13.3 Frontending Tomcat with Apache

Mac OS X includes a default installation of the popular, effective web server Apache. In fact, the " personal web sharing" functionality of Mac OS X, available from the Network control panel, merely provides a nice graphical user interface on top of the Apache web server.

Figure 13-10 illustrates the browser and servers installed to handle a Java-based n-tier web application. Apache receives requests from the client browser for dynamically generated application content and then forwards them to the Java application server, which can then build a response from the SQL database. Apache handles client-browser requests for static content (such as images or large downloadable files) directly.

Figure 13-10. Four-tier application

To get Tomcat 4.0.4 and Apache to talk to each other, either download and build the source for the connector yourself or download a prebuilt binary. Fortunately, Chad Thompson has already provided instructions on how to do this at O'Reilly's macdevcenter.com, available at http://www.macdevcenter.com/pub/a/mac/2002/08/20/tomcat_integration.html.