GlassFish User Group in Paris (LDAP, books, hosting and Eclipse)

During the Sun TechDays Conference last week in Paris, I put together a GlassFish Community User Group. This was done a little bit at the last minute but the result was quite satisfying and I though I'd share with you what was covered.

My idea of a user group is that it clearly shouldn't be a batch of product presentations (the conference had plenty of that) so I asked the following people to present:
•  David Ely on OpenDS, the 100% Java LDAP server
•  Antonio Goncalves on Java EE 5 and the book he wrote using GlassFish
•  Jean-Baptiste Bugeaud on what GlassFish has and needs for hosting
•  Ludo on Eclipse tooling for GlassFish


Photos courtesy of Ludo

David Ely, presented on OpenDS. The presentation covers some good background information on LDAP and how it compares to databases (see also Trey's take on it [1], [2]), how OpenDS can be used in various use-cases from embedded to scalable servers (I heard that before :), to development status, performance figures and roadmap. OpenDS has a simple Java Web Start-enable installer and integrated data to populate the database. Try it here. [Slides]

Antonio Goncalves who is a consultant and a teacher at the CNAM university just finished writing a book on Java EE 5. He used GlassFish throughout the book and shared his thoughts on how Java EE 5 changes the life of the developer and the things he likes best about this application server (easy install, admin, ...). His book is in French and is due in a few weeks now from Editions Eyrolles. Read his Java EE 5/GlassFish posts from when he was writing the book on his blog. [Slides]

Jean-Baptiste Bugeaud is a GlassFish community member who can get very passionate about things he cares about. Having chatted about this before I thought he'd do a good job talking about what it would take for GlassFish to be widely adopted in virtual hosting environments (nameli ISPs). To a large extend, the problem is more about Java hosting in general than it is about GlassFish. Jean-Baptiste did a great job talking about what was already available in GlassFish v2 (such as port virtual hosting or standard based Apache-like access log) and what is still required. A Gardian Application to enforce QoS sounds like a must have so that ISPs can actually charge people for what they use while collocating many applications on the same GlassFish instance. I hope the conversation is only starting. JB has already suggested he might be doing some of the implementation himself. [Slides]

Let's just say upfront that Eclipse integration for GlassFish is very important. Ludo has been hard at work following every WTP release with the GlassFish plugin. The problem described by Ludo is that Eclipse's WTP is just not moving fast enough with Java EE 5 support still not there (and J2EE 1.4 Web Services never fully implemented in WTP 1.5). It also seems that project leader BEA is removing its bits from the open source distribution and that overall WTP will not really be meant for general consumption. Rather, BEA, SAP, IBM and the likes are building their tools on top of WTP, keeping much of the value in the closed-source products which is not good news for Java EE 5 as a whole. In the mean time most people using Eclipse are only leveraging the editor, missing out on wizards, deployment, packaging, deployment descriptor authoring and other features, relying on ANT for a poor-man's integration. [no slides]

So, overall a very good 2-hour session rather well attended given the late notice. Looking forward to more such energetic GUG's! See you at the next mega GUG - GlassFish Day in San Francisco!.

Comments:

As a developer of WTP I'd like to respond to a few points above. First, we are aware that our JEE 5 support is not complete. We have an active working group that is making good progress, and we always value additional input or help. You can check the current status here:
http://wiki.eclipse.org/index.php/JEE_5_Support

Second, BEA has not removed any function from WTP. All they have proposed is hosting WebLogic server adapters on their own update site, similar to what GlassFish currently does. Since these server adapters would be commercial quality, evolve and update on the runtime's schedule, have an open license, and be downloadable without leaving WTP, I believe this is a big benefit to the WTP community.

Lastly, while a number of vendors (IBM included) do ship numerous commercial products on top of WTP, that is not our only focus. WTP has a large open source user base, an active community, and is continually adding new features, either built from scratch or donated from those same commercial vendors. Please keep opening enhancement requests, letting us know what is important to you, and work with us to continually improve WTP.

Posted by Tim deBoer on avril 08, 2007 at 10:40 PM CEST #

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