Tomcat 5.5 Released

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Cheetah, Sep 5, 2004.

  1. Cheetah

    Cheetah Guest

    Tomcat 5.5 has just been released. Tomcat is a open source Java Servlets
    Engine and Web Server.

    http://jakarta.apache.org/tomcat

    We currently use the following open source technology stack for building our
    web applications:

    1. Linux of various flavours - Mandrake, Fedora Core, White Box, Suse,
    Debian
    2. Java 1.4
    3. Tomcat 5.0 - currently our production environment, and testing 5.5.
    4. Ant - Build System.
    5. Struts - Model View Controller framework.
    6. Postgresql - SQL Database.
    7. Sysmod - A form of object relational mapper and persistance system.
    8. Velocity - Template technology for creating Views.
    9. XSLT:Fo - Engine for creating PDF Documents.
    10. NBNSecurity - Providing Security for all Webapps. (OSS release coming).
    11. CVS - Source code version control.
    12. JEdit - Editor of choice.

    If you are interested in learning how to use open source tools for
    developing Java web applications feel free to visit our web site:

    http://www.nbn.co.nz - Company.
    http://www.devcentre.org - General Developer Notes.
    Cheetah, Sep 5, 2004
    #1
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  2. Cheetah

    Ron McNulty Guest

    Hi Cheetah

    Your second link http://www.devcentre.org throws a forbidden error.

    I am working with a similar product set, but Eclipse IDE and SQL Server
    database. My question is, what do you use Velocity for? I've never got to
    understand where it fits in the big picture.

    Regards

    Ron

    "Cheetah" <> wrote in message
    news:a6s_c.2104$...
    > Tomcat 5.5 has just been released. Tomcat is a open source Java Servlets
    > Engine and Web Server.
    >
    > http://jakarta.apache.org/tomcat
    >
    > We currently use the following open source technology stack for building

    our
    > web applications:
    >
    > 1. Linux of various flavours - Mandrake, Fedora Core, White Box, Suse,
    > Debian
    > 2. Java 1.4
    > 3. Tomcat 5.0 - currently our production environment, and testing 5.5.
    > 4. Ant - Build System.
    > 5. Struts - Model View Controller framework.
    > 6. Postgresql - SQL Database.
    > 7. Sysmod - A form of object relational mapper and persistance system.
    > 8. Velocity - Template technology for creating Views.
    > 9. XSLT:Fo - Engine for creating PDF Documents.
    > 10. NBNSecurity - Providing Security for all Webapps. (OSS release

    coming).
    > 11. CVS - Source code version control.
    > 12. JEdit - Editor of choice.
    >
    > If you are interested in learning how to use open source tools for
    > developing Java web applications feel free to visit our web site:
    >
    > http://www.nbn.co.nz - Company.
    > http://www.devcentre.org - General Developer Notes.
    >
    Ron McNulty, Sep 5, 2004
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. Cheetah

    Cheetah Guest

    Ron McNulty wrote:

    > I am working with a similar product set, but Eclipse IDE and SQL Server
    > database. My question is, what do you use Velocity for? I've never got to
    > understand where it fits in the big picture.


    Mainly we use Velocity in place of JSP. The main reason is that it makes it
    impossible to imbed Java code directly into html. I know you can used
    taglibs in JSP, however there is always the temptation to use Java inline.

    Another reason is that we found that the generated code would be different
    between JSP runners - ie we had something that worked fine on Tomcat, but
    did nasty things under Resin. It was all because some things were handled
    differently in the code generator. On a related note, we had to spend time
    trying to debug generated code, then work out how to fix it in the taglib
    or jsp by working backwards.

    Originally I had developed my own template system - which is actually still
    in use on some sites today. However, Velocity was much the same but had
    superior functionality to my system, so I switched.

    Finally we are able to generate PDF and OpenOffice Documents using Velocity,
    which is difficult with JSP (perhaps you know a way?) We have a rendering
    system which you can specify PDF, OpenOffice or HTML output.

    We have also developed Sysmod which is our modelling tool and business logic
    code generator. Although sysmod is open source we don't have it to a
    "version 1" yet. Its still a tad too specific for our environment. The
    principle is that most objects are simple - you just specify the fields and
    relationships. For objects that are more complex we subclass them and build
    the logic in Java.

    Finally we have recently completed our security framework for web
    applications. Essentially there is a separate applications with its own
    database. You can log into it and maintain users and their roles. Each
    application will register itself on running, and will use SOAP sevices to
    authenticate users and determine permissions.

    Whats really cool is that if you use our servlets along with Struts your
    application doesn't even need to worry about security :- its all handled by
    the framework. The operations assigned to roles are automatically
    registered via the struts config file. Ie, whatever actions you have in
    struts are exported to the security application from which you can assign
    them to each role.

    We are looking at making this open source just as soon as I get rid of the
    current web applicatoin graphics which don't technically belong to us, but
    to our client.

    We used Eclipse a little, but it didn't fit well. We actually have a number
    of editors - although JEdit is the favorite.

    I'm thinking of putting it all together in a CD for people so people can get
    something thats working without going through the pain of working out where
    all the bits go. Open source is great, only sometimes there are *too many*
    choices :)
    Cheetah, Sep 5, 2004
    #3
  4. Cheetah

    Ron McNulty Guest

    Thanks for the detailed reply!

    Yes, I am using Struts & Tiles, and like you don't like java in the JSP. It
    is so easy to write tags that clean up things. I have even found it
    worthwhile to write a "widget" tag library that essentially encapsulates
    bits of HTML for re-use.

    Tiles does all the templating. I'm continually suprised by how little HTML I
    need to write. Usually I just need to assemble a new page from four or five
    existing tiles, then write one new tile with the new content.

    My design method has always been use-cases supported by a database model
    (Maintained in Power Designer). I'm using Middlegen and Hibernate to take
    the schema and generate the data access code. It works great - change the
    schema, run an Ant script and voila - the schema change is reflected in your
    objects.

    I haven't had a need for PDF output from Java as yet. I just use a PDF
    printer (under XP) when the occasional need arises.

    You might like to re-evaluate Eclipse, with the MyEclipse plug-in sometime.
    Gives good JSP & struts environment for $50 per year.

    I like the sound of your security app - not an area many developers are keen
    on exploring.

    One thing you may have an opinion on is how to handle "static" html pages in
    Tomcat (e.g. Terms & conditions and other slow-changing stuff). If I deploy
    them in a packaged WAR, then i need to re-deploy every time a trivial text
    change is made (and that involves QA as well..). If I explode the WAR, it
    works, but it seems a bit messy. I'm currently leaning towards putting them
    in the database as text blobs. Thoughts?

    Regards

    Ron

    >
    Ron McNulty, Sep 5, 2004
    #4
  5. Cheetah

    Cheetah Guest

    Ron McNulty wrote:

    > Thanks for the detailed reply!
    >
    > Yes, I am using Struts & Tiles, and like you don't like java in the JSP.
    > It is so easy to write tags that clean up things.


    Havn't seen tiles - I'll take a look.

    > My design method has always been use-cases supported by a database model
    > (Maintained in Power Designer). I'm using Middlegen and Hibernate to take
    > the schema and generate the data access code. It works great - change the
    > schema, run an Ant script and voila - the schema change is reflected in
    > your objects.


    Sounds like different tools for the same purpose. Sysmod is called by Ant
    when we do a clean build or if the model changes. There are a few similar
    projects about for this, however some of the relational-object mapping
    tools are more trouble than they are worth. I havn't had experience with
    Middlegen or Hibernate yet - I'll take a look.

    > I haven't had a need for PDF output from Java as yet. I just use a PDF
    > printer (under XP) when the occasional need arises.


    We need to create things like invoices and legal documents, so the format is
    important, as is not being able to change content. We also save documents
    in a document repository in PDF, which provides "legal proof" of the
    format.

    > You might like to re-evaluate Eclipse, with the MyEclipse plug-in
    > sometime. Gives good JSP & struts environment for $50 per year.


    I'll download the latest version.

    > I like the sound of your security app - not an area many developers are
    > keen on exploring.


    In terms of web applications virtually every application needs users and
    logins. There are essentially two parts - the web application which does
    the maintenance, and the library in the application which handles
    authentication. I'll post details once we have it on sourceforge.

    > One thing you may have an opinion on is how to handle "static" html pages
    > in Tomcat (e.g. Terms & conditions and other slow-changing stuff). If I
    > deploy them in a packaged WAR, then i need to re-deploy every time a
    > trivial text change is made (and that involves QA as well..). If I explode
    > the WAR, it works, but it seems a bit messy. I'm currently leaning towards
    > putting them in the database as text blobs. Thoughts?


    We have automated deploy systems for our clients which backs up existing war
    and database before rolling out the new. Yes, this means a rollout of a new
    war for a minor change, but we generally do a regular rollout anyway.

    I wonder if there are enough NZ Tomcat users to form a users group :)
    Cheetah, Sep 5, 2004
    #5
  6. Cheetah

    Ron McNulty Guest

    >> however some of the relational-object mapping
    >> tools are more trouble than they are worth. I havn't had experience with
    >> Middlegen or Hibernate yet - I'll take a look.


    I'm not advocating Hibernate as the "silver bullet" yet. It works well, but
    I haven't done any efficiency testing. I hate to think what the SQL looks
    like :)

    > I wonder if there are enough NZ Tomcat users to form a users group :)

    Might be a few - I am using JBoss, but it uses Tomcat as the servlet
    container, so maybe I would qualify. I only know of one other Tomcat
    installation in Wellington.

    Another useful thing I found recently was the JExcelApi project. It reads
    Microsoft Excel spreadsheets from Java. Worth a look if anyone needs to send
    you data. Big advantage over CSV is that multiple sheets, named sheets and
    named columns are all supported.

    Regards

    Ron
    Ron McNulty, Sep 5, 2004
    #6
  7. Cheetah

    AD. Guest

    "Cheetah" <> wrote in message
    news:row_c.2145$...

    > I wonder if there are enough NZ Tomcat users to form a users group :)


    An open source Java/XML group might be wide enough inscope to attract enough
    users. Not just for developers but sysadmin types also.

    ie JBoss, all the Apache Jakarta and XML projects (eg Tomcat, Cocoon etc),
    Eclipse etc etc

    It's turning into quite an ecosystem of interrelated projects.

    Cheers
    Anton
    AD., Sep 5, 2004
    #7
  8. Cheetah

    AD. Guest

    On Sun, 05 Sep 2004 16:43:19 +1200, Ron McNulty wrote:

    >> I wonder if there are enough NZ Tomcat users to form a users group :)

    > Might be a few - I am using JBoss, but it uses Tomcat as the servlet
    > container, so maybe I would qualify. I only know of one other Tomcat
    > installation in Wellington.


    We use JBoss/Tomcat as a platform for our product (and we're in
    Wellington). We have Wellington customers using it in house, as well as
    other customers using HDS as an ASP for it, and a bunch of demo/pilot
    instances on our own servers.

    We could be moving from JBoss to a pure Tomcat setup in the future though.

    Cheers
    Anton
    AD., Sep 5, 2004
    #8
  9. Cheetah

    Peter S Guest

    "Cheetah" <> wrote in message
    news:row_c.2145$...

    > I wonder if there are enough NZ Tomcat users to form a users group :)


    Well, you could put me down for that group :)

    I'm currently evaluating product/frameworks for our next system. It looks
    like it is going to be Oracle on the back end, with Struts and Hibernate
    running on Tomcat 5.0 on the front. Eclipse 3 with MyEclipse plugged in is
    my editor of choice at the moment, although I'm fighting a bit of a battle
    with JBuilder afficionados!!

    I saw on theserverside.com that Tomcat5.5 had arrived, but it seemed to
    imply that it wasn't stable as yet. I think I'll let a few iterations of
    this version go by before I use it even in the dev environment. It would be
    no trouble to move to 5.5 fairly late in the piece if it became stable as
    long as adequate testing still took place.

    Is anyone using the Spring framework?

    Pete.
    Peter S, Sep 6, 2004
    #9
  10. Cheetah

    AD. Guest

    On Tue, 07 Sep 2004 00:39:17 +1200, Peter S wrote:

    > "Cheetah" <> wrote in message
    > news:row_c.2145$...
    >
    >> I wonder if there are enough NZ Tomcat users to form a users group :)

    >
    > Well, you could put me down for that group :)
    >
    > I'm currently evaluating product/frameworks for our next system. It looks
    > like it is going to be Oracle on the back end, with Struts and Hibernate
    > running on Tomcat 5.0 on the front. Eclipse 3 with MyEclipse plugged in is
    > my editor of choice at the moment, although I'm fighting a bit of a battle
    > with JBuilder afficionados!!


    Our developers shifted from JBuilder to Eclipse about a year ago (I
    think). While it wasn't due to any unhappiness with JBuilder itself, they
    are more than happy with Eclipse. In fact a lot of our development
    infrastructure has moved in an open source direction.

    >
    > I saw on theserverside.com that Tomcat5.5 had arrived, but it seemed to
    > imply that it wasn't stable as yet. I think I'll let a few iterations of
    > this version go by before I use it even in the dev environment. It would
    > be no trouble to move to 5.5 fairly late in the piece if it became stable
    > as long as adequate testing still took place.
    >
    > Is anyone using the Spring framework?


    While I'm not that familiar with it myself (I'm an admin rather than a
    Java developer), I know we are evaluating it for the future.

    Cheers
    Anton
    AD., Sep 6, 2004
    #10
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