Apache Tomcat is considered to be the most preferred and regular web application container on the market. It is the first java web server that implement Java EE Servlet specification. It has been donated to Apache Software Foundation by Sun Microsystem in 1999, from then on it is called Jakarta Tomcat as well as Apache Tomcat gradually.
It has been created very long ago, it is very easy to use with a lot of sample configuration. And it’s community is very active with a long history. It will only cost you few minutes to download and setup, after that you can use it as you require. You can run it on your local test machine with really few configuration, but you can also tuned it considerably to get the best performance when deploy it on high accessibility and huge traffic website. For example you can use Tomcat clusters to manage huge traffic reliably.
But It only offers a simple admin console for fundamental jobs, for example deploy or undeploy web applications. Web managers should use a set of Java properties and XML files for more settings. it does not provide several Java EE features due to the fact it is not really a full Java EE application server.
But it is an easy control and running fast web container, it is very popular in current web application development. You can run Java Server Pages (JSP) or servlet based web applications in it. You can also run Struts, Spring, Java Server Faces etc with it because they all depend on servlet.
Apache Tomcat has a HTTP connector that listen on 8080 server port by default, thus you can use it as a HTTP server. However the efficiency of Tomcat is not better than designated web server, for instance the Apache HTTP server.
Additionally, you can deploy / run / debug it within most Java IDEs, with these tools you can make your web application development more easier and faster.
Above is just the overview of Apache Tomcat. I will show you how to install, config as well as how to deploy, debug java web applications use eclipse in subsequent articles. Keep reading.