Server-to-Server WDDX

One of the most exciting uses for WDDX is in the area of server-to-server data sharing. As we mentioned in the beginning of the chapter, WDDX can be used by applications to share data regardless of the source of the data or the programming/scripting language the application is written in. Many times disparate applications live on different servers. Because WDDX is text-based, it makes for an ideal format for transporting over HTTP.

Along the same lines, WDDX is the perfect technology to serve as a wrapper for content syndication, which is the process of making content from one web site (or Intranet or Extranet) available to others. Syndication (using WDDX) is a two-part process. The site containing the content to be syndicated creates a special template (or series of templates) the affiliate can access via URL. This special template acts as a go-between with the affiliate’s request and the content provider’s back-end system. When an affiliate makes a request for content, the template retrieves and serializes the requested content into a WDDX packet that can be taken by the affiliate and used for whatever purpose desired. In most cases, retrieving syndicated content using ColdFusion is handled by the CFHTTP tag. The CFHTTP tag lets you retrieve the content from remote sites and bring the data (in this case a WDDX packet) back as a variable that can then be deserialized.

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