Tomcat Announces 7 Beta Release
More than three years since the release of Tomcat 6, the popular Java web server, the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) has announced the first beta of Tomcat 7. To date, Tomcat has been downloaed over ten million times, according to the ASF. The new beta fully implements Java Servlet 3.0, Java Server Pages (JSP) 2.2 and Expression Language (EL) 2.2 specifications that were part of the "Java EE 6" specification (Java Enterprise Edition) finalised in December 2009. As a result, the runtime environment supports only Java Runtime Environment (JRE) 6.0 which has, in turn, necessitated updating the integrated Eclipse compiler.
The developers have been also been working in particular on security and performance for Tomcat 7. Changes are visible, for example, in the Manager and Host Manager web application which now have new authorisation roles and their own URLs. To make memory leaks from Web applications in the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) easier to identify, the Manager application now contains a button to a URL (http://localhost:8080/manager/html/findleaks) to perform an analysis of memory usage. Re-factoring of the Tomcat 7 code has led to improved safety, adaptability, stability and integration within the security manager, connectors, MBean registration, Jasper integration and life-cycle managers which have all seen extensive work.
By supporting the Servlet 3.0 specification, the configuration of cookies (about the new class SessionCookieConfig), file upload, annotation based configuration, and asynchronous communication have been incorporated. Web-fragment.xml support offers modularised configuration and makes use of the ServletContext for dynamic configuration of web applications. The Comet classes, used for asynchronous processing of requests, have been moved to org.apache.catalina.comet, allowing it to work under a security manager. There are also minor changes in the validation of the behaviour of the XML descriptors. It is also possible to use some valves as a filter.
Although Tomcat 7 is backwards compatible with its two previous versions, the migration of most applications on the new version will probably take until next year but the new version is especially relevant to users who want to use HTTP push communications. The changelog for version 7.0 summarises the changes made and the bug tracker lists current outstanding issues. The beta version of Tomcat 7 is available to download and the final version of Tomcat 7 is expected in the fall.
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