Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Content Delivery


For internet applications that make heavy use of static content, there are a number of solutions that can be used to improve performance - by reducing load on the web server that is managing the dynamic content and by moving static content to the shortest network distance from the requesting client.

Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) are commercially available as sets of grid computers - to free up resources from the server that manages the dynamic content and produce a fast response time for the client through caching and local geographic proximity.

The Icodeon Common Cartridge Platform has a static content hosting plug-in architecture so that plug-ins for different hosting solutions and  CDNs can be added.

For example, the platform is provided with a default plug-in that uses the Amazon S3 Simple Storage hosting service for all static content from within a cartridge.

When a request is made to the Icodeon platform, the dynamic content (XML, JSON) representation is returned, but all references to static content (images, media files, styles sheets and so on) are re-written by the static content hosting plug-in to point out to the hosting service or CDNs.

In the screen shot below of a MySpace app the dynamic content is created both by the Icodeon Platform and the social network site (using a web application hybrid mashup design) - but the references images and attachments are re-written to be requested from the hosting service or CDN:

 The requests made to the  hosting service or CDN are also time stamped - so that the actual URL used to request the static content will expire - protecting the cartridge resources, the images and attachments, from being used outside their intended apps and domains.






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