Oracle and Akamai proposed a new standard, called Edge Side Includes. ESI are a simple set of instructions that can be included on Web pages to allow other Web sites / web proxies to cache dynamic Web content that repeatedly changes, such as stock quotes or prices of online auction items.
Based on the available literature (article and press release) it sounds like ESI is not a markup that will be interpreted by a developers tools (the servlet engine), rather, it will be read and acted on by content syndication/caching servers across the net such as your local corporate gateway, or akamai's world wide servers. These servers will be able to read ESI and determine when to 'reload' a piece of cached data.
Read Oracle, Akamai cache in on faster browsing
REDWOOD SHORES, Calif., April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- ( http://www.oracle.com/tellmemore/?679253
) Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL), the largest provider of software for e-business, today announced that it has enhanced the built-in Web caching capability of its Oracle9i Application Server (Oracle9iAS) to support a proposed new open specification that will increase the amount of Internet content that can be cached, speed the performance of business Web sites and applications and help dramatically reduce infrastructure costs. The new technology, called Edge Side Includes (ESI), will enable Oracle9iAS customers to cache Web pages that previously could not be cached by any content delivery product, helping to serve more content to end users faster. ESI was introduced today in a joint announcement with Akamai Technologies, Inc. (see related press release for full details). Oracle9iAS will be the first application server in the industry to implement this new technology.
ESI To Extend Oracle9iAS Caching Capability
Caching is a technology that allows frequently accessed Web pages to be stored in memory on low-cost commodity hardware. The use of caching software, such as the Web cache built into Oracle9i Application Server, helps to dramatically improve Web site response times and allows companies to support large numbers of users without spending more for costly hardware upgrades. Oracle9iAS was already the only application server on the market to offer built-in page caching for accelerating Web site performance. However, until now no caching solution or content delivery network could quickly process pages that included a mix of static and dynamic content. ESI enhances the efficiency of caching and provides a standardized way for developers to enable pages that feature both static and dynamic content to be cached. As a result, Oracle9iAS customers are expected to see unprecedented improvements to Web site performance while driving down infrastructure costs even further.
"Historically, application servers have been optimized for delivery of simple content, but inefficient when it came to dynamically created content," said Peter Christy, Research Fellow, Jupiter Research (Los Altos). "That forced content providers to pick between the cost-efficiencies of static content, and the impact of dynamic content. Last year, through the innovative use of reverse-proxy caching, Oracle9i Application Server very significantly improved the cost-effectiveness of dynamic content. Now with support of ESI, and leveraging the resources of Content Delivery Networks, Oracle raises the bar further, providing an innovative software and service solution to what used to be a brute force hardware problem."
Seamless Interoperability Across the Network
Web sites and applications that make use of ESI can be deployed on application servers or content delivery networks that are ESI-enabled. With Oracle support for this new technology, developers who build ESI-enabled applications will be able to deploy them immediately on Oracle9i Application Server. Going forward, these same developers will be able to leverage the content management tools, syndication servers, and content delivery networks that are expected to standardize on ESI as the common way to manage the dynamic assembly of Web pages for faster delivery. For example, an ESI-enabled J2EE application running on Oracle9i Application Server will be able to seamlessly take advantage of Akamai's global network of over 10,000 ESI-enabled content delivery servers.
"By being the first to incorporate ESI into an application server, Oracle has found yet another way to help our customers reduce the complexity and costs of developing and deploying e-business applications," said Rene Bonvanie, VP of Product Marketing, Oracle9i. "Oracle9i Application Server with support for ESI breaks through the limitations that caching previously presented and enables the percentage of cacheable content to go up, while driving IT costs down."
Pricing and Availability
Oracle9i Application Server with support for ESI is scheduled to be available next month. Oracle9i Application Server costs $5 per Universal Power Unit for the Standard Edition, $30 per Universal Power Unit for the Enterprise Edition and $150 per Universal Power Unit for the Wireless Edition. Oracle JDeveloper, part of Oracle Internet Developer Suite, will enable the development of ESI-compliant Java applications. Both products will be available for purchase through the Oracle Store ( http://store.oracle.com