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A stub, in the context of distributed computing, is a piece of code that is used to convert parameters during a remote procedure call (RPC). An RPC allows a client computer to remotely call procedures on a server computer. The parameters used in a function call have to be converted because the client and server computers use different address spaces. Stubs perform this conversion so that the remote server computer perceives the RPC as a local function call.
Stub libraries are generally installed on the client and server. Client stubs convert parameters used in function calls and reconvert the result obtained from the server after function execution. Server stubs, on the other hand, reconvert parameters passed by clients and convert results back after function execution.
Stubs are generated either manually or automatically. In a manual generation, a remote procedure call implementer provides translation functions, from which a user constructs stubs. They handle complex parameter types. Automatic stub generation is commonly used to generate stubs. They use integration description language to define client and server interfaces.