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In this paper the authors address some of the challenges of the current technologies in the area of component-based programming and automated software downloading. These challenges include: component updating at runtime of affected applications, adopting the "true-push" model in order to allow for silent software modification (e.g., for removing minor implementation errors), and finding a way to integrate these technologies and electronic commerce in software components. To respond to these challenges, the SOFA (SOFtware Appliances) architecture, the SOFA component model and its extension, DCUP (Dynamic Component UPdating), are introduced. SOFA and DCUP provide a small set of well scaling orthogonal abstractions (easily mapped to Java and CORBA) which address three areas: the background for electronic commerce, the component model, and support for dynamic component updating in running applications. The updating granularity can scale anything from minor implementation changes to a major reconfiguration.
Date of Conference: 4-6 May 1998