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From "David Bullock" ...@dawnbreaks.net>
Subject Re: Proposal for new method (long)
Date Thu, 12 Oct 2006 18:15:25 GMT
On 10/10/06, Craig L Russell <Craig.Russell@sun.com > wrote:

I'd like to propose a solution to a problem that we have with usability in
> the web tier. When using a servlet, each method that needs access to a
> PersistenceManager needs to figure out where the current PersistenceManager
> is, and if it is even active. There are many ways around this issue, but
> they are not general. Among the workarounds are putting the active
> PersistenceManager into the servlet context as a request or session
> attribute, passing the PersistenceManager explicitly as a parameter, and
> putting the PersistenceManager into a ThreadLocal field.
> Of these workarounds, the one with the most appeal is the ThreadLocal
> solution. So I'd like to propose that we formalize this by adding a method
> to return a thread-safe PersistenceManager proxy associated with a
> PersistenceManagerFactory that can be implemented as a singleton, stored in
> a component's static field, and that dynamically binds to the
> PersistenceManager that is currently active on the thread.

One issue that I can see with this is that servlet engines are nowhere
forced to use thread-per-request designs (unless that is something new in
JavaEE 5).  While this design is admittedly common, its days are few.  Take
a quick look at Greg Wilkins' writeup of Jetty 6's support for
'continuations' - http://docs.codehaus.org/display/JETTY/Continuations - to
get a feel for where application servers are headed, especially as so-called
'AJAX' becomes more common (and super-threaded CPU's rush to the scene).

The correct approach to acquiring a PM in web-components is to associate it
with the HttpServletRequest object.  This can be done easily in the
ServletRequestListener.requestInitialised() method as follows:

public class PMManager implements ServletRequestListener {

    public void requestInitialized(ServletRequestEvent e) {
        e.getRequest().setAttribute(PM_ATTR, getFreshPm());

    public void requestDestroyed(ServletRequestEvent e) {
        PersistenceManager pm = acquire(e.getRequest());
        // close it, etc.

    public static PersistenceManager acquire(HttpServletRequest req) {
        return req.getAtrribute(PM_ATTR);


... notice how web-component code can simply:


to get the PM.

That isn't to say that acquiring a thread-local PM proxy might not be a
useful feature.  I just wouldn't push it as a best-practice in

David Bullock.

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