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Can you please validate : my very limited info about Java Web Start

 
Prabjhot Singh
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Applet's support coming to end, so I am looking for available alternatives,
Current task done by applet in application is - Digital signing and update browser page according to response.

I have googled Java Web Start (JWS), my very limited information is that - JWS is to launch applications with in from your Web browser, and once downloaded - can be run from local.
and application downloaded using JWS is a standalone application which runs out of Web Browser, so not sure if I assumed JWS as an alternative to existing applet(s), if there is way to have communication between Web application & response to when user wants to submit confidential files currently using Applet & possibly using JWS.


If I move from Applet to web page on SSL, am I comprising the security?

I admit I am confuesd

appreciate your reply. thanks.
 
Christian Pflugradt
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Prabjhot Singh wrote:Applet's support coming to end, so I am looking for available alternatives,
Current task done by applet in application is - Digital signing and update browser page according to response.

I have googled Java Web Start (JWS), my very limited information is that - JWS is to launch applications with in from your Web browser, and once downloaded - can be run from local.
and application downloaded using JWS is a standalone application which runs out of Web Browser, so not sure if I assumed JWS as an alternative to existing applet(s), if there is way to have communication between Web application & response to when user wants to submit confidential files currently using Applet & possibly using JWS.


If I move from Applet to web page on SSL, am I comprising the security?

I admit I am confuesd

appreciate your reply. thanks.

To add from my limited knowledge and experience:

JWS is basically a mechanism to launch a Java SE application from browser. You put all relevant information in a XML file on a web server which is basically everything that you would also provide when invoking java.exe like class path, main class etc. Your browser knows that a URL pointing to this file will be opened with Java (Web Start) like a flash file would be run by Flash Player, but unlike Flash and Java Applet it's not embedded and has no knowledge of any web page opened in your browser. Once started your application runs in a normal JVM and there is no difference to starting a java program locally. That means you don't have the same options as in a Java Applet, the application doesn't know that it had been started from a web server once it is running. You are able though to submit parameters from the XML file. For example (some time ago already so I don't remember all the details) I implemented a Single Sign On with a Java Web Start application. I basically had a Single Sign On service on the server (not written in Java) that authenticated the user via the URL that was opened in web browser. The service then returned a dynamic Java Web Start XML configuration that contained the session as an parameter and started the client with it (which would use the session to log in on a Java RMI server).

You can certainly send files to a server using JWS, but in a way you could also do it with a local Java program. From my experience JWS is preferable to a local client if you have a small and IT-experienced user base. You have to consider some security settings and depending on your environment users might have different versions of Java or different Java settings which might cause troubles, but you don't have to roll out the client each time you write an update because it's always downloaded from the web server you provide the files on. I maintained a JWS application in the past and had some graphical issues with Swing and some external libraries I used, mostly things were displayed weirdly with some clients (we had lots of different versions from Java 6 to Java 8). Also sometimes the Java settings in Windows control panel prohibited JWS from running the application. Everything can be solved no doubt but it might be some configurational overhead you don't want to deal with (if JWS fullfills your requirements anyway).
 
Prabjhot Singh
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Christian Pflug wrote:
To add from my limited knowledge and experience:

JWS is basically a mechanism to launch a Java SE application from browser. You put all relevant information in a XML file on a web server which is basically everything that you would also provide when invoking java.exe like class path, main class etc. Your browser knows that a URL pointing to this file will be opened with Java (Web Start) like a flash file would be run by Flash Player, but unlike Flash and Java Applet it's not embedded and has no knowledge of any web page opened in your browser. Once started your application runs in a normal JVM and there is no difference to starting a java program locally. That means you don't have the same options as in a Java Applet, the application doesn't know that it had been started from a web server once it is running. You are able though to submit parameters from the XML file. For example (some time ago already so I don't remember all the details) I implemented a Single Sign On with a Java Web Start application. I basically had a Single Sign On service on the server (not written in Java) that authenticated the user via the URL that was opened in web browser. The service then returned a dynamic Java Web Start XML configuration that contained the session as an parameter and started the client with it (which would use the session to log in on a Java RMI server).

You can certainly send files to a server using JWS, but in a way you could also do it with a local Java program. From my experience JWS is preferable to a local client if you have a small and IT-experienced user base. You have to consider some security settings and depending on your environment users might have different versions of Java or different Java settings which might cause troubles, but you don't have to roll out the client each time you write an update because it's always downloaded from the web server you provide the files on. I maintained a JWS application in the past and had some graphical issues with Swing and some external libraries I used, mostly things were displayed weirdly with some clients (we had lots of different versions from Java 6 to Java 8). Also sometimes the Java settings in Windows control panel prohibited JWS from running the application. Everything can be solved no doubt but it might be some configurational overhead you don't want to deal with (if JWS fullfills your requirements anyway).


thank you for sharing your experience and thoughts.
 
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