I have a Java application running on a machine; I also have another Java application which I think is running on the same machine, but for arguments sake let's assume it is not (in case I am wrong).
What are the possible ways that I can get data to be exchanged between an object in one application with an object in the other? Ideally I would like the solution to be as easy as possible to implement (wouldn't we all).
If you want to exchange objects, you can open a ServerSocket on one machine, and connect to it through a Socket from the other. Then you can serialize objects over the connection. If you want to invoke methods, RMI might be the way to go, although it does add some complexity. If you don't mind considerable complexity, you can run an embedded Tomcat with Axis, and make web service calls. But that sounds like overkill for what you describe.
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The RMI sounds like a good solution because I will want to call methods on the object.