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Frequently Asked Questions

With our Commerce and Enterprise Accounts, setting up a commercial web site is not difficult. But we still get questions about the functions and features available with our hosting accounts. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

  1. What versions of Java/Servlets do you support?
  2. Can I have my own private JVM?
  3. Can I start and stop my JVM?
  4. Can I add JAR files and classfiles to my classpath?
  5. Do you support (insert name of Java compatible API)?
  6. What database do you use and does it support transactions?
  7. What is an SSL secure server?
  8. Where do I obtain a Secure Server Certificate?
  9. How long does it take?
  10. Why would I need Servlets or JSPs?
  11. How do I get started?
  12. What is your minimum contract length?

1) What versions of Java/Servlets do you support? New!
Our default account setup currently uses Jakarta Tomcat 6 running on Sun's Solaris JDK 1.6. As the official reference implementation of the servlet and JSP specifications, Tomcat 6 supports the Servlet 2.5 and JSP 2.1 APIs. If you prefer, we can substitute an earlier Tomcat or JDK.

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2) Can I have my own private JVM? New!
Yes!
Yes, every MMA hosting account with servlet and JSP support includes your own private instance of the Java Virtual Machine running the latest version of the Tomcat servlet engine. This means your data remains private and your site is protected against other users crashing the VM.

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3) Can I start and stop my JVM?
Yes!
Through our control panel, you have the ability to stop and start Tomcat, making it simple to add servlet init params and servlet aliases to your servlet configuration.

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4) Can I add JAR files and classes to my classpath?
Yes.
With Tomcat, adding JAR files and classes to your classpath is as simple as uploading them to the correct directory within your account.

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5) Do you support (insert name of Java compatible API)?
Probably. If it's written in Java and can be accessed through servlets, you can add the appropriate jar and class files to your account classpath. It's that simple.

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6) What database do you use and does it support transactions?
All accounts support MySQL which can support transactions with the correct table definitions. Your MySQL database can be accessed via JDBC using the Mysql Connector/J driver, through Perl's DBI module or through PHP.

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7) What is an SSL Secure Server?
An SSL (Secure Socket Layer) server encrypts data as it travels between the browser and the server. With concerns about credit card liability, a secure server is essential for any online store. Without SSL, credit card information is completely unprotected in transit. While the chances are slim that anybody would intercept the information, that's a chance no retailer should take -- especially given the affordability of SSL servers today. MMA offers SSL capability via Apache Stronghold servers that ensure the security of orders during processing.

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8) Where do I obtain a Secure Server Certificate?
A secure server certificate verifies to customers that your company has the right to use the domain name presented to browsers by your SSL Secure Server. This name verification prevents a third-party from accepting orders while disguised as your business. Secure server certificates are issued by Certificate Authorities like Thawte and Verisign after a verification procedure which can take from 3 days to several weeks. To receive a secure server certificate, your company will need to provide the selected Certificate Authority with paperwork such as articles of incorporation verifying your identity. Certificate pricing depends on your selected Certificate Authority. Available CAs include GeoTrust, InstantSSL, Thawte and Verisign. While a secure server certificate is not required, it is a very good idea. If you do not have a secure certificate, visitors to your order forms will receive a warning each time they attempt to checkout.

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9) How long does it take?
We can usually have your account up and running within a few hours, or a maximum of 1 business day. But typically,developing a new commercial web site from scratch takes from two to six weeks. This includes the time required for installing the necessary software, creating the HTML pages, setting up SSL, and obtaining the secure server certificate from the Certificate Authority. If you don't yet have a merchant account with a bank for accepting credit cards, this may add to the time required. MMA helps minimize your time to market with our convenient utilities, software and control panel.

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10) Why would I need Servlets or JSPs?
Perl scripts are great for quickly creating a small database search or prototyping a site with dynamic pages. But once a site starts getting a large amount of traffic, Perl's process-per-user architecture starts to become detrimental. Once the number of hits passes a certain threshold, no machine can handle the number of Perl processes necessary to handle user requests. Java servlets offer a multithreaded means of handling high-volume sites that avoids these problems and allows scalability to be designed- in from the start.

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11) How do I get started?
Since there are so many different steps involved, the best way to get started is to contact us and tell us what capabilities and features you want on your site. We can then help you coordinate the software, Secure Server Certificate and other steps to ensure that everything works together once your site is up and running. We're here to help! Just ask.

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12) What is your minimum contract length?
One month.
We don't require long-term hosting contracts. We'll simply bill you for each month you want to continue hosting your account with us. If you decide to cancel your account, just let us know before the next monthly billing period starts and we'll terminate your account.

 

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