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I've got plenty of experience working with Linux, PHP deployments but I'm essentially a front end designer. I will need to deploy an application for which I've designed the front end that uses a J2EE backend.

The developers of the backend have recommended Tomcat as the appropriate package to deploy upon.

Will I be able to deploy the Tomcat server by simply googling around for a day? Or is it more complicated than that?

And when I say deploy, I mean deploying something that runs in an environment with about 5,000 transactions a day some of it being credit card details.

If I do need a professional, what are these people called? Java administrators? Or will I need a developer to do this?

My budget is kinda low at this point in time, that's the reason I'm asking.

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Tomcat is not a J2EE container; It is a servlet container. A J2EE container is a servlet container plus a bunch of java standards and libraries which are used for enterprise applications. This includes JMS, JTA and EJB. Tomcat doesn't come with all these technologies, but it's possible to put them together yourself. A J2EE container like JBoss has them already.

However, if your developers recommend Tomcat, then Tomcat should do the job. Theoretically, tomcat should be as simple as downloading and extracting the tomcat tarball, copying your .war file to the webapps directory and then running ./bin/ Of course, practice isn't always this simple if you need to do anything strange. The logging from tomcat and your application may not always provide you with obvious clues as to what is wrong. The usual method is to increase the logging levels. I would learn log4j configuration. Setting things to DEBUG and filtering out unneeded classes will help you a lot.

5,000 transactions a day is fairly light and a standard install of tomcat should support this without any tweaking quite happily. We do 3-5M page serves on a set of 10 tomcat servers without trouble. You may want to use Apache in front of your tomcat and use mod_jk or mod_proxy_ajp to talk to Tomcat. This will give you the configurability of Apache, with things like mod_rewrite and mod_deflate, that Tomcat doesn't support without you programming it yourself.

I'd recommend reading through the Tomcat documentation and Tomcat: The Definitive Guide

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The key here is credit card details. You need a deployment that's as solid as you can get, or you risk a very expensive and unpopular problem in future!

You may be able to find someone with the right experience by networking with other local professionals and businesses, and still save money. Whether you do find or hire someone, or go it alone, be sure to run a couple of vulnerability scans over it before placing it in production and keep scanning it regularly.

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Check out:

to get an idea of the best practices around securing tomcat.


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You mentioned Credit Cards.

Tomcat is usually deployed behind Apache web server and performs any business logic necessary. Apache enjoys a large corporate investment (as well as a rather large community) providing up-to-date security patches and makes a fast/secure front-end for the excellent Tomcat!


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