Archive for the ‘tomcat’ Category

Migrating from tomcat to weblogic

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

Moving from tomcat to weblogic may sound crazy. In case you need to do it though (e.g for business reasons) here are a couple of things which may go wrong.

First of all the classloader hierarchy in weblogic do not do what you usually expect from other servers such as tomcat, resin, jetty and jboss. If your application uses hibernate (and implicitly ANTLR) you may get the following exception:

Caused by: java.lang.Throwable: Substituted for missing class org.hibernate.QueryException - ClassNotFoundException: org.hibernate.hql.ast.HqlToken [from com.example.model.Person order by id]
        at org.hibernate.hql.ast.HqlLexer.panic(
        at antlr.CharScanner.setTokenObjectClass(
        at org.hibernate.hql.ast.HqlLexer.setTokenObjectClass(
        at antlr.CharScanner.<init>(
        at antlr.CharScanner.<init>(
        at org.hibernate.hql.antlr.HqlBaseLexer.<init>(

As explained in the Hibernate3 Migration Guide Weblogic doesn’t seem to support proper class loader isolation, will not see the Hibernate classes in the application’s context and will try to use it’s own version of ANTLR.

In the same fashion you may get the following exception for commons lang:

java.lang.NoSuchMethodError: org.apache.commons.lang.exception.ExceptionUtils.getMessage(Ljava/lang/Throwable;)Ljava/lang/String;

because weblogic internally uses commons lang 2.1 and the one you use may have more API methods.

For both these problems the solution is to instruct weblogic to prefer the jars from the WEB-INF of your application. You need to create a weblogic specific file called weblogic.xml and place it under WEB-INF:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

Another problem is that, like in resin, the default servlet is not named “default” so if you depend on it in web.xml, your application may throw the following at the deployment phase:

Caused by: [HTTP:101170]The servlet default is referenced in servlet-mapping *.avi, but not defined in web.xml.

This is because the default servlet is called FileServlet in the web.xml, so you’ll need to change all references in your web.xml from “default” to “FileServlet”.

Last, but not least, tomcat will automatically issue a 302 redirect from http://localhost:8080/context to http://localhost:8080/context/ before allowing your application to do any processing. So all instances of request.getServletPath() will never return an empty string, but will always start with “/”. Weblogic doesn’t do this so http://localhost:8080/context resolves and if your code contains something like:


you’ll get:

java.lang.StringIndexOutOfBoundsException: String index out of range: -1

so a safer way to trim this leading slash is by doing:

request.getServletPath().replaceFirst("^/", "")

Good luck, and remember. Every time you use a full blown application server for something that a simple web container would be enough, god kills a kitten.

Singleton ehcache CacheManager warning fix

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

If you experience the following warning in your hibernate+ehcache application:

2008-11-20 13:02:42,937 WARN  ( - 
  Creating a new instance of CacheManager using the diskStorePath 
  "D:\apache-tomcat-5.5.26\temp" which is already used by an 
  existing CacheManager.
The source of the configuration was classpath.
The diskStore path for this CacheManager will be set to 
To avoid this warning consider using the CacheManager factory 
  methods to create a singleton CacheManager or specifying a 
  separate ehcache configuration (ehcache.xml) for each 
  CacheManager instance.

then you need to set the following in your hibernate.cfg.xml file:

<property name="hibernate.cache.provider_class">

Ehcache Hibernate documentation

Tomcat vs JBoss Web

Wednesday, March 14th, 2007

JBoss Web is a web server and servlet container at the same time. It’s promise is that it can serve static and dynamic content, very fast, without the need of an Apache HTTPD fronting it. If that’s true, its party time, and I personally live for the day where it will be easy to get Java 5 enabled hosting for ~5USD/month (as it is the case today with LAMP stacks).

JBoss Web uses APR and native extensions in order to achieve better utilization of the resources of the O/S. Note that APR is also available for Tomcat now.

I’ve decided to give JBoss Web a try, locally, and stress test it against a regular Tomcat. Note that what I did was done for pure fun (and out of curiosity). I do not own a lab, I am definitely not a stress test expert and I do not understand many things at the low level (I/O, threads etc).

Test info

  1. JMeter was used and it was running on the same machine with the servers tested.
  2. During tests JMeter would use ~30% of cpu, and the server would consume the rest ~70%.
  3. O/S was Windows XP SP2 on an AMD64 3000+ with 1.5GB ram.
  4. Java 1.5.0_06 on -server mode for both servers.
  5. Default installations of JBoss Web 1.0.1 GA and Tomcat 5.5.23 were used.
  6. -Xms and -Xmx settings were not altered. Don’t think it mattered.
  7. I stress tested 10 URLs of a very small webapp with a front controller delegating to cached freemarker views. No logging, no persistence or database calls. JBoss’ CONSOLE appender’s threshold was changed to FATAL, to avoid any logging output which would slow down things. The most interesting operations in the webapp would be the GZIP filter, and multipart request using commons fileupload.
  8. Warm up of the servers was performed. I found out that even for small amount of concurrent threads hitting the server, if these all start immediately, it’s most likely you’ll get some 500s at the beginning. The warm up would be anything between 2500-5000 requests until the server throughput was stabilized.
  9. When the server was warmed up, I would get my sample from the next 5000-10000 requests.
  10. The “threads” column in the results table, is the amount of concurrent threads which where hitting the server.
  11. An http cookie manager was used on JMeter, so 10000 sessions were not being created.


threads Tomcat 5.5.23 JBoss Web 1.0.1
50 95 requests/sec 88 requests/sec
75 105 requests/sec 95 requests/sec
100 123 requests/sec 100 requests/sec
125 75 requests/sec 104 requests/sec
150 110 requests/sec
at this point I had to increase the maxThreads
110 requests/sec
200 62 requests/sec 97 requests/sec
300 115 requests/sec 108 requests/sec
400 n/a
at this point JMeter would block.
[25 seconds per page]
80 requests/sec
500 n/a 75 requests/sec
600 n/a 84 requests/sec
700 n/a 55 requests/sec
[10 seconds per page]
800 n/a 48 requests/sec
[13 seconds per page]
1000 n/a n/a
at this point JMeter would block


Even this test can be considered rudimentary, JBoss Web looks very good. The biggest problem with the whole procedure is that JMeter was on the same machine as the servers. JMeter supports Remote Testing and Distributed Testing which would have produced more accurate results.

In any case, it was fun.

DataSource exposed through JNDI

Friday, February 23rd, 2007

You are building a webapp and you want database connection pooling. Your container can help you manage this javax.sql.DataSource by configuring it and exposing it through the JNDI tree.

Containers usually come with Jakarta Commons DBCP out of the box. In order to use it edit the context.xml file of your webapp and set your datasource there.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
 <Context path="/foo-app">

 <!-- TOMCAT 5.5.xx DESCRIPTOR -->
 <Resource name="foo"

 <!-- TOMCAT 5.0.28 DESCRIPTOR -->
  <Resource name="foo" type="javax.sql.DataSource"/>
  <ResourceParams name="foo">


Tomcat 5.0.xx and 5.5.xx uses different xml syntax for most of it’s configuration. Here I’m presenting both with 5.0.xx’s block commented out.

So, you’ve got your app called “foo-app”. Next time you’ll deploy it, tomcat will copy context.xml to ${catalina.home}/conf/localhost/foo-app.xml where from it will be reading the configuration on each context or container initialization. Your Datasource is called “foo”.
In your java code now, what you need to get a reference to “foo” is:

Context ctx = new InitialContext();
DataSource ds = (DataSource)ctx.lookup("java:comp/env/foo");

And then something along the lines:

Connection con = ds.getConnection();

Happy coding.