<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.