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[eclipse-incubator-e4-dev] next steps for the E4/connection management discussion


Hi all...

I've been pondering what to put in this e-mail for a few days, but decided it was better to just throw it out there to keep the conversation alive than anything else...

Martin O sent out an e-mail not long after our dog & pony show about connection frameworks on 9/11 and suggested some next steps, so I thought I'd follow on that idea a bit in an e-mail before committing this to the Wiki.

=The Effort So Far=

We had one meeting to discuss some of the various connection management frameworks that exist in Eclipse projects today. DTP, ECF, and RSE discussed and demonstrated their frameworks and current user interface components.
 
Though we didn't come to any solid conclusions, it seemed very evident that there's definitely a need for some sort of cross-project connection management framework in the E4 timeframe.
 
Since the meeting, I was contacted by Eike Stepper from the CDO Model Repository and Net4j Signalling Platform projects. She would like to contribute to the conversation and at least keep informed of our progress, so it's good to know that outside of the immediate E4 group we have interested parties. Not sure if she'd like to demo their current frameworks or not. (Eike, do you want to chime in here?)
 
=High Level Goals=

At a minimum, it would be helpful to come up with a common API for connection management and persistence.

Some simple use cases might include:
 
* Connecting to a unique connection object (database, system, etc.)
* Disconnecting from a unique connection object
* Retrieving the raw connection class from the managed connection object
* Managing connection properties (such as connect/disconnect state and any custom properties for the connection type)
* Managing a list of connections, both connected and disconnected
 
More complicated use cases might include:
 
* Connection timeout
* Backward compatibility

I think some level of UI consistency is still an important factor also. Maybe if we don't all have the same UI components, we could all agree on a consistent set of UI-based connection management tasks? Or a consistent look and feel even if we're not all exactly the same?

Thoughts?

--Fitz

Brian Fitzpatrick
Eclipse Data Tools Platform PMC Chair
Eclipse Data Tools Platform Connectivity Team Lead
Staff Software Engineer, Sybase, Inc.