (called the Manager). Only the manager knows about the Observers who want to be notified. It maintains the connections called Subscriptions.

Generally, Observers indicates they want to be notified by a method :
Observer1.Subscribe( pSubject ) ;
Observer2.Subscribe( pSubject ) ;
Subject prevents changes by another method :
Subject.Notify( ..something ) ;

Here, the 2 observers Observer1 and Observer2 will be notified ..

This design pattern is very usefull for GUI applications (MDI..), but this can be used in several other cases. As an example, if you build a DLL to access to a hardware equipment and  you’d like to use it on remote Machine, you ‘ll be able with RNSO.

RNSO allows to build client-server applications over DCOM, without knowing about DCOM or the Observer Design Pattern, and is independant of applications. The Server can serve several applications at the same time, even they have no relations.

How does RNSO Work?


Subject1 notifies about changes. The server (RNSO.EXE, is automatically launched by the OS) notify the Observers who subscribed to the subject.

Observers have a sink interface used by server to notify them. This is also a component, with a mailbox. The mailbox is read by a thread of the component. So the server is not blocked by clients.

Datas that a subject can notify are binary. So you can transmit all you want.

Binaries of RNSO

I made several binaries for RNSO :

RNSO.exe                           The server
RNSOSupport.DLL             Dll used both by the server and the clients.
RNSOClient.DLL                Dll used to build the observer clients (need also RNSOSupport.DLL). You don't need of it if you just build a Subject.

The binaries are build with Visual C++ 6.0.

The Sample Application

The sample application shows you:
- how to make a CDialog as an Observer and a Subject.
- how to use classes and ready-to-use components .

The following figure shows 2 instances of the application.
1) On the left, we declared the name of the object for the dialog: Subject1.
2) On the rite, we declare the dialog as an observer to Subject1.
3) On the left, the subject notify a change  'My Message'
4) On the rite, the subscriber received the notification.

You can start several apps and subscribe to 'Subject1'. All of them will be notified. When a subject is going down, subscribers receive a notification.

In my sample, I derived my CDialog from CDialog an from RnsoNotificationRout. This class has 2 virtuals methods. Overload them to handle notifications:

class AFX_EXT_CLASS	RnsoNotificationRout
	virtual	~RnsoNotificationRout(); 
	virtual void OnNotifyNOTIFY(ObserverNotification*	pNotification); 
	virtual void OnNotifyNOTIFY_SUBJECTBROKEN(DWORD dwSubjectID);

You aren't obliged to have a dialog or a window to build an Observer or a Subject. You can also make you class just as an Observer, or just a Subject.

This is very simple.

Why to use this framework?

You dont have to maintain subscriptions yourself with lists,  arrays.. etc.

You can build interprocess / intermachines apps.

Download demo project - 197 KB


  • Problems with distributed applications

    Posted by Legacy on 11/25/2002 08:00am

    Originally posted by: Vlad

    It is a good article. But I have problem trying to run the application on different computers. It works fine on one computer. But when I try to deploy it on different computers - it fails. It run RNSO server on remote computer but after this can not add sink interface (AtlAdvice in ClientSubject project fails).
    I'm relatively new in DCOM and could not find what's wrong.
    May be somebody know the solution ?

    Thank you.

  • DCOM Setup

    Posted by Legacy on 01/10/2001 08:00am

    Originally posted by: Dennis Morales

    Hi, the topic is very good and I think it's what I really need but I have problem setting it up using DCOM.

    I'm testing it with Windows 2000 Prof and Windows NT 4.0 Server, Is it possible to have the clients in one PC and the RNSO server on the other PC? Why is it that when I do Subscribe and Notify nothing happens, actually the server crashes.... In the OnInitDialog I think the object is successfully created.. otherwise I'll get the error "unable to create object" in French.. right?

    Thanks, I'm a newbie to this and I really some pointers on it...

  • Release version

    Posted by Legacy on 08/30/2000 07:00am

    Originally posted by: Guy creveld

    Very nice, i like it.
    But it dosn't compile to me at release version.

    what do i have to do?

  • It is a good article

    Posted by Legacy on 04/25/2000 07:00am

    Originally posted by: Xu Xinghai

    I need it very much

  • Very Nice Indeed

    Posted by Legacy on 08/18/1999 07:00am

    Originally posted by: Marty Ellis

    Thanks for the info.  This article was exactly what I was looking for.

    Good Job

  • Very cool

    Posted by Legacy on 11/13/1998 08:00am

    Originally posted by: Famory TOURE

    This is a very cool. It adds object notification and naming to DCOM.

  • What about adding support for MS message queues

    Posted by Legacy on 11/09/1998 08:00am

    Originally posted by: Martin Bohring

    If I understand your solution correct, it's not possible to have asynchron observers attached later on and being updated then. Have you thought about using MS message queues for that. Using this new technology it would be possible to create something similar to the CORBA Event Services using DCOM as transport medium.

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