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Webtogo or OC4J

December 7th, 2007 · No Comments

The mobile system that I designed 2 1/2 years ago has been in production now for almost 6 months and as any new system that goes into production, changes are inevitable. When we designed the system, we had to come up with two applications that would be implemented both on a WebLogic/Sun ONE container and a Oracle Lite Webtogo container. So, we had to have a online solution that could facilitate 30,000 global users supporting 26 languages, and we had to have that same solution scaled down so that it would run on a laptop. Now, we didn’t want to have two development teams, one for a full blown J2EE application and a Servlet based application. Our J2EE application utilized EJBs while our disconnected application utilized singletons. The UI, Business layer, and DAO layer were the exact same between the two environment. A security and platform tags are used to isolate online only capabilities. Our delegate pattern handled the rest. When deploying the application, we would set a flag in a build properties file that would dictate what type of deployment we were doing and we would build an EAR for the online application and just do a regular compile for the Webtogo application. Some of the special things we did for the Webtogo application were that we copied only the JARs that we needed for Webtogo from WebLogic’s APP-INF/lib to Webtogo’s WEB-INF/lib. After that we compile the JSPs that we require for the offline application using Oracle’s JSP Compiler. Once that conversion was done, we would package the application with Oracle Lite’s Webtogo Packaging Wizard and deploy the mobile application via the Mobile Manager.

Now, had we had the option of using OC4J from the start, we could have used the EJBs instead of the singletons and the only thing that would have probably changed was how we were doing our JNDI calls (OC4J vs WebLogic). Other then that, everything else would remain the same. We have tried to stay true to not being dependent on a platforms APIs but I have been seeing WebLogic transactions manager popping up in places.

So, the question is do we migrate to the OC4J or keep using the Webtogo container? The major benefit to us would be that we could dictate which JVM the container would use. Currently, the Webtogo container uses the the last JVM that is installed on the Windows PC. Our application is compiled using JDK 1.4.2 _X. But most of the clients are using JRE 1.5. Now, where 1.4.2 is at end-of-life do we even worry about this? Does it affect us in any way? I think there is some deprecated code both from Struts and JDK perspective that we may be using but we should be able to isolate those.

Decisions, decisions, decisions…

If someone came up to us tomorrow and told us we had to use JSF, we would have no other choice but to upgrade. But since we don’t have anyone holding that gun to our heads, we won’t worry about that.

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Tags: Java · Oracle Lite · Webtogo

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