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ALMA software, from high-level data flow applications down to instrument control, is built using the ACS framework. To meet the challenges of developing distributed software in distributed teams, ACS offers a container/component model that integrates the use of XML transfer objects. ACS containers are built on top of CORBA and are available for C++, Java, and Python, so that ALMA software can be written as components in any of these languages. The containers perform technical aspects of the software system, while components can focus on the implementation of functional requirements. Like Web services, components can use XML to exchange structured data by value.
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