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Subject: Re: [wsrp][interfaces] Portlet instance handles



Mike - I believe that there are a number of advantages to have an opaque
handle that identifies the instance of a portlet (per user per portlet per
page) instead of combining user information and portlet ID:

- the service can decide how to create the handle itself. It can either
decide to use a combination of user identify and portlet identity to
construct the handle or use a hash value for it. In the first case no
additional DB space would be required, but it maybe usafe with respect to
security. Anyway the server can use any handle generation algorithm it
wants to balance between storage, security and efficiency.
- the service could decide not to allow user specific instance at all by
ignoring user information during handle generation
- the service could even decide to encode other data in the handle to make
consistency checks etc.


As a conclusion I think that an opaque handle is preferable, extensible and
general than the approach to use user and portlet identity as the
instance's key. The approach will not really bloat databases especially
compared to the user data that has to be stored anyway.


Best regards
Carsten Leue

-------
Dr. Carsten Leue
Dept.8288, IBM Laboratory B÷blingen , Germany
Tel.: +49-7031-16-4603, Fax: +49-7031-16-4401



|---------+----------------------------->
|         |           Michael Freedman  |
|         |           <Michael.Freedman@|
|         |           oracle.com>       |
|         |                             |
|         |           05/09/2002 11:47  |
|         |           PM                |
|         |           Please respond to |
|         |           Michael Freedman  |
|         |                             |
|---------+----------------------------->
  >---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|
  |                                                                                                                                             |
  |       To:       WSRP <wsrp@lists.oasis-open.org>                                                                                            |
  |       cc:                                                                                                                                   |
  |       Subject:  [wsrp][interfaces] Portlet instance handles                                                                                 |
  |                                                                                                                                             |
  |                                                                                                                                             |
  >---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|



Folks,
   In a number of subcommittees I believe it has been expressed/assumed
that:
        a) Portlet instances have unique persistent ids/handles that
will be retained both by the portal and the portlet service.
        b) A portlet instance (handle) corresponds to a given user of a
given portlet on a portal page.
        c) This handle will be generated by the portlet service.

   I have been surprised by (b) being part of the assumption and would
like to understand better why folks feel this the right way to model
things.  I am surprised because it seems to require the portal maintain
N instance references per portlet on a page where N corresponds to the
number of users (who have visited this page).  Representing a database
company I guess I should be happy that we want this data bloat ;-)
Seriously, however, I would like to understand why we think its
proper/necessary to manage this persistent id when a more lightweight
mechanism exists -- namely one persistent id that represents the portlet
instance on the page + the current user identity.  Basically, it seems
the downside of the assumed/proposed approach are large(r) data sets
being maintained in the portal that likely makes export operations,
upgrades, etc. more expensive.  In addition it requires the portal to
runtime map from an obvious key (the page's portlet instance and the
user id) to this handle.
   On the surface it seems that portlets need an id that represents a
portal's portlet page instance on a per user basis as a key to that
user's personalization data for that portlet instance.  Are there other
needs for this key?  If not why do we need to generate such an id if
there is no personalization data or if the personalization is being
managed by the portlet itself (in this case the portlet can choose to
generate its own id and managed the mapping itself)?  And even if the
portal is maintaining the personalization data why can't it choose the
key itself?
   -Mike-




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