servlets - part 4

servlets - part 4 - CNT 4714: Enterprise Computing Spring...

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CNT4714: Servlets – Part 4 Page 1 Dr. Mark Llewellyn © CNT 4714: Enterprise Computing Spring 2011 Introduction to Servlet Technology– Part 4 Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science University of Central Florida Instructor : Dr. Mark Llewellyn markl@cs.ucf.edu HEC 236, 407-823-2790 http://www.cs.ucf.edu/courses/cnt4714/spr2011
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CNT4714: Servlets – Part 4 Page 2 Dr. Mark Llewellyn © Session Tracking and Servlets Many e-businesses personalize users’ browsing experiences, tailoring web pages to their users’ individual preferences and allowing them to bypass irrelevant content. This is typically done by tracking the user’s movement through the Internet and combining that data with information provided by the users themselves, such as billing information, interests and hobbies, among other things. Personalization of the Internet has become rather commonplace today with many sites even allowing their clients the ability to customize their homepage to fit individual user likes/needs (see MSN.com, CNN.com or numerous other sites). This increase in personalization of the Internet has also given rise to the problems of privacy invasion. What happens when the e-business to which you give your personal data sells or gives that data to another organization without your knowledge?
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CNT4714: Servlets – Part 4 Page 3 Dr. Mark Llewellyn © Session Tracking and Servlets (cont.) As we have discussed before, the request/response mechanism of the Internet is based on HTTP. Unfortunately, HTTP is a stateless protocol it does not support persistent information that could help a web server determine that a request is from a particular client. As far as a web server is concerned, every request could be from the same client or every request could be from a different client. Thus, sites like MSN.com and CNN.com need a mechanism to identify individual clients. To help the server distinguish between clients, each client must identify itself to the server. There are a number of popular techniques for distinguishing between clients. Two common techniques are cookies and session tracking we’ll look at both of these mechanisms. Two other techniques are hidden forms and URL-rewriting.
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CNT4714: Servlets – Part 4 Page 4 Dr. Mark Llewellyn © Cookies Cookies are a popular technique for customizing web pages. Browsers can store cookies on the user’s computer for retrieval later in the same browsing session or in future browsing sessions. For example, cookies are used in on-line shopping applications to store unique identifiers for the users. When users add items to their on-line shopping carts or perform other tasks resulting in a request to the web server, the server receives cookies containing unique identifiers for each user. The server then uses the unique identifier to locate the shopping carts and perform any necessary processing. Cookies are also used to indicate the client’s shopping preferences.
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servlets - part 4 - CNT 4714: Enterprise Computing Spring...

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