WebSphere and Serlets

By:  Bob Cancilla
Title:  AS/400 Internet Practioner
Date:  05/13/1999 - 02:56 PM (UCT)


I have read pages and pages of IBM material on WebSphere and have asked the question why WebSphere? What does it do for you? What
does the WebSphere servlet interface do for you that CGI or NET.DATA
does NOT do for you.

Recently I had the opportuntity to correspond with Keith Rutledge, the
Java Segment Owner of IBM's AS/400e Brand Technology Team and asked him the questions. Here is Keith's response posted with his permission:

"CGI programs must be started every time they run. In other words, you must start the program every time or find a "trick" to make it stay resident. Servlets have the ability to start when the servlet JVM starts and stay loaded and "hot".

Servlets are Java and therefore can be threaded and can use the OS/400
native threading model.

Websphere also has a database connection pooling and caching object (really a servlet) that helps performance in DB-intensive applications.

The next point may be good or bad. Servlets live a structured life (init, service, and destroy) that is similar to applets and that can make for more reliable code.

Servlets are Java programs that can use the more than 300 AS/400 Toolbox for Java components (classes) to access the AS/400.

Servlets are Java programs that are subject to the Java security model and are less likely to be hacked easily.

I'm sure there are other advantages, but those should be a good starting point."

As I told Keith, this is one of the best explanations of WebSphere and Servlets that I have seen or heard yet!

One point though, some of the advantages that Keith quotes above are also obtainable via Persistent CGI in IBM's V4R3 HTTP Server and via
Net.Data's use of this facility at V4R3.

It appears we have something for everyone.

Bob C.

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