Sebastopol, CA--Jakarta Tomcat's growing popularity is hard to argue. It is the most widely used Java servlet and JSP platform in the world. In addition to being the reference implementation of Sun's servlet and JSP specifications, it has a place in hundreds of thousands of web sites, from home-brewed static HTML sites to million-user, dynamic e-commerce sites. But because Tomcat is as complex as it is complete, mastery of Tomcat is harder to come by than Tomcat itself.
"Even though Tomcat 4 is an immaculate implementation of a Java Servlet container and web server, and even though it's simpler to use than most others, it is still a complex and sophisticated mixture of theories and technologies that just aren't easy to understand," says Jason Brittain, coauthor of the just-released Tomcat: The Definitive Guide (O'Reilly, US $39.95).
Brittain and his coauthor, Ian Darwin, have four years of hands-on experience using Tomcat and contributing to the Tomcat project since before its long anticipated open source release in 1999. "Our goal was for 'Tomcat: The Definitive Guide' to make using Tomcat as easy, quick, and painless as possible, and to be more informative, concise, and demystifying than any other book on the subject," says Brittain. According to Jason Hunter, member of the servlet and JSP expert group, they succeeded. "This is the book on Tomcat that I've wanted to see written," says Hunter. "It's truly the definitive guide."
"Tomcat: The Definitive Guide" covers all major platforms, including Windows, Solaris, Linux, and Mac OS X. It explains, step-by-step, how to install, configure, and run Tomcat--including automatic startup and shutdown, and every configuration option that Tomcat features. It provides details on how to set up Tomcat to do exactly what you need it to do, quickly and easily, in an environment that best suits your needs. "Tomcat: The Definitive Guide" also explores often needed but seldom documented features of Tomcat. It describes how to use various Realm implementations to authenticate users against flat files, databases, and directory systems. It shows you how to scale up to a higher traffic volume and how to tune Tomcat for better performance.
But Brittain and Darwin's new book moves beyond the Tomcat program itself to cover the complex interactions between httpd (Apache's popular web server) and Tomcat, and how to connect the two properly. It's the only book that details using the mod_jk2 connector to load balance Tomcat, and the only book to clarify advanced clustering using httpd and Tomcat, including the new Tomcat session replicator.
Security issues like setting up Tomcat to work with X.509 certificates, running Tomcat within a chroot jail (including a complete C program to automate the process), avoiding numerous types of malicious attacks, and filtering out bad data from your web applications are included.
Anyone developing, administering, or using Tomcat will find a place on their desk for this invaluable guide. In addition, servlet and JSP developers will find that "Tomcat: The Definitive Guide" is laced with useful tips, in-depth discussions of the server.xml and web.xml files, Tomcat's Valve interface and a number of sample implementations, and straightforward advice on debugging and writing applications to support clustering.
"I think of this book as a guide to the best features and best practices as they apply to the best servlet container in the industry," says Brittain.
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