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From "Dunlop, Aaron" <>
Subject JDBC session store, release date projections, etc
Date Thu, 24 May 2001 18:12:41 GMT
I apologize in advance for the lengthy and less-than-technical message, but
my experience has been that the info flowing over this list is better than
pretty much any other source, so here goes:

We are in the process of evaluating application servers for a product
currently under development. Several questions have come up, the answers to
which will affect our long-term choice of AppServer products. And of course
that choice will have a direct impact on how much time I might have to
contribute code to Tomcat. So there's a benefit of sorts to everyone. :)

Our current product (really just a marketing pilot) is running on Tomcat
3.2.1 running standalone, and we are quite happy with it so far. Even though
the documentation is lacking, I've found it to be easier to work with,
faster, and at least as stable as WebSphere. Not to mention more current in
its standards implementation. So nice work! And of course I'm biased toward
open source in general, but our next release has much more stringent
requirements than our pilot, which may exceed the current state of Tomcat.

First: We will need to cluster application servers in front of a central
database. We want the ability to add and remove servers from that farm in
real-time, without disturbing ongoing sessions. That either means storing
sessions remotely in the central DB, or migrating sessions from one machine
to another. We'd like to avoid being forced into using session-affinity for
load balancing, since in our environment, that would likely result in
significantly unbalanced loads.

So that probably means we need JDBC session store. Correct? And if so, what
(in your opinions) is the current state of JDBC Session Store? (Also - am I
correct that it's only available under Tomcat 4.0? Will it eventually also
be available under the 3.x series?)

Second: We need to be able to prevent multiple simultaneous logins by the
same user. We'll most likely be writing our own login implementation (rather
than using BASIC or forms-based authentication from the AppServer) but if
there are some really slick AppServer features already present in an
AppServer for just that sort of thing, we might be convinced... :)

Last: On to predicted release dates for 4.0. I'm not just asking when Sun
will release the Servlet 2.3/JSP 1.2 specs, although I understand that that
is the most serious obstacle at the moment from proceeding with release of
4.0. More importantly, I'm wondering when (again, in your expert opinions)
4.0 will be stable enough for a production environment with several thousand
simultaneous users. In order for us to make a commitment to Tomcat, we'd
need to know with reasonable certainty that it will be ready for prime-time
by mid-August. And (unfortunately) I probably won't have a lot of time to
contribute to the project until later in the fall. :(

Thanks for your time. Your wisdom is eagerly awaited,

Aaron Dunlop
Product Development Engineer
DAT Services, TransCore Commercial Service Group

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