DConfig 
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Dynamic Configuration Toolkit

JNLP

Java Network Launching Protocol (JNLP) is a closely-related concept that is often used interchangeably with the term "Java Web Start". Using Java Web Start technology, standalone Java software applications can be deployed with a single click over the network. Java Web Start ensures the most current version of the application will be deployed, as well as the correct version of the Java Runtime Environment (JRE).

From a technology standpoint, Java Web Start has a number of key benefits that make it an attractive platform to use for deploying applications:

  • Java Web Start is built exclusively to launch applications written to the Java 2 SE platform. Thus, a single application can be made available on a Web server and then deployed on a wide variety of platforms, including Windows 98/NT/2000/ME/XP, Linux, and the Solaris Operating Environment. The Java platform has proven to be a very robust, productive, and expressive development platform, leading to a significant cost savings due to minimized development and testing costs.
  • Java Web Start supports multiple revisions of the Java 2 platform, Standard Edition. Thus, an application can request a particular version of the platform it requires, such as J2SE 1.4.0. Several applications can run at the same time on different platform revisions without causing conflicts, and Java Web Start can automatically download and install a revision of the platform if an application requests a version that is not installed on the client system.
  • Java Web Start allows applications to be launched independently of a Web browser. This can be used for off-line operation of an application, where launching through the browser is often inconvenient or impossible. The application can also be launched through desktop shortcuts, making launching the Web-deployed application similar to launching a native application.
  • Java Web Start takes advantage of the inherent security of the Java Platform. Applications are by default run in a protective environment (sandbox) with restricted access to local disk and network resources. It allows the user to safely run applications from sources that are not trusted.
  • Applications launched with Java Web Start are cached locally. Thus, an already-downloaded application is launched on par with a traditionally installed application.

Read more document and code samples at http://java.sun.com/products/javawebstart/.

You can view sample dconfig.jnlp content here.