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Incremental Migration to Java?

Warren Dew
blacksmith
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Joined: Mar 04, 2004
Posts: 1332
    
    2
I'm interested in comments on how to convert a site written largely in a scripting language (in this case, PHP) to Java/JSP in an incremental fashion. I'm not certain this is the perfect forum for the question, but I couldn't find a better one.

My present situation is that I'm part of a small (three person) team working on a site that has recently been deployed. Implementation originally began in ASP, but was switched to PHP - with a smattering of Javascript and a little leftover VB - before I came aboard (which was before deployment). The deployed portion of the site is slightly less than half of what is eventually envisioned, but is already getting sufficiently complex that it's becoming clear that a more structured and perhaps object oriented language would be helpful.

Given where we are in the development of the site, it's not clear to me that reimplementation of the deployed portion in Java would be immediately worthwhile - and even if it were, the client would not stand for it. So I'm interested in opinions on how we might gradually transition the site to Java related technologies. For example, what would be the issues surrounding putting up new sections of the site in Java, alongside existing PHP sections, and what about reimplementing pages in Java when significant changes are requested? Is an incremental approach to a port like this realistic at all?

I'm interested in all thoughts and suggestions.
Lasse Koskela
author
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Joined: Jan 23, 2002
Posts: 11962
    
    5
Originally posted by Warren Dew:
For example, what would be the issues surrounding putting up new sections of the site in Java, alongside existing PHP sections?

Some problematic areas might include
- passing a session id and the associated data from one "side" to another
- running new software for the Java parts
- an existing caching layer


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Warren Dew
blacksmith
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 04, 2004
Posts: 1332
    
    2
Lasse Koskela:

Some problematic areas might include
- passing a session id and the associated data from one "side" to another
- running new software for the Java parts
- an existing caching layer


Right. I saw the thread on sharing sessions last week, and that had some useful ideas. It may not be easy, but I think it's doable.

New software, yes. In fact, it turns out the client is on Microsoft IIS, not Apache as I thought ... I don't suppose there is any JSP plugin for IIS? Still, the sysadmin is going ahead with at least installing Tomcat on a BSD server we have so we can play around some.

We don't have any caching other than whatever is implemented automatically by the database and the web server.

I'm more interested in process issues ... the rest of the team doesn't know Java, though some are interested in learning - involve everyone from the start, or allow split into a PHP team and a JSP team? And, can it be done a page at a time, or are bigger chunks more realistic? Has anyone done something like this and can they relate their experiences?
Lasse Koskela
author
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 23, 2002
Posts: 11962
    
    5
I don't suppose there is any JSP plugin for IIS?

You just got lucky

...involve everyone from the start, or allow split into a PHP team and a JSP team? And, can it be done a page at a time, or are bigger chunks more realistic?
Bigger chunks are a must, I'd say, unless your application is completely stateless -- otherwise you'd have to keep session data in a database so that both PHP and JSP pages can share the data.
 
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