Has anybody been able to use HTTP to initiate a connection across a firewall and then get back a stream of data over a few hours? I want to get up to the second data to an application from a servlet. I have no problem doing this where I send one blob of data and get another blob back, but I'm wondering if I can send one blob and then get lots of little blobs spread out over several hours back. I'm worried about firewall stuff.
It shouldn't be too much of a problem, but depends a bit on how much "dead air" there is between data. I've successfully downloaded stuff taking several hours through proxies and firewalls, and I know of people who listen to net music over http. However, it's feasible for any proxy or firewall to close a connection if it thinks it has timed out, so if you have control of such things it might be advisable for the system sending the response to send some sort of regular no-op heartbeat to keep the connection open.