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Scalable and High-Performance Web Applications

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Greg Barish defines Web applications and the nature of their deployment on the Internet. He also defines and discusses performance and scalability, and describes their related metrics.
This sample chapter is excerpted from Building Scalable and High-Performance Java Web Applications Using J2EE Technology, by Greg Barish.
This chapter is from the book

The Emergence of Web Applications

In the span of just a few years, the Internet has transformed the way information is both provided and consumed throughout the world. Its hardware and software technologies have made it possible for anyone not only to be an information consumer, but also for nearly anyone to be an information provider. Although the Internet—specifically the World Wide Web (the Web)—has been treated seriously as a platform for information sharing among the mass public for only a short time, many organizations have managed to create useful Web applications that provide significant value to consumers.

These Web applications allow consumers to buy books and compact discs online. They enable businesses to use the Internet for secure data transactions. Workers use Web applications to find jobs; employers use them to find employees; stocks are bought and sold using online applications provided by brokerages; and travelers book flight and hotel reservations using Web applications. The list goes on and on. Obviously, many useful Web applications are available on the public Internet as well as within countless corporate intranets today.

This book describes general techniques for building high-performance and scalable enterprise Web applications. Generally speaking, this means building applications that are reasonably and consistently fast and have a strong, gradual tolerance for rising user and request demands. Although we will spend a lot of time considering this topic in general, the core of our discussion will be phrased in terms of a solution built around the Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) specification. Now, before we dive into the details of building these kinds of applications, it is important to identify and understand the overall problem. More specifically, it is important to define Web applications and scalability.

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