JSP is a versatile and powerful way to create dynamic webpages. It is now possible to include server-based Java codes in the static web markup content. Sun released JSP in 1999 and it can be considered as an alternative to PHP and ASP. The web programming standard was intended to address the fact that Java language didn’t extend itself to the online environment.
Dynamic pages are compiled in the server and sent to the users’ web browser as HTML or XML documents. JSP or Java Server Pages is an open source Java-based programming language, which is easy to use. Those with basic knowledge in Java programming can quickly create JSP-based webpages. The language offers a variety of tag extensions and it also allows developers to integrate tag handlers.
The compiled webpages use “Java bytecode” instead of the native software format and they must be executed inside the JVM (Java virtual machine) that provide a platform-neutral environment. It means, JSP can easily run on any operating system and devices, as long as the JVM is installed properly. Scriptlets and markups are two basic content forms you can find in JSP syntax. Scriptlets are essentially a bunch of Java codes that can be combined with the markups, which are usually standard HTML pages. In general, when a user’s web browser requests the JSP-based webpage, the JSP code is executed in the server and relevant data is incorporated as needed. Finally, the HTML markups are added to create a complete webpage.
When choosing a JSP hosting, you should consider whether the web host:
* Provides reliable support to help you with issues related to JSP and other components of your website
* Doesn’t add unwanted banner ads or text somewhere on your website
* Uses adequate server. Server-based programming, such as JSP, can put heavy processing load on the server. If your website has thousands of visitors each day, there could be more than ten thousand of requests for JSP webpages in a single day. Consequently, you should make sure that your server is up to the task.
* Offers FTP access. You need FTP access to transfer your JSP codes to the server. It is also preferable if the file management system supports compression algorithm, so you can send many files as a single compressed file.
You should also make sure that the server is completely JSP-ready, for example the server should also have support for Java servlets. These are things that should have in your server.
- Apache Tomcat: It is required to run JSP and servlet. Tomcat is often employed as a standalone server for testing JSP pages and servlets. Unfortunately, setting up Tomcat is more difficult that do the commercial servlet engines.
- JSWDK (Java Server Web Developmet Kit): Just like Tomcat, it is also the official reference implementation of the JSP and servlet. You can use JWSDK for testing JSP pages and servlets before the actual deployment. It is reliable and free, although a little complicated to install and configure.
- Sun Java Web Server: A web server that’s written completely in Java. It is a natural environment to many Java-based platforms, including JSP and servlets.