Application Server and Web Application Overview

In this section:

This section provides some background information about third-party technologies used with WebFOCUS. It provides simplified overviews to assist those new to this technology.

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Web Servers and Application Servers

The WebFOCUS Client and ReportCaster web components run as part of your application server.

Some Application servers have a robust web server (HTTP) component and do not require an external web server. For example, Apache Tomcat can be used both as a web server and application server. You use an application server for all WebFOCUS processing, but you can use a web server to forward requests through a firewall to the application server.

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Web Applications

Some WebFOCUS and ReportCaster functionality is provided in J2EE web applications (webapps). A J2EE web application is a packaged collection of Java, text, graphic, and other files that function as an application or service. A web application is organized as a set of directories that can be placed into a Web Archive (.war) file. A WAR file is similar to a ZIP or TAR file in that it contains other files and preserves their directory structure.

A web application must follow certain conventions and always contains a WEB-INF directory. The WEB-INF directory must contain a web.xml file. The web.xml file is known as the deployment descriptor and contains configuration information. The WEB-INF directory usually has lib or class subdirectories containing its main Java code.

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Running Web Applications

A web application runs inside an application server or servlet container. To run a web application, you deploy it to an application server, either as a WAR file or an EAR file. Theoretically, any web application could run in any application server on any platform, provided it is written to the Java Servlet API 2.4 specification. However, application servers vary and you should ensure your application server is supported with WebFOCUS. For more information on supported application servers, see Web Server and Application Server Requirements.

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Accessing Web Applications

After it is deployed, the web application context root is used to access the application in a web browser. The context root is the directory name used to access a web application and is normally specified when you deploy a web application. A context root is sometimes referred to as a context path or a context.

For example, the default WebFOCUS context root is /ibi_apps. Therefore, you can access the web application using:




Are the host name and HTTP port of the web server or application server. If you require SSL, use https instead of http.

A valid user name and password is required to access the WebFOCUS web application.

If your application server is separate from your web server, you must ensure that the web server can route requests to the application server. For example, when a request comes to the web server for ibi_apps, the web server must know to send the request to the application server. For some web and application server combinations, this occurs automatically, but others must be configured.