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what is RMI?

in context to JAVA

RMI stands for Remote Method Invocation.

Remote method invocation allows applications to call object methods located remotely, sharing resources and processing load across systems. Unlike other systems for remote execution which require that only simple data types or defined structures be passed to and from methods, RMI allows any Java object type to be used - even if the client or server has never encountered it before. RMI allows both client and server to dynamically load new object types as required.

http://java.sun.com/javase/technologies/core/basic/rmi/index.jsp