Accessing internet resources through the client

Now, even writing this name in the subject I’m sure there could well be security issues that prevent this sort of behavior but I have a situation that would mean if it is possible then it would make my life a lot easier.

Our application is to be installed on an web server within a secure network. This secure network has no access to the internet, however the clients that access it have got access to the internet. I want to have the client obtain a text file resource (a java properties file with a .txt extension containing information on newer software versions) have that get pushed to the server and have the server tell the user what cool new features they’re missing out on.

Is it possible? Would it be considered as bad practice as I think it could be?

Also would there be any other suggestions for a more appropriate approach, I’ve considered using a browser frame linking to a page, but that has issues if the client doesn’t have internet access as I was investigating in a
previous topic
.

A little Extension could fetch the file and pass it to the server as a String parameter of an RPC call. Perhaps this could even be done with a JavaScriptExtension to avoid having to recompile the widgetset if you know a little JavaScript. See the tutorials
here
(Creating UI extensions, various JavaScript integration tutorials).

As for the security implications, parsing the file is where you need to be careful not to extract and use e.g. paths that could be unsafe.

Thanks Henri! I’ll take a look into that.

Andrew