JavaServer Pages Overview

Contents
 
Benefits for Developers
JSP Technology and Java Servlets
Community Background
 
JavaServer Pages (JSP) technology enables Web developers and designers to rapidly develop and easily maintain, information-rich, dynamic Web pages that leverage existing business systems. As part of the Java technology family, JSP technology enables rapid development of Web-based applications that are platform independent. JSP technology separates the user interface from content generation, enabling designers to change the overall page layout without altering the underlying dynamic content.
 
Benefits for Developers
If you are a Web page developer or designer who is familiar with HTML, you can:
  • Use JSP technology without having to learn the Java language: You can use JSP technology without learning how to write Java scriplets. Although scriptlets are no longer required to generate dynamic content, they are still supported to provide backward compatibility.
  • Extend the JSP language: Java tag library developers and designers can extend the JSP language with "simple tag handlers," which utilize a new, much simpler and cleaner, tag extension API. This spurs the growing number of pluggable, reusable tag libraries available, which in turn reduces the amount of code needed to write powerful Web applications.
  • Easily write and maintain pages: The JavaServer Pages Standard Tag Library (JSTL) expression language is now integrated into JSP technology and has been upgraded to support functions. The expression language can now be used instead of scriptlet expressions.
 
JSP Technology and Java Servlets
JSP technology uses XML-like tags that encapsulate the logic that generates the content for the page. The application logic can reside in server-based resources (such as JavaBeans component architecture) that the page accesses with these tags. Any and all formatting (HTML or XML) tags are passed directly back to the response page. By separating the page logic from its design and display and supporting a reusable component-based design, JSP technology makes it faster and easier than ever to build Web-based applications.

JavaServer Pages technology is an extension of the Java Servlet technology. Servlets are platform-independent, server-side modules that fit seamlessly into a Web server framework and can be used to extend the capabilities of a Web server with minimal overhead, maintenance, and support. Unlike other scripting languages, servlets involve no platform-specific consideration or modifications; they are application components that are downloaded, on demand, to the part of the system that needs them. Together, JSP technology and servlets provide an attractive alternative to other types of dynamic Web scripting/programming by offering: platform independence; enhanced performance; separation of logic from display; ease of administration; extensibility into the enterprise; and, most importantly, ease of use.

Today servlets are a popular choice for building interactive Web applications. Third-party servlet containers are available for Apache Web Server, Microsoft IIS, and others. Servlet containers are usually a component of Web and application servers, such as BEA WebLogic Application Server, IBM WebSphere, Sun Java System Web Server, Sun Java System Application Server, and others.
 
Community Background
The JSP specification is the product of industry-wide collaboration with industry leaders in the enterprise software and tools markets, led by Sun Microsystems. Sun has made the JSP specification freely available to the developer community, with the goal that every Web server and application server will support the JSP interface. JSP pages share the "Write Once, Run Anywhere" advantages of Java technology. JSP technology is a key component in the Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition, Sun's highly scalable architecture for enterprise applications.

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