Hello Tomcat, goodbye Wildfly

Marek Gregor

May 15 2019, 2 min read

How we have chosen the default web server for the next D2000 autumn version V12.1.?

Choosing the right application server for the Java web application was never an easy decision. Every server has its own strengths and weaknesses, therefore deciding the correct one for a specific use case could be a daunting task. Throughout the history of D2000 SCADA web solutions, we have experienced the deployment of several different application servers ranging from full-scale Java EE servers like Wildfly/JBoss to simple web engine containers like Jetty. Realizing that every server has its own quirks in configuration, deployment, and maintenance, we decided to focus solely on one server. The approach to deploying applications only on a single application server brings one important advantage – conjunction in gaining experience and skills in deployment, configuration, and maintenance of the server. Simply said, if you have one application server, you do not need to diversify your learning curve, and benefit from the "learn once, apply everywhere" paradigm.

After a thorough analysis, we decided to choose the Apache Tomcat web server as "the chosen one". Tomcat has a specific position among Java application servers which makes it the winner of our decision. Firstly Tomcat is not a full-blown Java EE server which brings, on one hand, simplicity of configuration, maintenance and error analysis. On the other hand, this forces our developers of D2000 Smart Web/ Thin Client modules to integrate missing Java EE libraries into an application server. In spite of this, the simplicity allows us to fully integrate Tomcat into a standard D2000 process architecture. So the SCADA maintainer could start the web server in the same way as another process of D2000 in order to see designed schemes on the web (via the Thin Client module) or design/develop their own responsive web pages working with data from D2000 (via the Smart Web module). This brings a much-needed simplicity of deploying web technologies to our SCADA system, together with a possibility to deploy web applications to a separately installed Tomcat server instance e.g. in a demilitarized zone, thus not sacrificing the flexibility of deployment.

On top of that, using Apache Tomcat brings high-level long-term open-source support and bug fixing release interval benefiting from the fact that Tomcat has more than 60% of the Java application server market share. Together with a big user base and a lot of published solutions and available professionals, we believe that choosing Tomcat is the right decision which brings added value to our customers’ solutions.

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