Difference Between RPC and RMI

rpc vs rmi comparison

In the realm of distributed computing, understanding the nuances between communication protocols is vital. One such comparison lies between Remote Procedure Call (RPC) and Remote Method Invocation (RMI).

While both facilitate system communication, they differ significantly in programming paradigms, parameter passing methods, ease of programming, and handling of versioning and complexity.

This article delves into the intricacies of RPC and RMI, exploring their programming paradigms, parameter passing mechanisms, ease of use, and implications in versioning and complexity.

Gain control over your understanding of these protocols and navigate the complexities of distributed computing with confidence.

Key Takeaways

  • RPC is older than RMI and is a library and OS dependent platform.
  • RMI is a Java platform and is more efficient than RPC.
  • RPC supports procedural programming while RMI supports object-oriented programming.
  • RPC passes ordinary data as parameters while RMI passes objects as parameters and provides client-level security in parameter passing.

Definition and Overview

In the context of the knowledge provided, the subtopic of 'Definition and Overview' provides an in-depth understanding of the fundamental concepts and characteristics of RPC and RMI.

RPC, which stands for Remote Procedure Call, supports procedural programming and is a library and OS dependent platform. On the other hand, RMI, which stands for Remote Method Invocation, supports object-oriented programming and is a Java platform. RPC is the older version of RMI.

When comparing the two, there are pros and cons. RPC creates more overhead and is less efficient than RMI. However, RPC provides a high provision of ease of programming, while RMI provides a low provision.

In terms of parameter passing, RPC passes ordinary data as parameters, while RMI passes objects.

Both RPC and RMI have use cases in different scenarios, and it is important to consider their pros and cons when choosing the appropriate technology.

Programming Paradigm

Both RPC and RMI support different programming paradigms.

RPC supports procedural programming, which is a style of programming where the focus is on procedures or functions that perform specific tasks.

On the other hand, RMI supports object-oriented programming, which is a style of programming that focuses on creating objects that have attributes and behaviors.

One advantage of RPC's procedural programming paradigm is that it allows for more control and precision in the execution of tasks. However, it also has disadvantages. RPC creates more overhead and is less efficient compared to RMI. In comparison to other remote communication technologies, RPC's procedural programming paradigm may be seen as outdated and less flexible.

RMI's object-oriented programming paradigm has its own advantages and disadvantages. It allows for easier development and implementation, making it simpler to use. However, it may not provide the same level of control and precision as RPC's procedural programming. When compared to other remote communication technologies, RMI's object-oriented programming paradigm is considered more modern and flexible.

Parameter Passing

The parameter passing mechanism in RPC and RMI differs in terms of the type of data that is passed.

  • Advantages and disadvantages of parameter passing in RPC and RMI:

RPC passes ordinary or normal data as parameters, which provides simplicity but lacks security.

RMI passes objects as parameters, which allows for more complex data structures and provides client-level security.

  • Implementation challenges of parameter passing in RPC and RMI:

RPC does not provide any built-in security mechanisms, which can be a challenge when implementing secure communication between client and server.

RMI provides client-level security, but this can also introduce complexity in the implementation process.

Ease of Programming

RPC provides a high level of ease of programming, while RMI provides a lower level. When it comes to RMI vs RPC: performance comparison, there are pros and cons to consider.

RPC can be complex due to its low-level implementation, which may require multiple codes for a simple application. On the other hand, RMI is generally simpler to use and implement.

However, it is important to note that RMI is more efficient than RPC. Despite this, RPC has its own advantages, such as being a library and OS dependent platform.

It is crucial for those who desire control to carefully evaluate the ease of programming offered by both RPC and RMI, taking into account their performance comparison and the specific requirements of their project.

Versioning and Complexity

Versioning can be a significant challenge when working with RPC. There are several challenges and difficulties that arise when it comes to versioning in RPC implementation. These challenges include:

  • RMI versioning challenges: When using RMI, there can be difficulties in managing and handling different versions of the remote objects. This can result in compatibility issues and conflicts between different versions of the objects.
  • RPC implementation difficulties: Implementing RPC can be complex due to its low-level nature. It requires careful handling of network communication, serialization, and deserialization of data. This complexity can make it challenging to ensure that different versions of the RPC system work seamlessly together.
  • Compatibility issues: Versioning can lead to compatibility issues between the client and server components of the RPC system. It is important to carefully manage and handle these compatibility issues to ensure smooth communication between the client and server.
  • Upgrading and backward compatibility: When a new version of the RPC system is released, it may require upgrading the client and server components. This can be a complex process and may require ensuring backward compatibility with older versions of the system.

Development Cost

Development cost is an important thing to think about when comparing RPC and RMI implementations. RPC can be quite expensive to develop because it requires low-level implementation, which can be complex and time-consuming. This means that developers may need to spend more money and resources to create an RPC system.

On the other hand, RMI has a more reasonable development cost. It is generally simpler to use and implement, which can save time and money.

The implementation complexity of RPC can lead to higher development costs, while RMI offers a more cost-effective solution. So, if controlling the development cost is a priority, RMI may be a better choice than RPC.


One important aspect to consider when comparing the implementations of RPC and RMI is the security measures in place. When it comes to security, RMI has an advantage over RPC. Here are some key points to understand:

  • RMI provides client-level security, meaning that it focuses on protecting the client's data and resources.
  • RPC, on the other hand, does not provide any security protocols, leaving the client vulnerable to potential threats.
  • With RMI, security protocols can be implemented to ensure secure communication between the client and the server.
  • These security protocols can include encryption, authentication, and access control mechanisms.


When comparing the efficiency of RPC and RMI, it is important to consider the performance and resource utilization of both protocols.

RPC has the advantage of being a library and OS dependent platform, but it creates more overhead compared to RMI.

On the other hand, RMI is a Java platform and is more efficient than RPC. However, RPC does have the disadvantage of not providing any security, while RMI provides client-level security.

In terms of development cost, RPC has a higher cost compared to RMI, which has a fair or reasonable development cost.

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