Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Getting Started - JSP

I realized that not every time you could closely work on project with different technology or platform, even if you had power to do so. In this case we get the opportunity to develop a project using JSP, which is something new to us. But one thing for sure, it takes lots of energy and guts to start kicking. So whoever reading this post, this is how we execute the project from ground up.

What is JSP? Java Server Pages (JSP) are an afterbirth of Java Servlets. When Java Servlets were introduced it opened many avenues to a Java programmer. Java became a full fledged application server programming language

Before to get started, the first thing you need to do is to setup the environment for JSP programming. As with any other Java technology, the first obvious tool you need is of course the JDK. If you do not have any JDK installed you can start by downloading and installing JDK. Unlike any other Java program which can run on a JRE (Java runtime environment) a JSP page needs a JSP container to run

A JSP container is nothing but a web server such as Apache or Tomcat that supports JSP hosting. So you will need to download and install Tomcat. Other servers that supports JSP hosting are BEA weblogic, IBM's Websphere or SUN's Sun Java Application server. While all these servers require a licence before you can use, tomcat is free. Tomcat has evolved to be a very stable and open source server and is widely in use in many commercial applications. So for all your development as well as hosting your JSP applications you can use Tomcat. But if you feel adventurous, the other option is GlassFish server.

Once you have these two, the next step is to get an IDE for Java development. There are many quality IDE such as Codewarrior, JBuilder, Borland etc. There are also a few free development tools such as the Sun Java Studio or the Net beans current version 6.0.1 (as in current posting date) or Eclipse.

So you should have any combination of the above three tools for JSP programming and JSP hosting. An ideal total open source free combination will be JDK, Tomcat and Netbeans. Once you have installed these three you are ready to learn the fundamentals of JSP and start coding and testing.

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