Interoperability - Runtime Data Sharing Through an Enterprise Distributed Cache

By Iqbal Khan

Many organizations use a combination of Microsoft .NET Framework and Java applications, especially midsize to large organizations that can’t commit to only one technology for various reasons. Often, they employ Web applications, service-oriented architecture (SOA) Web services and other server applications that process lots of transactions.

Many of these applications need to share data with one another at run time. Often, they’re all working on common business data that’s stored in a database. They typically deal with continuous streams of data (for example, financial trading applications), and they need to process it and share results with other applications, again all at run time.

Although the database should be the master data store for permanent storage, it’s not well-suited for runtime data sharing. One reason for this is that performance isn’t always great when reading data from the database. Furthermore, the database may not scale nicely in terms of handling transactions, so it may quickly become a bottleneck and slow down all the applications relying on it.

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Moreover, you can’t effectively share data in real time. Real-time data sharing requires that as soon as one application updates some data, all other applications interested in that data should be informed. Similarly, some applications may be waiting for certain types of data to be created and made available, and when this happens, they should be notified immediately.

These problems are common whether the applications needing to share data are all based on the .NET Framework or whether some are .NET and others Java. In fact, if the applications are a mix of .NET and Java, the problems are compounded because there’s no automatic way for these applications to share data at the app-to-app level in a native fashion.

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