Sunday, March 21, 2010

National Business and Technology Conference

I had the pleasure of attending the National Business and Technology Conference on Friday. This conference is run by Nspire which is a student organisation in the University of Toronto. It may of been a conference run by students but it was one of the most professional conferences I have ever been to. The conference brings together students who are entrepreneurial in nature with leading Canadian entrepreneurs to help nurture the students entrepreneurial nature and learn from those that have made it. A brilliant idea - its little wonder that a lot of the students there have all ready set up businesses.

The opening keynote was by Anthony Lacavera, CEO and chairman of Globalive - a company who are just rolling out a company called Wind - Canada's newest cell phone provider. Lacavera spoke openly about how his business came into being and then took a lot of questions from the audience.

There was also a Entrepreneurship Competition with a top prize of $25,000. Students pitched their budding businesses to a panel of very distinguished judges. The prize money gives you a sense of the sort of sponsorship the conference brings in.

A great way to spend a Friday afternoon. Perhaps this is something Irish students should be doing?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Getting started with RESTful Service

This week was web services week. I got down and dirty with RESTful web services. To do this I had a look at some of the tutorials on the web. I found a lot of them really over complicated the matter. Then I came across Apache Wink - Wink seemed to have a very simple approach to the development of REST services. Any servlet container can provide for a REST service with Wink all that is required is a few java annotations specifying the URI of the service and the methods to call with each, GET, POST, DELETE and UPDATE event over HTTP. I also found this very simple tutorial from IBM that gets you up and running with Wink and REST services in no time -

Monday, March 1, 2010

Apache for Static, Tomcat for Dynamic

Following on from my previous post what I wanted to do next was allow for the apache web server to handle all the static content on my web app and Tomcat to only handle the dynamic content. Again I found Linux Journal to be a fantastic resource. The article - "Separate the Static from the Dynamic with Tomcat and Apache" gave me basically what I needed to do this plus much more. This article can be found here.

Essentially all that was required was to tell apache where to find the static content in the virtual host definition in the httpd.conf file. To do this all that was required was set up an alias for static content as follows:
Alias /staticContent/ /var/www/staticContent/

In my JSP now when I put the apache server serves up the static content rather than Tomcat. This means that image1.jpg or any static content such as javascript can be changed and redeployed without restarting any server.