Catch-all Apache Virtual Host to Force WWW Redirect on Canonical Hostnames

I find myself doing the same thing with nearly every Web site that I launch on my VPS (and client VPS/dedicated servers). I was to use http://www.domain.com as the primary host and have http://domain.com permanently redirect (301) while keeping the request URI intact.

Today, I decided to simplify this configuration by using a single Apache virtual host to handle all "www redirects." I thought I'd share this simple little tip.

When using name based hosting with Apache, this is very simple with mod_rewrite:


<VirtualHost *:80>
    ServerName jamiekrug.com
    ServerAlias thekrugs.com

    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteRule . http://www.%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [R=301,NE,L]
</VirtualHost>

Now, as I add other virtual hosts to the server, I need only add a ServerAlias line to the above virtual host and I'm good to go.

CFC Creation Time in ColdFusion 8/9, Open BlueDragon 1.1 and Railo 3.1

There's lots of chatter about CFC creation performance in the popular CFML engines (Adobe ColdFusion, Open BlueDragon and Railo), and plenty of others have ran their own tests, but I'm just curious and had to see some tests for myself.

I do not intend to encourage anyone to choose any one engine over another solely based on these tests. This is just one small indicator of the many performance considerations! In a real world application, there are many other performance considerations (hardware, operating system, application server, JVM tuning, CFML engine admin settings, various cache mechanisms, database server, database tuning, etc.).

I'm just focused on the speed of CFC creation here. In many small or medium sized apps, this is not much of a factor, but in larger applications where large sets of objects need to be created, this can potentially become crippling to application performance.

Also keep in mind that not all CFML applications are guaranteed or even likely to migrate flawlessly between any two CFML engines, despite lots of great progress towards compatibility and a core CFML spec. There are also lots of vendor specific features that may sway a particular developer or team to a particular CFML engine, and this may vary from project to project.

I could ramble on with more disclaimers, but let's get to the good stuff!

[More]

"Does anyone have an opinion on Adobe Coldfusion?"

A (very) brief list of ColdFusion/CFML resource links in response to Tweet from @ryanmaurodesign: "Does anyone have an opinion on Adobe Coldfusion?"

The short answer: yes :) There is a vibrant CFML community and many will be excited to tell you why it's so fantastic!

Adobe ColdFusion Evangelism Kit

Other major (open source and free) CFML engines:
Open BlueDragon
Railo

CFML Advisory Committee

ColdFusion is a Java EE application... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coldfusion#ColdFusion_and_Java

Just a few of the very many busy bloggers:
Ben Forta
Ben Nadel
Charlie Arehart
Hal Helms
Ray Camden
Sean Corfield

...and a bunch more ;-)
http://coldfusionbloggers.org/

A bunch of open source ColdFusion apps (as well as other Adobe RIA related stuff):
RIAForge

Popular MVC frameworks (there are more):
ColdBox
Fusebox
Mach-II
Model-Glue

Other popular frameworks (there are more):
ColdSpring ("Spring framework for ColdFusion")
Reactor (ORM)
Transfer ORM

There's a ton of other great information out there, so go check it out! (Ignore the occasional/ignorant "ColdFusion is dead" nonsense that somehow still creeps up from time to time, despite continued growth!:)

Support Flex/Flash Builder for Linux

It was reported that Flex Builder for Linux is on hold.

Rather than go into a lengthy discourse here on why I feel Flex/Flash Builder should be available to Linux desktop developers, I'll direct those interested to this Adobe issue/bug report, which contains plenty of great comments and lots of votes in support.

If you agree, please be sure to vote for this issue.

I would also like to draw attention to a recent survey by the Eclipse Foundation.

So...

The number of developers using Eclipse on Linux workstations has grown from 20% in 2007 to 27% in 2009...
+
Eclipse is likely the most popular open source IDE (certainly for Java/CFML developers)...
+
Adobe has open-sourced the Flex SDK...
+
Linux likely has the most vibrant open source software community of developers...
+
Adobe has a Flex Builder Eclipse plug-in...
+
Adobe provides no means for a developer using Eclipse on Linux to become a Flex developer???
=
I will be happy to spend $249 on IntelliJ IDEA, which appears to provide great Flex support out of the box.

Mura CMS bug and mod_rewrite workaround: 200 OK instead of 404 error

I've discovered a bit of a bug in the way Mura CMS handles 404s and wanted to share my workaround. Valid path_info for Mura pages consist of only letters, numbers, hyphens and forward slashes. If you browse to a path that doesn't exists, Mura properly throws a 404 error -- well, sometimes...

If it's a valid Mura formatted URL, you'll get a 404. For example:

http://www.getmura.com/index.cfm/i-do-not-exist/

...however, if the path_info is not "valid," Mura seems to ignore it and display the home page -- for example:

http://www.getmura.com/index.cfm/i-do-not-exist.html

On some sites, you might not care about this, but Google and other spiders can become very suspicious when non-existent URLs return a 200 response instead of a 404. I discovered this when our SEO/content guru was having trouble getting Google Webmaster tools to verify after I uploaded the specified uniquely-named html file. Google refused to authenticate us, because they were attempting to "test" for a 404 and instead got 200 responses. I assume they just make up a random file name or path and expect a 404. It makes sense that they want to ensure that the site doesn't return a 200 OK for everything, because they can not count on the 200 from the authenticity file/URL to be true.

You can leverage URL rewriting as one workaround, as I have. Based on the standard default site URL format of Mura CMS, you can use something like the following with Apache mod_rewrite to force a Mura 404 when an "invalid" path_info exists:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteRule ^/default/index.cfm/([^a-zA-Z0-9/-]+)$ /default/index.cfm/force-a-404-error/ [PT,L]

URL Rewrite Goodies for Apache, Tomcat, Railo and Mura CMS

UPDATE, 8/31/2010: I'm going with a simplified approach these days, as posted here.

I've worked with Apache mod_rewrite quite a bit in the past, but never got into any terribly complex rewrite rules. On average, I've probably leveraged about 2% of the incredible potential power that mod_rewrite offers. More recently I finally had the opportunity to learn a bit more and leverage this handy tool. My rewrite rules evolved over the past couple months as I got into testing out the Railo CFML engine a bit more, and then while setting up my first Mura CMS powered site. I thought I'd share what I've learned, as others may be likely to use some or all of this type of Apache virtual host configuration.

Here's a run-down of the "end goal," if you will, which I will walk through step by step to recap the problems and solutions I discovered along the way:

  • Apache will proxy CFML requests to Tomcat servlet engine, for Railo to handle (while Apache handles all other static content, PHP, etc.)
  • Tomcat will properly have Railo handle this common SES style URL (leveraging cgi.path_info): http://host/index.cfm/path-info/
  • Protect Railo Admin URLs from public access (well, actually hide them to mitigate hacking attempts)
  • Run a Mura CMS site with super SEO friendly URLs (e.g., http://host/a-cms-page/ instead of the default http://host/siteid/index.cfm/a-cms-page/), while still allowing for standard CFML requests (for custom app integration under same host as CMS)

Please note that the following Apache modules must be activated in your Apache configuration: mod_rewrite, mod_proxy and mod_proxy_ajp.

Apache Proxy CFML Request to Tomcat/Railo

I'll simply direct you to existing resources for this first bit and then show my basic example virtual hosting configuration. First, I'm running Railo in a multi-web setup on a single instance of Tomcat, which Sean Corfield has nicely outlined here (including a kind nod to a prior blog post of mine :). I learned a very nice means of proxying CFML requests from Apache to Tomcat thanks to this Sean Corfield post, which was prompted by some helpful comments from Barney Boisvert on Sean's prior post.

So here is an example Apache virtual host:

<VirtualHost *:80>
    ServerName railocmstest
    DocumentRoot /var/www/railocmstest/webroot
    DirectoryIndex index.cfm

    <Proxy *>
        Allow from 127.0.0.1
    </Proxy>

    ProxyPreserveHost On
    ProxyPassReverse / ajp://railocmstest:8009/

    RewriteEngine On

    # If it's a CFML (*.cfc or *.cfm) request, just proxy it to Tomcat:
    RewriteRule ^(.+\.cf[cm])$ ajp://%{HTTP_HOST}:8009$1 [P]
</VirtualHost>

SES URLs with path_info

Okay, the above gets Apache proxying standard *.cfm/*.cfc requests to Tomcat for Railo to handle, but a request to http://railocmstest/index.cfm/some-path-info/ will simply throw a 404 error, because Apache finds neither file nor directory at /var/www/railocmstest/webroot/index.cfm/some-path-info/. Plus, the current rewrite rule is not even proxying this type of request to Tomcat, because the regular expression used only looks for any URI that ends with ".cfc" or ".cfm".

Simply change this line:

RewriteRule ^(.+\.cf[cm])$ ajp://%{HTTP_HOST}:8009$1 [P]

...to this:

RewriteRule ^(.+\.cf[cm])(/.*)?$ ajp://%{HTTP_HOST}:8009$1$2 [P]

Okay, now if we reload Apache the http://railocmstest/index.cfm/some-path-info/ will indeed be proxied to Tomcat, however, now we just get the 404 error from Tomcat instead of Apache! Not a problem -- I picked up another trick from a comment by Tony Garcia on, again, this Sean Corfield post. In either our Tomcat's conf/server.xml file or in our Web root's WEB-INF/web.xml (you can create one if it doesn't exist) file, add the following servlet mapping:

CFMLServlet /index.cfm/*

Just be sure the servlet name you use here matches the one used for Railo, which is CFMLServlet by default, but I change mine to GlobalCFMLServlet in my multi-web setup as explained here.

We can now restart our Tomcat service and http://railocmstest/index.cfm/some-path-info/ is now good to go -- no more 404 error and cgi.path_info will now properly return /some-path-info/.

You may be inclined to try a URL pattern of /*.cfm/* in your servlet mapping, as I was, but it will not work as expected. If you also need URLs ending with /other.cfm/path-info/ and /app/index.cfm/path-info/, for example, you'll have to add two more servlet mappings with URL patterns /other.cfm/* and /app/index.cfm/*.

Hide Railo Admin URLs

A simple way to hide your Railo Admin URLs is to use one rewrite rule to forbid access to any paths beginning with /railo-context/admin/ and use some unusual URL to proxy in its place:

RewriteRule ^/railo-context/admin/(.*) - [F]

RewriteRule ^/SOMETHING-DIFFICULT-TO-GUESS/admin/(.*\.cf[cm])$ ajp://%{HTTP_HOST}:8009/railo-context/admin/$1 [P]

After an Apache reload, the above rewrite rules will cause a 403 (Forbidden) error to be thrown at http://railocmstest/railo-context/admin/index.cfm, but you can find what you're looking for at http://railocmstest/SOMETHING-DIFFICULT-TO-GUESS/admin/index.cfm with no problem. In this Railo Google Groop thread Sean Corfield also suggests using a separate virtual host to access your admin, which can listen on an unusual port. You could also use SSL to encrypt transmissions at the admin URLs.

Super SES CMS URLs

"Out of the box," Mura CMS has relatively friendly, SES URLs of the form http://host/siteid/index.cfm/something-friendly/, but we can do better. In the helpful Mura forums I quickly found the information I needed to make very quick changes to the Mura code to get rid of the /siteid/index.cfm portion of the URLs generated. Since there were two steps, in two different threads, plus one other tweak I found necessary, I posted a summary thread to a Mura forum. The rewrite rule example I provide in the form thread is more generic, intended to work without consideration for Tomcat proxying, Railo Admin hiding, etc., so here's what I've actually done for my first Mura CMS powered site...

I found that I needed to cover a few extra use cases. These four situations must be covered:

  1. If there's a trailing slash and it resolves to an existing physical directory, then we'll assume there should be an index.cfm in there and proxy to Tomcat.
  2. If it's an existing file, just let Apache serve it -- this takes care of all static and non-CFML requests.
  3. If rewrite rules are still processing, then we must be looking for a Mura CMS powered URL, which must have a trailing slash, so we'll permanently redirect with an appended trailing slash if it's missing.
  4. Finally, if rewrite rules are still processing, then we'll just prepend "index.cfm" in front of the REQUEST_URI.

...and here it is:

# If trailing slash and real directory, then append index.cfm and proxy it to Tomcat/Railo:
RewriteCond %{DOCUMENT_ROOT}%{REQUEST_URI} -d
RewriteRule ^(.+/)$ ajp://%{HTTP_HOST}:8009%{REQUEST_URI}index.cfm [P]

# If it's a real file (and we haven't proxied to Tomcat, so it must be static), just serve it:
RewriteCond %{DOCUMENT_ROOT}%{REQUEST_URI} -f
RewriteRule . - [L]

# Require trailing slash at this point:
RewriteRule ^(.+[^/])$ $1/ [R=301,L]

# Everything else must be a CMS URL path, which is rewritten and proxied to Tomcat/Railo:
# MUST COME AFTER ANY OTHER FIXED/EXPECTED REWRITES!
RewriteRule . ajp://%{HTTP_HOST}:8009/index.cfm%{REQUEST_URI} [NE,P]

If you're wondering why I have rewrite conditions with %{DOCUMENT_ROOT}%{REQUEST_URI} instead of %{REQUEST_FILENAME} when checking for file/directory existence, it's because the latter just didn't work for me! All examples I've seen suggest the latter, but it just didn't work -- possibly something Ubuntu-specific, or something that I changed elsewhere in my Apache configuration? I don't know, but what I've used should work on any setup.

UPDATE (2009-06-04)

I've discovered a little bug in Mura CMS regarding the handling of would-be 404 pages, so the last two rewrite rules from above must be changed to be less broad and an additional final rule can be added to still leverage the friendly/skinned Mura 404 page (rather than Apache's default 404):

# Require trailing slash at this point, if otherwise valid CMS URL:
RewriteRule ^([a-zA-Z0-9/-]+[^/])$ $1/ [R=301,L]

# Valid CMS URL path is proxied to Tomcat/Railo:
# MUST COME AFTER ANY OTHER FIXED/EXPECTED REWRITES!
RewriteRule ^([a-zA-Z0-9/-]+)$ ajp://%{HTTP_HOST}:8009/index.cfm%{REQUEST_URI} [NE,P]

# Anything else must be a 404 error:
RewriteRule . ajp://%{HTTP_HOST}:8009/index.cfm/this-will-force-a-404/ [NE,P]

I've also updated the following Complete Package section to reflect these updates...

The Complete Package

So, here is the complete virtual host example, incorporating all of the above:

<VirtualHost *:80>
    ServerName railocmstest
    DocumentRoot /var/www/railocmstest/webroot
    DirectoryIndex index.cfm

    <Proxy *>
        Allow from 127.0.0.1
    </Proxy>

    ProxyPreserveHost On
    ProxyPassReverse / ajp://railocmstest:8009/

    RewriteEngine On

    # Forbid access to Railo Admin URLs:
    RewriteRule ^/railo-context/admin/(.*) - [F]

    # Proxy "secret" Railo Admin URLs to "real" Railo Admin URLs on Tomcat:
    RewriteRule ^/SOMETHING-DIFFICULT-TO-GUESS/admin/(.*\.cf[cm])$ ajp://%{HTTP_HOST}:8009/railo-context/admin/$1 [P]

    # If it's a CFML (*.cfc or *.cfm) request, just proxy it to Tomcat:
    RewriteRule ^(.+\.cf[cm])(/.*)?$ ajp://%{HTTP_HOST}:8009$1$2 [P]

    # If trailing slash and real directory, then append index.cfm and proxy it to Tomcat/Railo:
    RewriteCond %{DOCUMENT_ROOT}%{REQUEST_URI} -d
    RewriteRule ^(.+/)$ ajp://%{HTTP_HOST}:8009%{REQUEST_URI}index.cfm [P]

    # If it's a real file (and we haven't proxied to Tomcat, so it must be static), just serve it:
    RewriteCond %{DOCUMENT_ROOT}%{REQUEST_URI} -f
    RewriteRule . - [L]

    # NOTE: Everything else must be a CMS URL path (letters/numbers/hyphens/slashes only), or a 404...

    # Require trailing slash at this point, if otherwise valid CMS URL:
    RewriteRule ^([a-zA-Z0-9/-]+[^/])$ $1/ [R=301,L]

    # Valid CMS URL path is proxied to Tomcat/Railo:
    # MUST COME AFTER ANY OTHER FIXED/EXPECTED REWRITES!
    RewriteRule ^([a-zA-Z0-9/-]+)$ ajp://%{HTTP_HOST}:8009/index.cfm%{REQUEST_URI} [NE,P]

    # Anything else must be a 404 error:
    RewriteRule . ajp://%{HTTP_HOST}:8009/index.cfm/this-will-force-a-404/ [NE,P]
</VirtualHost>

Cheers!

CFFormProtect Rocks!

Others have praised CFFormProtect, but I wanted to share a couple quick stats and give another shout out to Jake Munson for the very useful CFFormProtect. If you're not familiar with CFFormProtect, here is a snippet from the description at RIAForge:

CFFormProtect is a fully accessible, invisible to users form protection system to stop spam bots, and even human spammers. CFFormProtect works like some email spam protection systems, in that it uses a series of tests to find out if a form submission is from a spammer or not. Each test is given an amount of points, and each test that is failed accumulates points. Once a form submission passes the threshold of 'spamminess', the message is flagged as spam and is not posted. The points assigned to each test and the failure limit are easily configurable by you.

It is quite simple to implement, and the code is rather simple and lightweight, but brilliantly useful and powerful! The latest version of BlogCFC ships with CFFormProtect and you can optionally enable it to block comment spam. I rarely see any comment spam get through on my blog, but this morning I had a flurry of 10 or more, from the same spammer. I was quickly able to tweak my INI file for CFFormProtect so this particular spam would be blocked from now on. I also decided to peak at the log file for CFFormProtect (you can optionally have CFFormProtect log blocked spam occurrences) and noticed that my blog gets a *LOT* of comment spam, but I never have to deal with it, thanks to CFFormProtect!

This morning was the first comment spam I've had get through in months, but it turns out that CFFormProtect has quietly blocked more than 80 spam attempts for me in just the last 24 hours! If you're a CFML developer and you'd like to protect any form from spam without bothering with CAPTCHA, I highly encourage you to check out CFFormProtect.

Railo JARs on JBoss (or Tomcat) - Tips and Tricks

As a follow up to a previous related post, I wanted to share a couple potentially helpful tricks that I've since learned. Everything I document here has been tested with both Railo 3.0.2.004 (current stable) and Railo 3.1.0.012 (current beta), both of which can be downloaded from here, on JBoss Application Server (AS) 4.2.3.GA.

The purpose (as I see it) of a Railo JARs installation is to provide an alternative to using a full-blown Railo WAR for each of your Railo CFML applications. This allows you to define your Railo CFML servlet "globally" in JBoss/Tomcat and then use virtual hosts for multiple CFML apps. Each CFML app is then leveraging the same Railo instance, one copy of the jars and one Railo server admin (but still multiple Web contexts with unique Railo Web Admin for each Web site/context).

Also keep in mind that JBoss AS leverages Tomcat as its Web server, so just about everything here should directly translate. Here are the locations of key configuration files and directories in both JBoss 4.2 and Apache Tomcat 6:

{JBOSS_HOME}/lib/ {JBOSS_HOME}/server/default/lib/
or
{TOMCAT_HOME}/lib/

{JBOSS_HOME}/server/default/deploy/jboss-web.deployer/conf/web.xml
or
{TOMCAT_HOME}/conf/web.xml

{JBOSS_HOME}/server/default/deploy/jboss-web.deployer/server.xml
or
{TOMCAT_HOME}/conf/server.xml

Quick Review of Railo JARs Install on JBoss/Tomcat

I will first give a very brief outline of the steps required to install Railo (jars) on JBoss/Tomcat here. There are, however, some potential problems with this configuration, which I'll outline below, with a solution/workaround for each.

[More]

Sitemaps.org Data Driven Sitemap XML Generator (sitemap.xml for Google, Yahoo!, MSN and others)

Update: Get SitemapCFC at Google Code or at RIAForge.

If you're not familiar with Sitemaps, visit the sitemaps.org home page, which provides an overview of the Sitemaps protocol (adopted by Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft, among others).

I wanted to generate a sitemap.xml file to submit to Google, Yahoo!, etc. based on data from a simple CMS application's database. I ran some quick searches and was surprised to not quickly find a CFC that did exactly what I was looking for. There are a few sitemap generators out there that crawl site links to produce a sitemap XML file, but I didn't find any that generated an XML file based on data. I know there are a number of applications that have built-in site generator support (like BlogCFC and probably most modern blog and CMS apps), but I didn't find anything generic and flexible enough for my needs. Ray Camden did share a UDF that handles the basics very nicely, but I wanted to be able to pass in different URL collection types with flexible key/column names. I'd already cooked up two different (albeit simple) application-specific sitemap generators for apps that I maintain, so it was time to genericize and reuse!

I'll outline the Sitemap.cfc I created, its features and some examples. I will update this post with a link to RIAForge once I have the project approved for upload there. If you're not looking for a data-driven sitemap generator, but rather a crawler or spider style sitemap generator, then check out this "Google Sitemap XML Generator". For a data driven sitemap generator (or, if you want to use your own crawler and just need to model and generate a valid sitemap.xml file), read on...

I quickly put together a relatively simple Sitemap.cfc to suit my needs, but then I found myself adding more and more little enhancements. Since the sitemaps.org protocol is relatively simple, it wasn't too difficult to create a CFC to model the protocol. I tried to keep it simple, but flexible enough to take a collection of URLs (and relevant meta data) in just about any form and spit out a valid sitemap.xml file.

SitemapCFC Feature Overview

  • Use a list, query or array (of structs) to initialize a sitemap object.
  • Query column or struct key names used to initialize a Sitemap.cfc object are not important; an optional init() argument can be used to map to standard sitemaps.org protocol tag names.
  • Write your sitemap.xml file to disk or dynamically send a sitemap XML document to the browser as binary page output (cfcontent type text/xml).
  • Debugging methods available to access a Sitemap.cfc object's URL collection in the form of an array, an XML object or the raw XML string.
  • XML document is schema validation ready.
  • All initialization data values are cleaned (entity escaping, date/time format, valid string values, etc.) and validated.
  • Date(/time) values for the <lastmod> tags can be passed in as any valid date/time string or object; they will be automatically converted to UTC in proper W3C Datetime format (again, per sitemaps.org protocol).

Read on for an [] of examples...

[More]

Railo 3.0 on JBoss AS 4.2 via Apache 2.2 with Root Context and No Proxy

So I wanted to take a good look at the Railo 3.0 CFML engine and see what all the buzz was about. I wanted to be sure I could replicate the same basic Apache virtual host configurations I've been using with my ColdFusion 8 multi-server configuration. I also decided to try to get this all working with the JBoss Application Server. This entry summarizes the battle that was eventually won...

Choosing An Application Server

After a great deal of reading comparisons and opinions regarding Resin, Tomcat and JBoss Application Server (also with/without Apache), I decided I wanted to shoot for running the Railo CFML engine on the JBoss Application Server. There was plenty of good press and lots of die hard proponents for each of these application server options, so I don't feel there's a wrong decision and recommend you decide for yourself. For me, I just liked the robustness of JBoss and the full-featured community edition (Resin, for example, only provides a lot of its full-featured options in the paid licenses).

Basic Railo Installation/Deployment (EAR/WAR)

I'll leave out a lot of the lower level details of my installations, because there are plenty of Railo installation guides out there already (and probably growing). I must, however, mention that a lot of Gary Gilbert's Railo posts were particularly useful in my learning experience.

Using the aforementioned guides I was able to get JBoss AS installed and then deployed Railo 3.0 as a WAR and then also tried the EAR deployment alternative. I was not able to deploy Railo 3.0.2.001 on JBoss AS 5.0.1.GA, but all deployments worked fine for me on JBoss AS 4.2.3.GA. I've noticed other folks comment on being able to deploy Railo on JBoss 5 on Ubuntu 8.04, which is my development OS, but I was not successful. The errors I received appeared to be known JBoss 5 bugs, but who knows!

Adding Apache HTTPD to the Stack

After getting Railo 3.0 running on JBoss 4.2, I then wanted to integrate Apache 2.2, which was relatively straightforward using the mod_jk module for Apache HTTPD (again, this stuff is already well documented). At this point, however, I could either have only one Railo Web root and/or needed to use specific context paths for each Web site/context (e.g., http://localost/app1-context, http://localhost/app2-context, etc.).

Railo on JBoss via Apache, as I really wanted it to be

I then wanted to be able to run multiple Apache virtual hosts as multiple Railo web contexts on the same instance of Railo, but without needing a unique context path for each and without needing to proxy from Apache. After hours of experimentation and searching for help, I just could not find a way to make this happen.

Just as I was about to give up, I was reassured that this could be done when I read a couple installation guides that used Tomcat virtual hosts and a Railo installation using the JARs download only (not an EAR or WAR deployment): this one by James Constable and this one by Gary Gilbert.

These guys were doing exactly what I wanted to do, simply with Tomcat instead of JBoss, and since I knew JBoss AS uses Tomcat as its Web server, I knew there must be a way! I simply needed to identify the JBoss deployment directory in which to locate the Railo jars, and which web.xml and server.xml files to modify within the JBoss deployment directory structure. Here they are:

{JBOSS_HOME}/lib -- Drop the Railo jar files in here.
{JBOSS_HOME}/server/default/lib -- Drop the Railo jar files in here.

{JBOSS_HOME}/server/default/deploy/jboss-web.deployer/conf/web.xml -- Define the Railo servlet, servlet mappings and welcome files in this file.

{JBOSS_HOME}/server/default/deploy/jboss-web.deployer/server.xml -- Define Host entries for each application/virtual host in this file (to match up with Apache virtual hosts).

Next Steps

I would like to learn a bit more about JBoss AS administration and be sure my environment is configured for high performance and sensible security. I'll also want to run JBoss as a daemon that starts automatically at boot. I'm running Ubuntu 8.04 as my main development environment and I found what promises to be a fantastic article on a proper JBoss AS installation on Ubuntu!

I'm also looking for some sort of confirmation that my basic method of configuring this Railo/JBoss/Apache stack makes sense, or whether there's a preferred alternative (using WAR, EAR, proxy, etc.). I hope to get a lot of answers in the near future since Railo just recently joined forces with JBoss (read the Railo announcement here or the JBoss.org announcement here).

More Entries

BlogCFC was created by Raymond Camden. This blog is running version 5.9.2.002. Contact Blog Owner