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9/22/2009
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MuleSoft Offers Tomcat Server For Web Apps

Tcat Server is based on the Apache Tomcat Server. Tcat can be used to manage Tomcat either in the cloud, or on premises behind a firewall.

MuleSoft, supplier of the lightweight open source enterprise service bus, Mule, is adding a lightweight application server to its portfolio, Tcat Server.

MuleSoft is the renamed MuleSource, an open source company headed by Ross Mason that sells enterprise subscriptions for the Mule ESB. Tcat Server is an addition to MuleSoft's offerings based on the Apache Tomcat Server. Tomcat is a specific kind of application server; it's designed to run Java server or Servlet commands of a Java application.

Mason said in the announcement that Tcat Server represents a new type of application server that will be used as "Web middleware." Tcat Server can be used to manage from one location instances of Tomcat that are either in the cloud or on premises behind the firewall.

An IT manager using Tcat can administer groups of servers, provision applications to run under Tcat, and perform diagnostic functions. Applications developed to work with Tcat Server can connect to other applications, databases and other backend data sources and services located in the cloud.

Tcat Server includes a feature, iBeans, for connecting the application server to specific outside sources of information, using Web services, Java Messaging Service, or other messaging systems, RSS feeds, RESTful services or AJAX events, all standardized technologies. IBeans already exists to connect Java applications to such sources as Twitter, Gmail, Flickr, and Amazon EC2, Mason said.

Tcat Server with iBeans allows Java programmers to quickly build applications without hand coding APIs and network protocols.

"Tcat Server and iBeans lets developers integrate an application with external services using a few simple annotations," said Mason in the announcement. Annotations are a time-saving practice in Java programming that allow a developer to put a metatag on a piece of code, then call up the code again by citing the tag. A data type declaration could be annotated and invoked elsewhere in the program with just the tag.

IBeans can be created by programmers in a few minutes and can be reused as an integration component, Mason said.

The Tcat Server with iBeans was designed to fill a gap between traditional enterprise transaction applications and Web applications that need to be built quickly and connect to other resources, either inside or outside the enterprise, he said.


InformationWeek has published an in-depth report on application development. Download the report here (registration required).

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