ava technology has maintained a strong foothold in the Web development world since Java Servlets and JSP hit the scene more than 6 years ago. Java technologies are mature and particularly well adopted in the enterprise where they are used on a variety of large scale Web applications.
There are, of course, alternatives to using JSP, servlets, and Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB) to build Web applications. Simpler scripting languages such as PHP have achieved great success for many reasons, most notably that they have a short learning curve and wide availability for hosting. Then there is ASP and the .NET framework; these center around Microsoft operating systems and server software. If you run Windows, chances are you already have IIS running on your computer and you can very quickly write a simple ASP page that performs some action.
|What You Need
|General programming skills, some experience with Web programming in any language. Access to a database or installation of a local database and basic SQL knowledge. This article uses SQL Server 2000 but can be applied to any database.
All platforms/languages are similar in some ways and dissimilar in others, however Java is frequently perceived to be a more difficult introduction to Web programming. It is true that as platform freedom and flexibility increase, so does complexity. And thus, Java technologies are at least potentially more complicated than their counterparts. But this is slowly changing. JSP 2.0 has new ease-of-development features that increase the use of simple tags and decrease the amount of Java code you need to make high performance Web applications. And, happily, this means that a Java-based Web site is well within reach for almost any Web developer.
In this tutorial, I'll show how to get a Java-based Web site up and running quickly, even if you have little or no Java experience. I'll show you how to install the latest and greatest version of Apache Tomcat, do a quick overview of the new JSP 2.0 tag libraries (JSP Standard Tag Library or JSTL), and write a JSP page that will connect to and retrieve data from a database.
At the conclusion of this tutorial you will have created a database-driven dynamic Web page (see Figure 1) that will display results from a database table and allow you to insert new records using a form.
|Figure 1. The Finished Product. At the conclusion of this tutorial you will have created this database-driven dynamic Web page.|