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Professional Apache Tomcat 6 by Jeff Genender, Sing Li, Vivek Chopra

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Chapter 1. Apache Tomcat

If you've written any Java servlets or JavaServer Pages (JSPs), chances are good that you've downloaded Tomcat. That is because Tomcat is a free, feature-complete Servlet container that developers of servlets and JSPs can use to run their code. Tomcat is used in Sun's reference implementation of the Servlet Container, which means that Tomcat's first goal is to be 100 percent compliant with the versions of the Servlet and JSP API specifications that it supports.

However, Tomcat is more than just a test server. Many corporations are using Tomcat in production environments because it has proven to be quite stable. These corporations range from Fortune 500 companies such as WalMart and General Motors to ISPs hosting multiple small-business Web sites. Tomcat is used in the real world to run everything from online photo albums (Webshots) to high performance financial Web applications (ETrade).

A list of Tomcat-powered Web sites is at http://wiki.apache.org/tomcat/PoweredBy.

Despite Tomcat's popularity, it suffers from a common shortcoming among open source projects: lack of complete documentation. Some documentation is distributed with Tomcat (mirrored at http://tomcat.apache.org), and there's an open source effort to write a Tomcat book (http://tomcatbook.sourceforge.net/). Even with these resources, however, there is a great need for additional material.

This book has been created not just to fill in some of the documentation holes, but to use the combined experience ...

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