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when one client changes data want all other clients

  Asked By: Ketan    Date: Apr 24    Category: Java    Views: 1128

I like to know how I shuld design my client/application server so when
one client changes afield in the database all the other clients who
have read this field and currently have it open on their browsers see
the changes without having to refresh their web page.

As an example; I change asetting from 50 to 100 in the database and two
other clients are watching this setting on their browsers. I like them
to see the change automatically. I was thinking RMI or JMS with a list
of clients for each field. Won't that make it too complex a program to



3 Answers Found

Answer #1    Answered By: James Evans     Answered On: Apr 24

Two solutions come to my mind.

1) Use something like AJAX. An iframe with periodic http requests invoked
by javascripts might might be one solution.

2) Use an applet. This applet can either listen on a specific port for an
event to occur (you can also send even packet from server  bu multicast,
then all ethernet adaptors will catch it, but this is usefull only for
lan, since multicast is closed by default in most routers), or they can go
and ask server themselves, either by an RMI call or anything else.

Answer #2    Answered By: Clarence Nichols     Answered On: Apr 24

I guess the proposed solutions are more suitable for one-to-one checking rather than broadcasting the change  to other online clients. (read AJAX documentation)

some drawbacks:

1) based on blueprint examples, refreshing data  mechanism could be helpful. AJAX interactions support polling. to some extent this could answer your question, but highly depends on the data rate.

2) to my knowledge it is mainly used for web  based applications (still could be suitable for you)

3) not all browsers  support it

By having a look at the question, JMS could be one way of broadcasting the updates? but how often do you want to send JMS messages and how do you guarantee that the latest message contains the latest update (if you have standalone message subscribers)?

manually listening/polling for changes could be another solution? but how do you know what is the best interval as the value might change again right after you have received the latest update in your last interval. In high rate of data manipulating systems, i.e. stock options as data is changing in a matter of seconds, these solutions are not going to work.

The question means that you want to protect the shared resource from multiple client  access. You need to serialize the access to the resource. But this is done automatically for you if you support transactions (by performing intelligent locks).

I assume that each of your clients have their operations (data manipulations) performed in a transaction (transaction could live on the server). I guess here you should administer the transaction isolation levels (read committed, read  uncommitted, repeatable reads and serializable). I advise you to read through the isolations levels to control the lock/unlock of the values on the server/DB as the improper use of such transaction attributes will have major drawbacks on your overall performance. (the last bit is very important)

As an example, client "A" might change x from 2 to 3 while the rest of the clients still see the value as 2. According to AJAX validations, when client B wants to write value 2 back to the server, it might NOT get rejected as 2 might still seem as to be valid value and the server  may take it as a new change (after client "A" has set it to 3). How does your server can determine which one is correct? for this you need extra checking per attribute on the server which is surely not a good option.

I guess the answer to your question relies on how you define the transaction attributes and isolation levels and how you resolve "dirty reads", "unrepeatable reads" or "phantom reads". transaction will control the access to the resource and upon update by others, the new client will either be blocked or rejected. this is done automatically for you and all you need to do is to set up proper isolation level.

Note that above is based on EJB 2.1 and J2EE 1.4 and the drawback is that this solution works only for BMT and if implemented in CMT is would not be portable (container and DB wise)

Answer #3    Answered By: Geena Ma.     Answered On: Apr 24

You can use AJAX technics. With AJAX you don't need to refresh  your page. For example, you may want to check the server  at each 30 seconds for change  by calling a server method from the client.

If you have a caching mechanism this check won't make the server much busy.

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