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From Ken Fitzpatrick <...@KenFitzpatrick.com>
Subject Re: Communication Between WebApps
Date Fri, 29 Nov 2002 04:12:32 GMT
I'm hearing more and more about real-world requirements for sharing 
information between WebApps -- not just the authentication thing, but 
entire business object graphs.

Consider the user's choice for the web site Skin.  Wouldn't it make 
sense for subsequently visited WebApps to honor the choice made in a 
previously executed WebApp?  What about an extensive UserProfile object 
graph, populated after the authentication process, from which a vast 
amount of personalization and customization content originates?

I work for a **really** large J2EE shop with many WebApps and we are in 
the endless pursuit of the "one company image".  There seems to be no 
way to meet that requirement while also adhering to Servlet requirement 
of not sharing objects between WebApp sessions (I know, I know ... it's 
right there on page 51 of the J2EE Servlet Spec PDF.)

EJBs might go a long way to helping this, but precious few of the 
WebApps actually use them ... somebody said something about something 
that some else said about something they read from someone who sat next 
to someone who heard about someone who tried something sometime ago, 
somehow, somewhere, someway ... And now it's policy.  Besides, what if 
all that needs to be shared is the Struts SkinChooserFormBean?  Is that 
the ideal candidate for an Entity Bean?

So, is this the cross-roads of the real-world and the J2EE Servlet Spec?

Maybe we should think about some methodical means of being able to share 
a given object or object graph across WebApps in a non-strategic, almost 
casual context.  Something like contacting a broker, asking it to 
contact the WebApp that is registered as "primary" for a given type of 
object (e.g., "UserProfile", "SkinChooserFormBean", etc.) and having it 
extract and deliver a ReadOnly copy of the object?  Do I hear Betwixt 
buffering us from object version issues?

Any thoughts?

Thanks!
Ken



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