Understanding SAO and CAO Activation Methods in .NET Remoting
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Published: 28 Apr 2008
In this article Abhishek differentiates Server Activated Objects (SAO) and Client Activated Objects (CAO) in .NET Remoting. He examines the implementation procedures of these activation methods separately in Visual Basic 2005 using examples. Abhishek also provides the complete project along with the article to enable you to test drive the application instantly.
by Abhishek Kumar Singh
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Remoting is one of the important and advance features in .NET, which is an infrastructure used to provide inter-process or cross domain communication. Instead of giving the definition and theoretical explanations of its component, I will describe the practical uses and take-care points which we must know to successfully implement remoting applications using .NET. I have used Visual Basic 2005 for examples in this article.

As we know, in general we should have three components to develop remote system.

·         A remotable object (classes which defines remote methods)

·         A remote server host which can listen client request for the object on a given port

·         A remote client application which can request to the host server to call remote methods

·         A remote server host and client application could be any application like console, windows application, or windows server. In my example I will use console application for both.

Let us come to the major part of Remoting - remotable object. You must know that there are two main types of remotable object.


We use it for cross process communication usually in the same domain, in LAN, or in our daily programming on the call by value concept.

Marshal-by-reference (MarshalByRefObject in .NET)

We use it in remoting for cross domain communication usually over WAN or internet on the call by reference concept.

MarshalByRef objects can be activated in two ways:

Server Activation (SAO)

·         SAO-SingleCall

·         SAO-Singleton

Client Activation (CAO)

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