Most users are familiar with HTML, and virtually everyone who owns a computer today is familiar with web browsers. The previous chapter introduced relational databases, but didn't discuss how to web-enable the information you're storing. This chapter covers that topic and provides a way for you to put a face on your web application. If you're already a web or J2EE developer, much of this material will be familiar, although you'll encounter several Mac OS X twists along the way. If you've never played in the enterprise Java space, this chapter should whet your appetite for Mac OS X and get you moving in the right direction.
This chapter assumes that you've installed a database (in particular, MySQL) and that you'd now like to present information to the end user. Two Java technologies are ideal for this task: JavaServer Pages (JSP) and Java servlets. JSP is a specification and technology that lets a developer create HTML pages with embedded bits of Java code. Servlets are a more code-oriented technology and are not based on HTML pages; however, they still simplify HTML generation, and are excellent for producing web-based user interfaces. This chapter details how to run these components in your Mac OS X environment.