ebu: How can you share information between webapps?

Ideally, we want something delineated by the Servlet API, not container specific. A brief web perusal indicated no easy solution. (Someone suggested going to J2EE and EJB's, someone else noted that two webapps in Tomcat 3.2.1 sometimes get object instances from the other app's JAR instead of the different version in their own. (unconfirmed) Not very helpful.)

Asser: Re: How can you share information between webapps?

Yes, it is true that there can be different JAR files for different applications, which obviously means that there can be different versions of class files even. More detailed description about this problem can be found from A2AClassCastException. Fortunately there are many neat ways to solve this problem varying in their scalability and its cost in terms of overhead.


You can use a special container to share objects within the same JVM so that all appliations can refer to its content. It is important that the handle to the container is unique and visible for all applications.

The way communication works with a resource container is as follows. Applications can send messages to each others using their own mailboxes (resources with certain names) and standard objects like Strings, Numbers, etc... so that there won't be any class instance variations among messages. The mailbox implementation can be part of the resource container or you can use standard objects like java.util.LinkedList if you have your own synchronization mechanism.

Customized object types (classes from the applications) should be constructed using resource container (for example Regex ResourceContainer is using ResourceFactory classes for this) or then you should use the same ClassLoader that was used for the container. You can get the loader by calling container.getClass().getClassLoader().


Yes, I know that sockets are heavy weight solution for the communication between applications running in the same JVM but I think they deserve to get mentioned anyway since they have some scalability advantages. Applications with socket level communication layer are readily capable to act in their decentralizated form in distributed systems.

Object streams (class serialization) can be used in most cases for the actual communication.

The usage of localhost loop ( in IP environments might speed up things a bit since it has been optimized in some protocol stacks.

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« This page (revision-4) was last changed on 31-Jul-2008 10:53 by JanneJalkanen