For a large, complex application, there are many reasons to move to a model that includes Enterprise JavaBeans components. But, contrary to popular belief, scalability and great performance should not be the number one deciding factor. There are many ways to develop scalable applications using just JSP or the servlet/JSP combination, often with better performance than an EJB-based application, since the communication overhead between the web tier and EJB tier is avoided.

Scalability means that an application can deal with more and more users by changing the hardware configuration rather than the application itself. Typically this means, among other things, that it’s partitioned into pieces that can run on separate servers. Most servlet- and JSP-based applications use a database to handle persistent data, so the database is one independent piece. They also use a mixture of static and dynamically generated content. Static content, such as images and regular HTML pages, is handled by a web server, while dynamic content is generated by the servlets and JSP pages running within a web container. So without even trying, we have three different pieces that can be deployed separately.

Initially, you can run all three pieces on the same server. However, both the web container and the database use a lot of memory. The web container needs memory to load all servlet and JSP classes, session data, and shared application information. The database server needs memory to work efficiently ...

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