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Servlet Engine Installation Guide


Introduction

findinsite-js is a Java servlet.  It is a program that must be run in a server that supports Java servlets. This usually means installing a servlet engine and connecting it up to your existing server.  Please refer to our servers page for details of servers and servlet engines.

Please consult our Getting Started Guide for an overview of how to get findinsite-js, set up your server, install and configure findinsite-js.  Get the findinsite-js software from the Download page.


After an important Technical Preamble, this page gives some advice on installing a Java servlet engine and connecting it up to your web server.
Some types of servlet engine can be used for free for testing purposes on your own computer without necessarily connecting it up to a full web server.

Once your servlet engine is installed, please see the findinsite-js Installation Guide covering typical servlet engines.

If you have any questions on servlet engine installation, please contact sales/support.


Technical preamble

Please read this section explaining the jargon carefully.

Servlet engine

A servlet engine runs servlets like findinsite-js.  Servlets are programs that respond dynamically to user requests.

The findinsite-js servlet responds to search questions with a web page containing the results sheet of hits.

Test computer

It is common to test findinsite-js on your own computer first before installing it on your main web server.

When testing on your own computer, you do not need to use a full web address, such as http://www.phdcc.com/.  Instead, on almost all computers a web address of http://localhost/ refers to your own computer.

If clicking on http://localhost/ does not work, then you do not have a web server installed (or enabled) on your own computer.  Don't worry - you can still test findinsite-js using a servlet engine web server, but you will not be able to connect it up to your own test web server (although you can install a web server for most types of computer pretty easily).

Servlet Web server

In addition to your main web server, each servlet engine also usually provides its own web server so that it can respond directly to requests, so you might have two (or more) web servers on your computer.

The Apache JServ servlet engine must be connected to the main Apache server because JServ does not include a servlet web server.

Ports

Having two web servers on a computer is achieved using ports.  Each web server responds at a specific port.  A port is just a number between 0 and 65535.

A standard web server always responds at port 80, so http://www.findinsite.info:80/ is exactly the same as http://www.findinsite.info/.

The web server provided by a servlet engine will use a different port number which you can usually choose, eg a web server at port 8080 on your computer should respond to this URL: http://localhost:8080/.  (If you are not at the standard web port of 80, please choose a value in the range 1024 to 65535.)

findinsite-js on a Servlet web server

As an example, on a servlet web server, findinsite-js might be found at this URL: http://localhost:8111/findinsite/servlet/findinsitejs.

In this case, the servlet web server responds at port 8111 on your computer localhost.  The last part of the URL, ie /findinsite/servlet/findinsitejs, tells the servlet engine which servlet it should run.

Connector

During initial testing, you will probably run findinsite-js direct from the servlet engine web server.

However, you will soon want to connect your main web server to your servlet engine.  When connected up, your main server will divert some requests to be handled by the servlet engine, eg all requests that start /servlets might be passed to the servlet engine.

Using this example, this request to your test main server http://localhost/servlets/findinsite/servlet/findinsitejs asks the servlet engine to run findinsite-js.

Your main web server and the servlet engine are usually connected together using a port.  This port number is usually different from the servlet web server port number, so the connector port number might be 57000.

When connected to the main web server, you may well decide to disable the servlet web server, so that the servlet engine only responds to requests that come from the main server via the connector.

Example final set up

In a typical findinsite-js scenario, two computers are set up: your own computer for testing, and your main web server.  In some cases, eg on an Intranet, these may be the same computer.

While you can usually set up your own computer, only your site's webmaster or your ISP may be able to set up your main server.

Here is an example of a typical final set up.  Most links are likely not to work now.  See below for possible alternative URLs.

Computer Port Description
Test
computer
80 Test main web server
Home page is at http://localhost/
findinsite-js is at http://localhost/servlets/findinsite/servlet/findinsitejs
8080 Test servlet web server
findinsite-js is at http://localhost:8080/findinsite/servlet/findinsitejs
57000 Connector between test main server and test servlet engine.
Your
main
server
80 Main web server
Home page is at http://www.findinsite.info/
findinsite-js is at http://www.findinsite.info/findinsitejs/searchjs
57000 Connector between the main server and servlet engine
Note The servlet web server is disabled.

Macromedia JRun usually supplies two servlet web servers, so the Test and/or Main server computers will usually have another "Admin" web server at a different port.


Servlet Engine Installation

Installing a servlet engine is usually fairly painless. It is a two stage process:
  1. Install the servlet engine. Test that you can run servlets.
  2. Connect the servlet engine to your main web server. Test your servlets again.


Servlet Engine Installation

Obviously, each Servlet Engine is different, and therefore the installation instructions will vary.

A servlet engine needs a Java runtime environment.  The servlet engine may come with a built-in Java runtime environment, or you may need to get some more software.  A servlet engine that runs JSP may also need a Java compiler - again this may or may not be included.

You usually just install the servlet engine and its servlet web server first.  You can usually delay connecting up the servlet engine to your main web server until later.

Some servlet engines have nice installation programs that set everything up for you.  In other cases, you will have to edit one or two set up files before the software will run.  In particular, you may need to choose (or change) the port number for the servlet web server and the connector.  You may also need to set the server name. In some cases, you may need to set environment variables on your computer.

Some servlet engines can be run in different ways.  In Windows NT/2000/XP/Vista/7 some servlet engines can be run as a service, which means that they start whenever the computer starts.  An alternative is to run the servlet engine as an ordinary program, which means you have start it by hand, eg from the Windows Start menu.  If you make changes to the servlet environment, eg by adding findinsite-js or by altering initialisation parameters, then you may have to restart the servlet engine.  Being able to stop and start the servlet engine easily is useful when testing.  Some tools provide a web interface that makes it easy to restart the servlet engine.

Once you have installed your servlet engine, check that you can access its web server home page, eg if you installed the server at port 8111 on your own computer, this URL should work: http://localhost:8111/.  Have a look round the supplied web pages, and check that any supplied servlets run satisfactorily.

You can now try to connect the servlet engine up to your main server.  Or you can leave it until later and jump straight to the findinsite-js Installation Guide.

Servlet engines

If you have one of these Java servlet engines installed, then the relevant page will describe more servlet engine configuration options.


Connecting your Servlet Engine to your main server

As described above, you need to connect your servlet engine to your main web server for it to process findinsite-js search requests.

Again, each Servlet Engine and Server is different, so there are quite a few permutations of installation instructions.  Please consult the servlet engine documentation for full details.

You may need to stop your main web server before attempting to connect to it.  Once connected up, you typically need to restart your main server.

Some servlet engines provide tools to automate the process of connecting to your web server.  In Macromedia JRun, the "JRun Management Console" automates most of the tasks; however for at least one server type, the Microsoft IIS server, we found that we needed to consult the documentation for the final connection steps.

For other servlet engines, such Apache JServ, the main Apache server configuration files need to be altered considerably.  To make it easier, JServ provides example files that can be pasted into the Apache server configuration files, with little or no alteration.

In almost all cases you will need to specify a connector port number.  See above for an explanation of ports and a connector.

Similarly, you will usually need to specify a connection point for the servlet engine.  A connection point is sometimes called a context path.  You could make the context path /servlets so that all requests to the main server that have /servlets at the start of the path are sent to the servlet engine for processing.

As an example, if you specified /servlets as the connector context for the findinsite-js servlet engine on your test computer, then http://localhost/servlets/ will display the servlet engine home page.  With the same context path, http://localhost/servlets/findinsite/servlet/findinsitejs will usually run findinsite-js.

In some cases, the connector context is empty, so findinsite-js would appear at http://localhost/findinsite/servlet/findinsitejs.
Please see the note below for possible alternatives to these URLs.


Advanced configuration

There are many advanced ways to configure a servlet engine, and its connection to the web server.

For a start, you may want to turn off the servlet engine web server functionality and only allow access via the main server connector.

Other possible options include increasing the memory allocation pool, setting up multiple servlet contexts, multiple private or shared Java Virtual Machines or supporting virtual hosts.  You can usually configure multi-threading support and session timeouts.

Please see your servlet engine documentation for details of these tasks.


URLs

Your choice of server, servlet engine and context path might change the URLs that you have to use to run findinsite-js.  You might also need to adjust some settings in the findinsite-js configuration screen.

In all the examples below, a host name of localhost has been used.  If you are setting up your main server, then substitute your web domain name instead, eg www.findinsite.info, ie http://www.findinsite.info/findinsitejs/searchjs

Contact sales/support if you need further help running findinsite-js.

The findinsite-js welcome page has a search form for several common types of servlet engine. See these pages for likely URLs and any post-installation changes required for these types of servlet engine:

Context path

As described above, your computer may have a main web server and a servlet web server running at the same time, each using different ports. In a URL, the path after the host name may be different for each web server.

For example, suppose a servlet engine has a web server at port 8111 on your own computer. If the context path for the findinsite-js Web Application is /findinsite then you should be able to access findinsite-js using this URL: http://localhost:8111/findinsite/servlet/findinsitejs.  (If you used a context path of /haggis for the findinsite-js Web Application, then findinsite-js would appear at http://localhost:8111/haggis/servlet/findinsitejs.)

Now, suppose the servlet engine is connected to your main server via context path /servlets then findinsite-js will be visible on the main server at this URL: http://localhost/servlets/findinsite/servlet/findinsitejs.

For some server connectors, the connector context path is empty, so findinsite-js would appear on the main server at: http://localhost/findinsite/servlet/findinsitejs.)

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Last modified: 14 September 2005.

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