Each user had a profile which was stored in the XML file.
You could look at the small part of it by clicking on the [view] button
on the Entry page. The table which you see was created by XSLT.
The file contained all needed access and preferences information in it.
The information was available to servlets and JSPs through a session
JavaBean (on the entry page we used setter method to set user name to
a bean which parsed the XML file, and then used getter methods to retrieve
whatever we needed -- the JavaBean was keeping relevant info).
Using a JavaBean in here is convenient, since you can easily
replace guts of the bean and move away from XML file to a database, or
to using some real time resource discovery services in production environment,
and you do not have to touch your JSP pages.