| Louis Perrochon. Institute
for Information Systems, ETH Zürich
Proceedings of the Network Service Conference, London, November
Keywords: stateless vs. stateful, generic gateway,
multiple service integration, public information system, World-Wide
Public information systems offering access to the network
community can be divided into two groups: those with stateful
protocols and those with stateless protocols.
Evolving client-server protocols like the Hypertext Transfer
Protocol (HTTP) of the World-Wide Web (W3) are stateless.
In this case the reaction of the information server depends
on the request only. To access the server, special client
programs (browsers) are required. Such browsers are comfortable
tools for users, however they cannot access stateful services
(like existing database applications) directly. For this purpose
either additional stateful client programs or additional stateless
servers are required.
This paper introduces the concept of Translation Servers,
generic gateways to provide uniform and stateless access to
stateful information servers for stateless browsers, without
re-structuring or duplicating the data. To communicate with
the stateful information server, the Translation Server accesses
the same user interface that has been designed for human use.
Some of the problems discussed in this paper hold also for
other inherently stateful applications offered on stateless
information servers, like electronic shopping malls or data
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