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SysAdmin: Linux as an Application Server -- The Tomcat Way

By ServerWatch Staff (Send Email)
Posted Jan 15, 2001


"In this article, I'll cover a specific Web application server environment -- Tomcat. Tomcat is part of the Jakarta project, which is part of the Apache Software Foundation. Tomcat is the reference implementation of the Java Servlet 2.2 specification and JSP 1.1 specification. This implementation was recently turned over to the Apache Software Foundation by Sun Microsystems -- the originators of the Java language. The neat thing about Tomcat (and servlets and JSP) is that the platform-independent nature of Java means your servlets and JSP scripts are portable to any servlet/JSP implementation of the appropriate specification. In fact, the Tomcat implementation, itself written in Java, is platform-independent. I downloaded and installed Tomcat to Red Hat Linux 6.1 and Windows 2000 from the exact same distribution of the software. All of the servlets and JSP scripts I've written to date work equally well on both. In the case of the servlets, which are compiled Java class files, I deploy the compiled class file to each platform, rather than recompiling from the Java source. Powerful stuff indeed."

"Tomcat is the official reference implementation of both the Java servlet 2.2 specification as well as the JSP 1.1 specification. Tomcat is freely available from the Apache Software Foundation's Jakarta project at: http://jakarta.apache.org." I downloaded and installed Tomcat to Red Hat Linux 6.1 and Windows 2000 from the exact same distribution of the software. All of the servlets and JSP scripts I've written to date work equally well on both. In the case of the servlets, which are compiled Java class files, I deploy the compiled class file to each platform, rather than recompiling from the Java source. Powerful stuff indeed.

"Basically, Tomcat implements a run-time environment, called a container, in which Java servlets and JSP's can execute and interact with the browser via HTTP. Tomcat can be integrated with Web servers like Apache, and even IIS, allowing the Web server to handle requests for static Web pages and images, and pass requests for servlets and JSPs along to Tomcat for execution. A servlet (or JSP) may be requested as the result of submitting an HTML form to the Web server. The data submitted from the form may be used by the servlet to query or update a database, generate an email, or register a user on the Web site, to name just a few possibilities. A hyperlink on a page may also be used to call a servlet or JSP as well, for similar purposes. Tomcat also implements a simple HTTP server of its own, which comes in handy for development and testing separately from your Web server."

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