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application server Tomcat and JWS confused..

chad stevens
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Joined: Aug 20, 2002
Posts: 88
Hello.
I am aware that Tomcat is for servlets and web pages. What then would be just something simple for a java application server? What is Java Web Start? All these are confusing me.
Thanks.
CHAD
Kathy Sierra
Cowgirl and Author
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Joined: Oct 10, 2002
Posts: 1572
Howdy Chad,
Java Web Start is an application "launcher" that lets a client use a browser to download your java application (could even be a Swing GUI) and run it. But once your application gets to the end user's machine, it doesn't run in the browser, but runs (almost) like any other Java application (you have a main method and everything).
Also, the COOL thing is that a web start app will automatically try to update itself, if the user launches it and is connected. So, without the client having to do anything at all, your application will check the server to see if any classes have changed, and will download them and automatically start using the newer versions.
So it is different from applets in a few ways:
1) Applets must run IN the browser
2) Applets have higher security restrictions than Web Start applications
3) A client can run a webstart application without even being connected -- once they have downloaded it, it stays cached and they can launch it locally on their machine and run it, just as if you said >java MyApp
There are some security restrictions, but unlike applets, you CAN using a new API just for this purpose -- write and read certain files from the user's machine.
Did I mention that it's very very cool : )
The end user / client must have Java Web Start installed on their machine, but that's pretty easy. If they go to your web page and don't have it, you can direct them to get it.
Of course, MacOSX comes with Java Web Start pre-installed, so at least 5 million people already have it (that's how many OSX users there are right now.)
There *is* a jnlp/web start forum, but it is a ghost town right now. But I think this is a huge breakthrough for getting Java back on the client (it's rightful place ; )
Cheers,
Kathy
author, "Java 2 Study Guide..."
"If you like it, don't tell me, tell Amazon"
- a starving writer
chad stevens
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Joined: Aug 20, 2002
Posts: 88
Thank you very much Kathy! That is a lot of information and quite useful, however I am still a little cloudy on the difference between Tomcat and JWS, you need to start Tomcat to use JSP pages you need JWS as well, I am unsure of the differences.
Let's say we don't talk about web pages just an application server for instance.. I once read on this forum that someone was interviewed with the question, "What application server did you use.." when the person responded Tomcat, the interviewer didn't seem too happy. When I had read that, it had put questions in my mind about all these terminologies. I know that BEA Weblogic server and WebSphere are deployment servers. Apache is as well I suppose? Then when we talk about Tomcat Apache, are we talking about something different than Apache server? I heard portals can use both Tomcat and JWS and they are both needed for web stuff. So I suppose I am getting application server, deployment server, and others all mixed up?
Thanks for the help again.
CHAD
 
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