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

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<pre>Author/s : Vivek Chopra, Sing Li, Jeff Genender
Publisher : Wrox
Category : Servlets, JSP and Tag Libraries
Review by : David O'Meara
Rating : 9 horseshoes
</pre>
I was really impressed with this book and felt like it had been
written with my requirements in mind. The other Tomcat books I have
read felt like they were paraphrasing the online help; additional
material was provided, but little of it was new. While reading the
first few chapters of this book, several of my ongoing queries had
been answered, and there were a bunch of other gems as well - it
sorted out my AJP and APR queries, gave options for running Tomcat on
privileged ports without running as root, and dug further into the
server.xml configuration than I

Professional Apache Tomcat 6 is aimed at the serious Tomcat
user. It will be useful to people that do serious tinkering at home,
but it is a an absolute bible if you have Tomcat running production
code or other critical uses.

Personally I found that the level of information did not always
provide 100% coverage but, for example, the level of detail provided
covering server.xml, web.xml and context.xml configuration will be of
great use. The descriptions go into plenty of detail but rarely goes
overboard. Examples of places to hook into or extend the existing
functionality are pointed out, but the authors don't get distracted in
providing sample implementations when the defaults are sufficient. The
information is full of the sort professional advice and directions
that I would expect from a book of this name, and that has been sadly
missing from the other offerings I have seen.

As a short description, it covers topics like AJP connectors, Apache
Portable Runtime libraries, configuring Tomcat behind IIS or Apache
servers, clustering, shared hosting, oodles of configuration options,
and also takes two chapters to look at testing the performance and
then tuning applications running Tomcat.

If I had to provide negative comments, I would say that the book was
written by three authors and at times it doesn't mesh well and it is
clear that one section had a different author to another. There were
also a couple of areas that didn't have the coverage I had hoped, but
in most cases an explanation was given as to why this was done.

Realistically I find it difficult to fault this book and look forward
to migrating our own servers to Tomcat 6 and tweaking the behaviour
using the information provided. With this book in hand I feel
completely confident that I have the know-how to set up the
environment correctly.


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