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The way we have enforced things like this in the past is to remove the default coherence-cache-config.xml file from the coherence.jar file. Then if a client starts without specifying a configuration file then thy will get an exception as there will be no default configuration. Of course this relies on everyone using the modified coherence.jar file, which is easy if you have a common repository for you jar files such as a common Maven repository. Another thing I have also seen done is modifying the tangosol-coherence.xml file in the coherence.jar to blank out the <port> element inside the <multicast-listener> section so that clusters cannot be started using a default port.
This is a great idea. I will have to do this if I don't find a better way. Changing coherence distribution is a bit messy - you have to remember to do it next time a patch comes out and in general - removing something that is considered to be there by default tends to bring other problems later.
Isn't there a better way to make the connection to the cache fail if the client is mis-configured?