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From Christopher Schultz <>
Subject Re: [S1] Application container during development for fastest code/test cycle?
Date Wed, 02 May 2007 22:39:46 GMT
Hash: SHA1


Antony Stubbs wrote:
> We're developing a Struts application which will be deployed onto
> Websphere eventually.

Honestly, it's best to develop on the save application server that you
intend to use for production. Standard APIs are all well and good, but
sometimes they are not implemented exactly the same way or they have
quirks, etc. Also, configuration /will/ be very different and it's best
to get lots of testing worked-into your configuration as well as your
code. Just my 0.02.

> However, I find Websphere very heavy weight do use during development
> - publishing seems to take for ever, and seems as thought for many
> changes it must be restarted.

This will be true for most containers... some operations simply require
a (manual) restart to pick some things up. You can rig Tomcat to watch
certain resources (such as struts-config.xml) and automatically reload
the webapp when they change. I'm sure this option is available in other
containers as well.

> What's a common container to use during development that will
> facilitate the fastest (computer burden-wise) code, deploy, test,
> code, deploy, test cycles etc?

That's a matter of taste, but I happen to use Tomcat. We also use Tomcat
for deployment, so it's only natural for us to use it in development, too.

> I've tried Tomcat, and that seems to work better, but it still has to
> be restarted (well, eclipse (RAD actually) seems to insist on
> restarting it). Jetty? And are there any guides out there to guide in
> setting up the fastest environment?

I don't use an IDE myself... just ant from the command-line to build,
deploy, and restart the container (if necessary). I find that my
development style favors larger changes being deployed all at once
instead of, say, whenever a single source file changes (as might be the
case when using an IDE that compiles directly into the deployment
directory). I find this more convenient because the webapp reloads less
often -- that is, only when I explicitly need it to reload.

> Is there anyway to get changes instantaneously viewable aka Grails /
> Rails etc?

I don't anything about .*[Rr]ails but with a Java app server the entire
webapp generally has to be reloaded to pick up a class file change. JSPs
can usually be reloaded independently from the webapp itself.

> I will need to setup JNI for the datasource (DB2 and Oracle) in the 
> container, and even better have the container support
> j_security_check.

I doubt you'd find a Java app server that doesn't support JNDI (I assume
you meant JNDI and not JNI) for data sources. j_security_check is a part
of the servlet spec, so every compliant servlet container will support
it (in one way or another). My experience is that most app servers
support j_security_check to the minimum extent possible, so you'll
probably be fine no matter what.

- -chris
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