Apache Tomcat is an OpenSource JavaServerPages and JavaServlet container, maintained by the ApacheSoftwareFoundation. It grew from the ReferenceImplementation of the servlet standard, and was gifted to Apache by Sun. It was named such that it could easily suggest which animal O'Reilly should put on the cover of a book about it.

It was originally known as "Jakarta Tomcat", as it was part of the Apache Jakarta suite of Java code.

Written entirely in Java, it comprises an HTTP server, and a container for Java web code to run in.

Tomcat is the WebServer bundled with JBoss.

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If you are migrating from an earlier version to Tomcat 5, you will probably need to rewrite your web.xml file since version 5 validates it against the applicable DTD and is much more strict about what syntax it accepts, especially with respect to wildcards.