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IN/OUT parameters

Chad McGowan
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Hoping someone can clear this up for me.
Using rpc, what is the advantage/disadvantage of using in/out params versus wrapping all output into the method return value.

For example, I am using a service that returns an arrayList from its method call, but also sends an error message using an in/out parameter.
Is this better than having a result object that contains both the error string and the arraylist???
Something about using in/out params just seems wrong to me, but it seems to be pretty common. Any reason why??
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