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More Servlets and JavaServer Pages
by Marty Hall
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Ideal for any programmer working with server-side Java, Marty Hall's More Servlets and JavaServer Pages provides an up-to-the-minute guide to the latest in essential APIs for creating state-of-the-art Web applications. This smart, patient, and thorough tutorial gives you exactly what you need to use Java effectively in the field.
While many books on Java try to cover just about everything, this title's focus on what's hot in server-side Java makes it a standout. The book begins with a very solid tutorial to servlets and JSPs, including important HTTP fundamentals (like request headers and processing forms). The author does a good job at summarizing APIs and common options, which helps make this book useful as a working reference, too. The level of discussion here is suited to those with a little Java experience, but even beginners could do a lot worse than this title as an introduction to Web programming.
A great feature of this text is that the author walks you through the actual details of deploying your Web applications (notoriously tricky, even for experts). Screenshots on installing and using tools (like the free Apache and Tomcat software packages), plus detailed advice on deployment, will make sure your code actually runs. (A standout here is the summary of all configuration options available in today's containers.)
If you are coming to servlets and JSPs from an earlier version, you'll find this text excels at covering the latest in custom and standard tag libraries. Besides explaining new JSP 1.2 tag conventions, later sections also look at an important new development in Sun's evolution of the Java platform, the JSP Standard Tag Library (JSTL). Coverage of tag programming (including several sections on looping) closes out the book. There's also material on important new advances in servlets, like filters (which allow you to log or change requests) and servlet events (which afford a greater measure of control for your Web applications).
Whether you are a JSP beginner or expert, More Servlets and JavaServer Pages gives you an excellent mix of topics in server-side Java in a well-presented programming tutorial. It's sure to be a worthwhile addition to any working Java Web developer's bookshelf. --Richard Dragan
Topics covered: Introduction to JavaServer Pages (JSPs) and servlets, software installation for Java server developers (JDK, Tomcat, Apache, JRun, and other Web containers), summary of Web application deployment directories, advantages of servlets, the servlet lifecycle, processing HTTP form data (including request headers and CGI variables), cookies and sessions, advantages of JSPs, basic JSP scripting tutorial (including expressions and scriptlets), using JavaBeans with JSPs (tags and properties), custom tag libraries, introduction to the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture, registering and deploying Web applications (.WAR files and data sharing), in-depth guide to Web application configuration (comprehensive guide to web.xml settings), configuring servlets (including filters and error pages, timeouts and installing tag libraries), case study for an online boat shop, declarative security tutorial (including SSL and form-based authentication), programmatic security (including using certificates and SSL), guide to servlet filters (including logging, replacement, and compression examples), processing servlet events, JSP 1.2 tag library improvements (including XML and SAX 2.0 tag validation), and the JSP Standard Tag Library (JSTL) (including basic statements and looping).
Marty Hall's Core Servlets and JavaServer Pages was last year's #1 servlet/JSP book -- helping over 100,000 Java developers master the power of Java server-side programming to Web-enable an extraordinary range of applications. Now, Hall takes the next step, bringing together even more powerful servlet/JSP techniques. After a quick review of the basics, Hall presents in-depth coverage of the latest servlet and JSP capabilities incorporated in JDK Version 1.4, including filters, application events, and enhancements to JSP's XML support. Next, Hall moves on to Web application development, introducing the latest Servlet 2.3/JSP 1.1 features, and offering in-depth coverage of the Web Application Deployment Descriptor. More Servlets and JavaServer Pages includes a comprehensive section introducing the new tag library features incorporated in JSP 1.2, including a full chapter on Apache tag libraries. Hall concludes with an exceptionally comprehensive library of techniques for performance optimization, from caching to content compression, metering and connection pooling to changing JVM parameters. The book also includes a full chapter on Web application security, as well as a start-to-finish case study application.
Practical guide to the use of the Java 2 Platform for Web-enabled applications and dynamic Web sites. Focuses on new capabilities: the standard JSP tag library, filters, life-cycle event listeners, declarative and programmatic security, Web applications, and much more. Softcover.
From the Back Cover
The Java 2 Platform has become the technology of choice for developing professional e-commerce applications, dynamic Web pages, and Web-enabled applications and services. Servlet and JSP technology is the foundation of this platform: it provides the link between Web clients and server-side applications. But, the field has been evolving rapidly, and few developers have been able to keep up. In this companion to Core Servlets and JavaServer Pages, Marty Hall shows you how to apply recent advances in servlet and JSP technology. The book provides everything you need to know to leverage the latest servlet 2.3 and JSP 1.2 standards: real-world insight, advanced techniques, industrial-strength code, and hands on coverage of three top servers: Apache Tomcat, Macromedia JRun, and New Atlanta ServletExec.
More Servlets and JavaServer Pages delivers:
About the Author
MARTY HALL is president of coreservlets.com, a training and consulting company focusing on server-side Java technology. He has taught training courses and seminars on servlet and JSP technology in the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, and the Philippines. He is the author of the best-selling books Core Servlets and JavaServer Pages and Core Web Programming.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Suppose your company wants to sell products online. You have a database that gives the price and inventory status of each item. But, your database doesn't speak HTTP, the protocol that Web browsers use. Nor does it output HTML, the format Web browsers need. What can you do? Once users know what they want to buy, how do you gather that information? You want to customize your site based on visitors' preferences and interests-how? You want to let users see their previous purchases, but you don't want to reveal that information to other visitors. How do you enforce these security restrictions? When your Web site becomes popular, you might want to compress pages to reduce bandwidth. How can you do this without causing your site to fail for the 30% of visitors whose browsers don't support compression? In all these cases, you need a program to act as the intermediary between the browser and some server-side resource. This book is about using the Java platform for this type of program.
"Wait a second," you say. "Didn't you already write a book about that?" Well, yes. In May of 2000, Sun Microsystems Press and Prentice Hall released my second book, Core Servlets and JavaServer Pages. It was successful beyond everyone's wildest expectations, selling approximately 100,000 copies in the first year, getting translated into Bulgarian, Chinese, Czech, French, German, Hebrew, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Russian, and Spanish, and being chosen by Amazon.com as one of the top five computer programming books of 2001. Even better, I was swamped with requests for what I really like doing: teaching short courses for developers in industry. Despite having to decline most of the requests, I was still able to teach servlet and JSP short courses in Australia, Canada, Japan, the Philippines, and at a variety of U.S. venues. What fun!
Since then, use of servlets and JSP has continued to grow at a phenomenal rate. The Java 2 Platform has become the technology of choice for developing e-commerce applications, dynamic Web sites, and Web-enabled applications and service. Servlets and JSP continue to be the foundation of this platformthey provide the link between Web clients and server-side applications. Virtually all major Web servers for Windows, Unix (including Linux), MacOS, VMS, and mainframe operating systems now support servlet and JSP technology either natively or by means of a plugin. With only a small amount of configuration, you can run servlets and JSP in Microsoft IIS, iPlanet/Netscape Enterprise Server, the Apache Web Server, IBM WebSphere, BEA WebLogic, and dozens of other servers. Performance of both commercial and open-source servlet and JSP engines has improved significantly.
However, the field continues to evolve rapidly. For example:
Whew. Lots of changes. The new features are very useful, but is there a single place where you can learn about all of them? Here! That's why I wrote this book: to show developers how to make use of all of these new features. If you aren't familiar with basic servlet and JSP development, don't worry. I provide a thorough review at the beginning of the book.
Who Should Read This Book
This book is aimed at two main groups.
The first group is composed of people who are familiar with basic servlet and JSP development and want to learn how to make use of all the new capabilities I just described.
However, if you are new to this technology, there is no need to go away and learn older servlet and JSP versions and then come back to this book. Assuming you are familiar with the basics of the Java programming language itself, you fit into the second main group for whom this book is designed. For you, I start the book with a detailed review of the foundations of servlet and JSP programming, set in the context of the servlet 2.3 and JSP 1.2 specifications. Furthermore, when space prevents coverage of some of the finer points of basic development, I cite the specific sections of Core Servlets and JavaServer Pages that provide details and put those sections online at
Although this book is well suited for both experienced servlet and JSP programmers and newcomers to the technology, it assumes that you are familiar with basic Java programming. You don't have to be an expert Java developer, but if you know nothing about the Java programming language, this is not the place to start. After all, servlet and JSP technology is an application of the Java programming language. If you don't know the language, you can't apply it. So, if you know nothing about basic Java development, start with a good introductory book like Thinking in Java, Core Java, or Core Web Programming. Come back here after you are comfortable with at least the basics.
This book has four important characteristics that set it apart from many other similar-sounding books:
Integrated Coverage of Servlets and JSP
One of the key philosophies behind Core Servlets and JavaServer Pages was that servlets and JSP should be learned (and used!) together, not separately. After all, they aren't two entirely distinct technologies: JSP is just a different way of writing servlets. If you don't know servlet programming, you can't use servlets when they are a better choice than JSP, you can't use the MVC architecture to integrate servlets and JSP, you can't understand complex JSP constructs, and you can't understand how JSP scripting elements work (since they are really just servlet code). If you don't understand JSP development, you can't use JSP when it is a better option than servlet technology, you can't use the MVC architecture, and you are stuck using print statements even for pages that consist almost entirely of static HTML.
In this book, an integrated approach is more important than ever. Web applications let you bundle both servlets and JSP pages into a single file or directory. The custom URLs, initialization parameters, preload settings, and session timeouts of the deployment descriptor apply equally to servlets and JSP pages. Declarative security applies equally to both technologies. The new filtering capability applies to both. Event listeners apply to both. The jx portion of the JSP standard tag library (JSTL) is mostly predicated on the assumption that the JSP page is presenting data that was established by a servlet. Servlets and JSP go together!
Real CodeSure, small code snippets are useful for introducing concepts. The book has lots of them. But, for you to really understand how to use various techniques, you also need to see the techniques in the context of complete working programs. Not huge programs: just ones that have no missing pieces and thus really run. I provide plenty of such programs, all of them documented and available for unrestricted use at
When I was a graduate student (long before Java existed), I had an Algorithms professor who explained in class that he was a believer in step-by-step instructions. I was puzzled: wasn't everyone? Not at all. Sure, most instructors explained simple tasks that way, but this professor took even highly theoretical concepts and said "first you do this, then you do that," and so on. The other instructors didn't explain things this way; neither did my textbooks. But, it helped me enormously.
If such an approach works even for theoretical subjects, how much more should it work with applied tasks like those described in this book?
Server Configuration and Usage Details
When I first tried to learn server-side programming, I grabbed a couple of books, the official specifications, and some online papers. Almost without fail, they said something like "since this technology is portable, we won't cover specifics of any one server." Aargh. I couldn't even get started. After hunting around, I downloaded a server. I wrote some code. How did I compile it? Where did I put it? How did I invoke it?
Servlet and JSP code is portable. The APIs are standardized. But, server structure and organization are not standardized. The directory in which you place your code is different on ServletExec than it is on JRun. You set up SSL differently with Tomcat than you do with other servers. These details are important.
Now, I'm not saying that this is a book that is specific to any particular server. I'm just saying that when a topic requires server-specific knowledge, it is important to say so. Furthermore, specific examples are helpful. So, when I describe a topic that requires server-specific information like the directory in which to place a Web application, I first explain the general pattern that servers tend to follow. Then, I give very specific details for three of the most popular servers that are available without cost for desktop development: Apache Tomcat, Macromedia/Allaire JRun, and New Atlanta ServletExec.
How This Book Is Organized
This book consists of five parts:
Part I: The Basics
Part II: Web Applications
Part III: Web Application Security
Part IV: Major New Servlet JSP Capabilities
Part V: New Tag Library Capabilities
About the Web Site
The book has a companion Web site at
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