Servlet Development Options
To create servlets, you will need access to a servlet container/server. Two popular ones are Glassfish and Tomcat. Glassfish is from Oracle and is provided by the Java EE SDK. It is supported by NetBeans. Tomcat is an open-source product maintained by the Apache Software Foundation. It can also be used by NetBeans. Both Tomcat and Glassfish can also be used with other IDEs, such as Eclipse. The examples and descriptions in this chapter use Tomcat for reasons that will soon be apparent.
Although IDEs such as NetBeans and Eclipse are very useful and can streamline the creation of servlets, they are not used in this chapter. The way you develop and deploy servlets differs among IDEs, and it is simply not possible for this book to address each environment. Furthermore, many readers will be using the command-line tools rather than an IDE. Therefore, if you are using an IDE, you must refer to the instructions for that environment for information concerning the development and deployment of servlets. For this reason, the instructions given here and elsewhere in this chapter assume that only the command-line tools are employed. Thus, they will work for nearly any reader.
Tomcat is used in this chapter because, in the opinion of this author, it makes it relatively easy to run the example servlets using only command-line tools and a text editor. It is also widely available in various programming environments. Furthermore, since only command-line tools are used, you don’t need to download and install an IDE just to experiment with servlets. Understand, however, that even if you are developing in an environment that uses Glassfish, the concepts presented here still apply. It is just that the mechanics of preparing a servlet for testing will be slightly different.
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