Servlet Coverage That Goes Above the Call of Duty

Comprehensive coverage of servlets, JSP, database handling, application development, lucid and pragmatic.


Servlet development has quickly become one of the preferred choices when it comes to web service development. Accessible, easy to work with and capable of handling state using sessions, the proliferation of servlet engines and a portable interface makes tightly bound alternatives virtually obsolete. If you’re actively working with or plan to work with servlets, this books is a good purchase, covering the essentials but going a few steps further with an exploration of object databases as well as relational architectures.

The book is divided into 15 chapters and two appendices that document the Java Servlet API. Chapter 1 provides an overview of the servlet architecture. Chapter 2 helps you configure a development environment using either the Java Web Server or JRun. Chapters 3 and 4 look at servlet basics and HTML. Chapter 5 covers server side includes and Chapter 6 basic servlet chaining. Things start to get a little more interesting after that but the basics are more than useful, laying a good foundation for the rest of the book.

Chapter 7 looks at HTTP tunneling. Chapter 8 explores the Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) API. I liked Chapter 9 because it took a refreshing look at using object databases, something not typically touched on in an enterprise-oriented book. ObjectStore’s PSE is use for the examples. The use of servlet JavaBeans and Java Server Pages (JSP) are covered in chapter’s 10 and 11. Chapter 12 covers session handling, critical to building effective servlet-based applications. Chapter 13 looks at security, with good coverage of authentication and using SSL effectively. Chapter 14 provides a high-level look at distributed objects with RMI and CORBA. The final chapter builds an example online catalog application which provides a great look at some useful code.

There are several servlet books on the market today and some readers will ask why you might want to use this kind of architecture with Enterprise Java Beans around. The right answer is that you have to scale your solutions and build within your means. EJB is expensive and meant for enterprise applications with a large number of users. Servlets fill a need for simple, elegant web solutions and will remain a key technology for quite some time. This book does a good job exploring key issues and goes above the call of duty in numerous areas. A good investment for any servlet programmer.