Create your own Java-based rotating banner advertisements
Companies like doubleclick.net have made a lot of money serving banner ads on the Web. The service they provide is great, but why pay for something you can do yourself? In this article, enterprise Java consultants Javid Jamae and Kulvir Bhogal demonstrate how to create rotating banner ads using an all open-source environment: Apache Tomcat, MySQL, and the MM MySQL JDBC driver. First, they'll walk you through the necessary setup in Tomcat and MySQL, and then show you how to install the MM MySQL JDBC driver to allow a Java servlet running in Tomcat to communicate with MySQL.
Banner advertising has been around since the Internet was first transformed from an educational and governmental information store into a centerpoint for international commerce. A rotating banner is an allocated space on a Web page, in which the space is used to display an advertisement -- either randomly or based on some business logic -- every time the Web page is loaded or reloaded. The programs that drive rotating banner ads are fairly simple, but they are important advertising tools. Just like their half-minute radio and television counterparts, these dynamic advertising tools allow a single Web page to display advertisements from various sources and enable different companies to create brand recognition for their products and services while targeting the same audience.
Regardless of how you view them (yes, we all find them annoying at times), Web banners have become a way of life on the Internet. The fact is that the Web constitutes a gargantuan audience of consumers, whose money keeps the wheels of e-business turning. In the short history of Internet marketing, e-business owners have shown they are willing to pay top dollar to place their banner ads on high-traffic sites.
Some companies, such as doubleclick.net, have capitalized on the Web banner phenomenon, acting as an application service provider (ASP) to perform such services as tracking clicks for specific banner advertisements. These ASPs then inform advertisers on how effective their Web advertisement campaigns are.
Of course, ASPs such as doubleclick.net cost money. If you're like us, you don't like spending money when you could get the service for free. Wait a second -- you've probably heard that nothing in this world is free. But don't worry. All this article will cost you is your time. In fact, we'll show you how to tie together an open source (that is, free) environment to set up your own, powerful Web banner tracking system. To pull off this task, our weapons of choice will be Tomcat, MySQL, a single Java servlet, and a few helper classes. Excited? Well then, let's jump into the software installation.