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From "Chris Beckey" <>
Subject server configuration - shared appBase in multiple Host elements
Date Tue, 29 Jan 2008 14:30:06 GMT
The question: has anyone tried to share a web application (appBase) between
multiple virtual hosts?

Background: the project I'm working on is a number of web applications that
front a number (100's) of instances of a legacy application accessed through
a custom protocol.  The number of Tomcat hosts will be less than the number
of legacy data stores (i.e. one Tomcat host will front N instances of the
legacy application).  Each legacy app instance has its own authentication
and authorization data store, which must be passed through so that the
Tomcat applications use that for its A&A.  A custom Realm has been coded and
is working (it must know which legacy application instance to connect to).
There are multiple web applications, dependent on the interface provided to
their clients (apps have different protocols and function).  The number of
interfaces (web applications) will increase over time.
The plan of record is to have a virtual host per legacy app, and web apps
for each interface provided.  The core of all of the applications resides in
shared, common or server.
Deployed conventionally, each host would have its own appbase, into which
multiple web applications would be deployed.  If a particular host fronts 3
legacy applications, each of which has 4 web apps then there would be total
of 12 web apps to deploy, maintain, update, etc ...  multiplied by 100's of
servers makes maintenance rather more difficult than desired (our
development group of 4 will probably end up doing much of the maintenance
and installation).
To reduce the number of deployed applications while still maintaining the
relation of Realm to legacy application instance, I tried deploying all of
the web apps to a single directory and declaring multiple hosts with the
same appBase value.  Each host has its own Realm configured for it.
Initial testing was positive but its the kind of thing that just looks like
it could cause trouble.  So back to the original question, has anyone tried
this under load/production and how did it work?


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