Apache Tomcat 8.0 RC1 Released

The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) has made the first release candidate (RC) of version 8 of its open source Tomcat Web server and servlet container available for download. Tomcat 8 RC1 aligns with the Java EE 7 specification and supports updated versions of the Java EE spec.

The ASF is calling this release an "alpha," because, even though it is considered feature complete, there are still some "internal TODO items" to finish up. This release is not recommended for production environments.

The ASF is highlighting a number of enhancements in this release, including support for Java Servlet 3.1, JavaServer Pages 2.3 and Java Unified Expression Language 3.0.

But what might be the biggest change, the ASF declares, is a refactoring of resources. "It is now really easy to have one 'master' WAR used as the basis for multiple web applications each with their own customizations," the ASF said in a statement.

This release also comes with an HTTP protocol upgrade that allows the client to specify switching protocols. "Under the hood, this is the same capability that is used by WebSockets to upgrade the HTTP connection, although this allows for a broader range of protocols," the ASF said.

Tomcat 8 also adds new support for Java WebSocket 1.0. The WebSocket specification defines full-duplex (simultaneous two-way) Web communication over a single TCP connection. Tomcat 8 provides a standard WebSocket API.

This release comes with an implementation of the default connector that is now the Java non-blocking implementation (NIO) for both HTTP and AJP. There's also a new resources implementation that replaces Aliases, VirtualLoader, VirtualDirContext, JAR resources, and external repositories with "a single, consistent approach for configuring additional web application resources," the ASF says.

Tomcat 8 also adds Lambda Expressions. A long awaited addition expected in Java 8 (JSR 335), Lambda Expressions can simplify code. They comprise a set of parameters, a lambda operator, and a function body. 

More detail about what's new in Tomcat 8 can be found on the ASF's change longs page. The organization is set to preview the Tomcat 8 release at the upcoming SpringOne 2GX event in Santa Clara, Calif., in September.

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].