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From Adam Boyle <>
Subject Re: ROP: detecting that my client connection has timed out
Date Fri, 08 Apr 2016 05:06:16 GMT
Thanks for the response. I could be overlooking it, but I don't see an answer to my central
question: how can I detect that the client has timed out? The nature of our application prevents
us from using a keep-alive type solution; it is meant to be used in highly regulated environments
(which is one of the reasons I chose Cayenne ROP: it provides a way to hide the database details
from the users). Even if I could use an auto-reconnect solution, I would still need to be
able to detect that the connection has timed out, and I have failed to find a way to actually
detect that.

I suppose that another (less-hacky) way I could approach this would be to logically detect
a "timeout" by keeping the actual connection alive and storing login session info in the database
and updating it with the current date time every time a Cayenne action is performed. This
code would check for a timeout beforehand and prompt the user to re-authenticate before performing
said action. The main problem there is maintainability; I'd have to add this check to every
place I intend to submit any sort of Cayenne action unless there is a way to hook this sort
of check into the ObjectContext.

Does anyone know of a better way? Perhaps some advice for this novice enterprise developer?

Thanks again,

From: Aristedes Maniatis <>
Sent: Friday, April 8, 2016 12:30 AM
Subject: Re: ROP: detecting that my client connection has timed out

On 8/04/2016 1:28pm, Adam Boyle wrote:
> Is there a simple way of detecting that the connection is dead so that I can prompt the
user to reconnect?

I don't think you need to prompt the user if you keep the user's authentication details in
memory. Just create a new session with them.

> On a related note, what happens to the existing client ObjectContext objects that are
in use if the connection is able to be re-established? Are the uncommitted PersistentObjects
previously created in those contexts lost forever?

Those contexts are no longer associated with a session on the server (once your session times
out). So you either have to recognise that a user is connecting again after a connection error
and give them a handle on the same session id they had last time, or else start a new session
and lose the old contexts.

The problem is: can you be sure the state of those contexts still make sense?

> The only (hacky) solution I can think of is to actually run a keep-alive thread to periodically
send a low-latency query to Cayenne to keep the ROP session active and separately track application
activity and prompt the user to enter their password if a certain period of time has passed
with no activity. The problem that I see with an approach like that is that there are lots
of ways that activity could be missed, the application is not truly timing out, and it really
doesn't address the underlying problem which is that sessions need to time out for a reason
and there doesn't seem to be a way to detect such a timeout.

Well this is outside Cayenne itself, but part of the reason we recently did the work in trunk
(CAY-2065) to untangle Cayenne from Hessian and from the HTTP layer. Then you can manage the
session more easily yourself to do whatever you want.

For example, we have a ping every minute from the client that:

* keeps the session alive (we don't want the session to die just because the user went to
have lunch)
* allows us the keep the server-side session timeout quite low (good to expire sessions for
users who dropped off the network without a proper logout)
* allows the server to track which users are having network issues

In the last six months we've been doing a bunch of work with ActiveMQ/STOMP which might eventually
replace that ping. That way we have two way server-client communication and the server can
quickly see which clients have lost network connection without a ping.

Nice to see a fellow Cayenne ROP user. There aren't many of us and it is really a very powerful
bit of functionality.


Aristedes Maniatis
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