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Servlet Articles

The popular press has fallen in love with servlets. Everywhere you turn these days there's another magazine article praising the virtues of Java servlets and JavaServer Pages (JSPs) and providing a "quick tutorial" on how to get started. It's fun to watch, but frankly, it's a little boring for those of us who understand the basics and want some real meat in our articles.

So... this page is a compiled list of meaty articles. The content in these articles should be of interest to someone who already has a basic understanding of servlets and wants to learn more.

The articles are ordered in reverse chronological order. If you know of any articles you think should be added, please write articles-idea at servlets dot com.

When you're done with these, there's also a page of O'Reilly Network articles covering servlet-related topics. They're not hand-selected like those below, but they're what's new this week. We use RSS to pull the feed and a Tea application to display it, which is also how the recent blog entries on the front page of this site are shown.

Don't Make that Pass! (JavaWorld, February, 2002)
A Java Tip about passing initialization parameters between servlets.
UI design with Tiles and Struts by Prakash Malani (JavaWorld, January, 2002)
By now we've all heard of Struts. Here you'll also hear about Tiles.
Start up the Velocity Template Engine by Geir Magnusson Jr (JavaWorld, December, 2001)
If you want to get started with Apache Velocity, this is a good starting point, written by a developer on Velocity.
Facilitate form processing with the Form Processing API 2.0 by Ilirjan Ostrovica (JavaWorld, October, 2001)
In introduction to the second version of a class library forforms processing.
Filter code with Servlet 2.3 model by Jason Hunter (JavaWorld, June, 2001)
This article examines several filters you can download for free on the web. The article examines what each filter does, how it works, and where you can get it. Included is a demonstration of a file upload filter to support multipart requests, based on the com.oreilly.servlet library.
Doclet Your Servlet by Jeremy Roschelle (JavaWorld, March, 2001)
An interesting article showing how to use the Doclet extension to Javadoc to document your web applications.
J2EE project dangers! by Humphrey Sheil (JavaWorld, March, 2001)
For those J2EE programmers out there. The advice for Danger 3 should be to use a templating technology other than JSP.
Servlets in Apache Tomcat and BEA Systems' WebLogic Server by Steven Gould (JavaWorld, February, 2001)
A primer to J2EE technologies.
Struts, an open-source MVC implementation clustering by Malcolm Davis(developerWorks, February, 2001) (New addition!)
A good introduction to the Struts framework.
J2EE clustering, Part 1 by Tarak Modi (JavaWorld, February, 2001)
How to create custom JSP tags to use with JMS. Doesn't sound like much fun.
Add the power of asynchronous processing to your JSPs by Abraham Kang (JavaWorld, February, 2001)
A primer to J2EE technologies.
Servlet 2.3: New features exposed by Jason Hunter(JavaWorld, January, 2001)
My comprehensive introduction on what to expect in Servlet API 2.3.
FreeMarker: An open alternative to JSP by Vincent DiBartolo (JavaWorld, January, 2001)
A templating technology many use instead of JSP.
Get the app out by Chang Sau Sheong (JavaWorld, January, 2001)
Digging into the interesting process of J2EE deployment.
Combine the power of XPath and JSP tag libraries by Stanley Santiago (JavaWorld, January, 2001)
An XPath custom tag library for JSPs.
Take control of the servlet environment, Part 3 by Thomas E. Davis and Craig Walker (JavaWorld, January, 2001)
Talking about cookies with subdomains.
Strut your stuff with JSP tags by Thor Kristmundsson (JavaWorld, December, 2000)
The Apache Struts framework.
Untangle your servlet code with reflection by Jeremy Roschelle
(JavaWorld, December, 2000)
Reflection tricks in servlets.
Develop n-tier applications using J2EE by Steven Gould (JavaWorld, December, 2000)
Some details on deploying web apps in Tomcat and BEA.
Take control of the servlet environment, Part 2 by Thomas E. Davis and Craig Walker (JavaWorld, December, 2000)
Using the Rudimental Servlet Extension Framework (RSEF) for session management.
Take control of the servlet environment, Part 1 by Thomas E. Davis and Craig Walker (JavaWorld, November, 2000)
Introducing the Rudimental Servlet Extension Framework (RSEF).
Solve your servlet-based presentation problems by Kevin Unger (JavaWorld, November, 2000)
Discussion of your various options for content creation.
JSP templates by David Geary (JavaWorld, September, 2000)
If you're going to use JSP for templating, why not use a real templating engine?
Using XML and JSP together by Alex Chaffee (JavaWorld, March, 2000)
An excellent article showing how to use XML on your web site for simple database tasks, using JSP as the display. A fun, easy read. developers thinking of using EJB back-ends.

JavaServer Pages: Panacea or Quagmire by Rich Katz (Java Skyline, March 8, 2000)
Asks the question, "As designers wade through oceans of requests to take advantage of powerful Java server and EJB capabilities, does JSP help or is it just another swamp?"

JSP/Servlet Architecture Performances by Yannick Bessy (TrendMarkers, March 2000)
A comparison of JSP and servlet performance for a database-intensive web application. Executive summary: JSP was 23.4% slower. developers thinking of using EJB back-ends.

Java servlet books: A comparative review by John Zukowski (JavaWorld, March 2000)
A comparative review of nine servlet books. "Java Servlet Programming" was the only servlet-specific book to receive the highest 5-star rating!
developers thinking of using EJB back-ends.

EJBs from a critical perspective by Philip Mougin (TechMetrix, December 1999)
An in-depth examination of whether EJBs should be used for business object modeling, with a conclusion the technology and servers are not yet sufficiently mature. A must read for servlet developers thinking of using EJB back-ends.

Servlet Programming for Teams: How Java Programmers and HTML Designers Can Collaborate Using XML by Benoît Marchal (Netscape View Source, undated)
Demonstrates how a servlet can generate XML data that's converted to HTML by an XSL stylesheet, providing a full separation of content from presentation.

Spilling the Beans on Java Application Servers by Richard Hoffman and Anthony Frey with Mike Lee (Network Computing, November 1, 1999)
A comparison between most of the popular high-end application servers: BEA Systems WebLogic Server 4.0, InfoSpinner ForeSite Application Server 3.0.2, Lutris Technologies Enhydra Java/XML Application Server 2.2, Secant Technologies Secant Extreme Enterprise Server (EES) for EJB, and TSI Software's Novera 4.6.

Building Your Own JSP Components by Duane K. Fields and Mark Kolb (iPlanet ViewSource, undated)
A full introduction to utilizing JavaBeans with JSP. Before jumping into beans, be sure to look at the "Model 2" architecture alternative covered in the article below. You may also want to look at template engines like WebMacro (listed on the tools page) which is like "Model 2" without the sometimes-hairy JSP syntax.

Understanding JavaServer Pages Model 2 architecture by Govind Seshadri (JavaWorld, December 1999)
A look at what's probably the most elegant way to use JSPs. Basically, it's a model-view-controller architecture with a servlet acting as a controller and one or more JSP pages acting as the views. This keeps Java code out of the JSP page, while also letting the same request result in more than one potential output page look. In a sense, it uses the JSP like a template (which makes me wonder why we didn't just use templates to begin with).

Java Server Pages for the ASP Developer by Cindy Nordahl (ASP Today, October 1999)
One ASP developer's look at JSP. It's mostly a fair comparison, though there are several technical inaccuracies and JSP syntax bugs. The most important one is where she says Java on the server appears sluggish compared to VB. Has anyone written a high-performance commercially successful application server in VB? I didn't think so.

What's new in Java Servlet API 2.2? by Jason Hunter (JavaWorld, October 1999)
An article I wrote describing everything that changed between Servlet API 2.1 and 2.2. Check out the new "web app" capability!

Java System Properties by M. Gallant (personal site, February 1999)
A few code snippets to display the system properties of your servlet environment. I find the java.class.path value most useful.

Introducing the new Servlet API 2.1 by Jason Hunter (JavaWorld, December 1998)
An article by me, and a JavaWorld cover story! I provide a complete description of what's changed since Servlet API 2.0.

Build servlet-based enterprise Web applications by Paul Philion (JavaWorld, December 1998)
A few tips for writing efficient servlets, and a neat hack for generating a "Please Wait" page.


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Last updated: March 1, 2009