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Experiences with Tomcat

2 replies [Last post]
Joined: 2005-01-11

I am in the process of deciding on a platform to write a new client/server application. I want to be able to decouple the client software from the server software so that I have more options for the client in the end, i.e. Web Services, Native GUI App.

I am really interested in using Java for the server system, however I am concerned about the things I am hearing about Tomcat. I am not looking to purchase a java application server and am wondering what your experiences with Tomcat have been.

Positive and Negative are appreciated.

Thank you

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Joined: 2003-12-02

Exactly what are your concerns?
We're in the process of outfitting over 20 clients with a brand new intranet/extranet application built on Tomcat using several hundred JSPs and a similar number of servlets.
The first 5 went life in their shadow environments already and the first is running it in their production systems by now.
No problems relating to Tomcat itself have been reported.

We also have several clients using Tomcat to power their E-commerce (B2B) websites, again no problems so far (and the first running on it has been up for several years now).

Under the hood Tomcat is powering a lot of the Java web applications that are out there, even if the developers of those applications don't know it.
In fact, often the people administering the application servers don't know it because their reseller never told them.
For example iPlanet, Websphere, JBoss, Borland, and others all use or used Tomcat internally in their application servers. Some no longer do so, having created their own servlet/JSP engines or incorporating an engine purchased elsewhere, but many of those old servers are still working just fine years after going up.

Joined: 2004-06-30

Tomcat is the easiest part of this equation. Install it, write a jsp, store it in the right folder - it works.

I had actually an experience of moving all my proprietary client-server communications to JSPs; the client uses HTTP requests and JSPs send the responses. Why not web services? Because I am lazy and I am alone: I wanted everything to be viewable from a browser - that's what you have with plain HTTP. Yes, my clients and server exchange XML files, zip files, and, when necessary, they pass around plain text.

Still, I'd consider web services as an alternative to explore. But again, Tomcat is not a problem at all. It is extremely easy to handle if you do not have a team with professionals in installing this and that.