Tomcat is the servlet container that is used in the official Reference Implementation for the Java Servlet and JavaServer Pages technologies. The Java Servlet and JavaServer Pages specifications are developed by Sun under the Java Community Process.

Tomcat is developed in an open and participatory environment and released under the Apache Software License. Tomcat is intended to be a collaboration of the best-of-breed developers from around the world.

Tomcat 4.x
Tomcat 4.1.x. Tomcat 4.1.27 Stable is the latest release. Tomcat 4.1 is a refactoring of Tomcat 4.0.x, and contains significant enhancements, including:
  • JMX based administration features
  • JSP and Struts based administration web application
  • New Coyote connector (HTTP/1.1, AJP 1.3 and JNI support)
  • Rewritten Jasper JSP page compiler
  • Performance and memory efficiency improvements
  • Enhanced manager application support for integration with development tools
  • Custom Ant tasks to interact with the manager application directly from build.xml scripts
Tomcat 4.0.x. Tomcat 4.0.6 is the old production quality release. Tomcat 4.0 is the next generation of Tomcat. The 4.0 servlet container (Catalina) has been developed from the ground up for flexibility and performance. Version 4.0 implements the final released versions of the Servlet 2.3 and JSP 1.2 specifications. As required by the specifications, Tomcat 4.0 also supports web applications built for the Servlet 2.2 and JSP 1.1 specifications with no changes.

Tomcat 3.x
All Tomcat 3.x releases trace their heritage back to the original Servlet and JSP implementations that Sun donated to the Apache Software Foundation. The 3.x versions all implement the Servlet 2.2 and JSP 1.1 specifications.

Tomcat 3.3.x. Version 3.3.1 is the current production quality release. It continues the refactoring that was begun in version 3.2 and carries it to its logical conclusion. Version 3.3 provides a much more modular design and allows the servlet container to be customized by adding and removing modules that control the processing of servlet requests. This version also contains many performance improvements.

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