Friday, March 17, 2006


Java Webstart - Beware of the Cache!

Java Webstart is a great technology. But watch out for your apps getting cached! In beta testing a small bug was found that screwed up data that I promptly fixed and deployed to the web server. The problem is that the user's were still running off the beta version cached on their local machines which screwed up lots of data. Think of a database that stores prices. The list price was getting over written with the cost instead. This would make customers happy since they could buy stuff at cost but not my bosses for obvious reasons! Making the user go in the control panel and clear the cache to straighten up the beta in production and creative use of JDBC/SQL fixed the data in a hurry saved my butt.

it seems to me that the problem would not have been with the cached version on the client, but some intermediary cache -- a system-wide web proxy -- that's interposed between the client and the server. After all, the client's request for the .jnlp file should never be cached, since the webstart infrastructure should check for an updated version of the app every time the app starts...
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