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Distributed app architecture question

 
Tina Coleman
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I'm working on a rearchitect of a Swing/JDBC application that's downloaded to our clients via Java Webstart. Essentially, the app is a data retrieval interface: some text data, and some image data. The existing app is one big fat client: connects to the remote database directly, and then handles all of its guts from there. For various reasons, we don't think that this approach is sustainable, long-term (firewalls, intent to do image manipulations and content-based retrieval, . . .). But the question is, what makes sense? We like our Swing GUI. . . so JSP is out. But can I use servlets from an application (currently not an applet), and then what problems might I run into? (thoughts of potential slow-downs in retrieving images come to mind, plus the idea of rearchitecting the app to have a controller to handle the text requests/translate those into object calls) The other potential solution is to use RMI - but how's that stack up in terms of complexity/performance with the potential servlet solution?
 
Cindy Glass
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So lets move this to the distributed app forum.
 
Lindsay Morsillo
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I'm looking at something similar, so I'll throw out some ideas for you.
Have you looked at creating the backend as a web service? This gets you an RPC with generality and flexibility. I'm finding this an attractive possibility for a system I'm designing.
The hitch in the whole thing is that I need to xfer large binary data as a return from the web service. This is slow in the SOAP world, so I'm looking at DIME to package the binary data.
You might want to look down these avenues - it'll trigger some ideas regardless.
Sincerely,
Lindsay
 
William Brogden
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You can certainly have your application talk directly to servlets, and there are lots of alternatives for formatting the data.
You could also do straight transfer of binary data by sockets, RMI, Java Message Service.
To decide between alternatives you need to think about things like firewalls and security, among other things.
How big is the data, where are the clients, etc. - what fun!
Bill
 
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