What Is Tomcat Server in Web Service?


Scott Campbell

The Tomcat Server is a widely used open-source web server and servlet container that is developed by the Apache Software Foundation. It is designed to provide a pure Java HTTP web server environment for running Java applications and supporting servlets and JavaServer Pages (JSP). In this article, we will explore what the Tomcat Server is, how it works, and its key features.

Key Features of Tomcat Server:

  • Open-Source: Tomcat is an open-source server, which means it can be freely downloaded, used, and modified by anyone. This makes it highly accessible for developers.
  • Servlet Container: Tomcat acts as a servlet container, providing an environment for running Java servlets.

    Servlets are Java classes that dynamically process requests and generate responses.

  • JSP Support: Tomcat supports JavaServer Pages (JSP), which are HTML pages embedded with Java code. JSP allows dynamic content generation and simplifies the development of web applications.
  • HTTP Web Server: Tomcat can also function as a standalone HTTP web server, capable of serving static HTML files and other resources directly to clients.
  • Cross-Platform Compatibility: Tomcat can run on various operating systems such as Windows, Linux, macOS, etc., making it versatile for developers using different platforms.

How Does Tomcat Server Work?

The architecture of the Tomcat Server follows the Java Servlet Specification. When a client sends an HTTP request to the server, the request is intercepted by the server’s connector component.

The connector listens for incoming requests on a specific network port (e.g., port 8080). Once a request is received, it is passed to the appropriate servlet for processing.

Tomcat uses a container model to manage and process servlets. The container handles the lifecycle of servlets, including their initialization, service handling, and destruction. It also provides various services to servlets, such as session management, security, and JSP support.

Tomcat’s architecture allows it to efficiently handle multiple concurrent requests by creating separate threads for each request. This enables the server to serve multiple clients simultaneously without blocking or slowing down other requests.

Setting Up Tomcat Server:

To use Tomcat Server, you need to download the latest version from the Apache Tomcat website (https://tomcat.apache.org/). Once downloaded, extract the files to a directory on your system.

To start the Tomcat Server, navigate to the ‘bin’ directory of your Tomcat installation and run the startup script appropriate for your operating system (e., ‘startup.sh’ for Linux/macOS or ‘startup.bat’ for Windows).

After starting the server, you can access it using a web browser by entering http://localhost:8080 in the address bar. This will display the default Tomcat home page if everything is set up correctly.


The Tomcat Server is a powerful and versatile web server that provides an ideal environment for running Java applications and supporting servlets and JSP. Its open-source nature, cross-platform compatibility, and extensive features make it a popular choice among developers worldwide. By understanding how Tomcat works and setting it up correctly, you can leverage its capabilities to develop robust web applications with ease.

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