Tech Note #37: Introduction to the TOAD
1998 Bionic Buffalo Corporation; All Rights Reserved.
12 June 1998
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A service object, using TOAD, may be implemented without any other directory
service protocol. An external gateway module may then take control of the object, and
incorporate it into some other directory space (or spaces). The external gateway module
may reside in another device, such as a personal computer or office server.
A printer, for example, can operate with a single PC, without employing a directory
server, on a two-node network. Using TOAD, the PC can discover the service objects
in the printer. When the printer is connected to a larger network, it can operate as part
of a complex directory service, without the storms of advertising traffic that afflict many
other network service architectures. Another option is to shut down TOAD entirely in a
large network, putting an alternative advertising and discovery scheme in the printer
If an application consists of multiple processes, on one or more CPUs, then the usual
way for one process to locate the other processes is to use the standard name service
and find a process with a given name. This may not be practical for any of several
reasons: the process name might not be unique, there may be multiple parallel processes
of a given kind, a name service may not be available or suitable, and process properties
might not be available for lookup.
TOAD can be used to advertise and discover processes in situations where the common
name service mechanisms are inadequate or inappropriate. In cases where several
processes implement the same function (in a parallel- or multi-processing environment),
properties can be used to select the process with the lowest current load or lowest
predicted response time. Properties can also be used to locate a process associated with
a given client or request.
Detailed Specifications and Licensing
Bionic Buffalo offers detailed specifications, and reference implementations, for the TOAD
protocol at a nominal charge. The best future for TOAD would be widespread adoption, so
there are no royalties charged.
Bionic Buffalo maintains the specification, and the name “TOAD” as a trademark, to insure that
the name “TOAD” is not used with non-compliant implementations.