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Building Scalable and High-Performance Java™ Web Applications Using J2EE™ Technology by Greg Barish

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The Need for Application Servers

Gone are the days when an application was a single piece of software. Now, applications are broken up into many pieces sprinkled throughout a collection of machines. The distributed pockets of functionality are then combined in some way to represent a single application to each network client, the end user. There are good design reasons for distributed, multitier applications: They allow automatic evolution (i.e., the server side can change whenever necessary), and they encourage modular and logical design.

There are good performance and scalability reasons for them as well. Well-focused components can be deployed as needed, distributed and replicated strategically, so that resource use can be optimized for the ...

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