I was lucky to visit Genova last week for the Java AppServer Day organized by the local JUG. I tend to blindly trust the organizers of JUG-initiated events and this event was yet another good reason to keep on doing this.
The event had exactly 100 attendees and the format was 30-minute sessions with a round-table at the end. I went first and focused on GlassFish v3 since this was mostly a developer audience and clearly had no time to also cover the clustering/operations side of GlassFish in half an hour. I did try to do as many demos as possible around startup time, dynamic startup/shutdown of services, Deploy on save in NetBeans, Session preservation across redeploys with a non-trivial application, extending GFv3 with a Spring container (available right from a local update center repository) to demonstrate OSGI-based GlassFish v3 extensibility as detailed in Jerome's latest blog entry.
JBoss' Alessio (Web Services lead) alluded to JBoss 5.1 being very close to being released (and indeed it has been since). Now waiting for the supported version ;) He also mentioned OSGi as being a priority for the next releases. Of course having Oracle in the room made the exercise quite interesting. I met Paolo, an Oracle "veteran" and a likely future colleague :) and got to listen to an Oracle middleware presentation (I hadn't seen one in ages and certainly not since the BEA integration). Paolo focused on the operations side (which arguably WebLogic does fairly well) including Coherence, JRockit and Work Manager. Finally Alef, a SpringSource founder (but no longer an employee) focused on OSGi and dmServer. I think his presentation was more didactic than mine on the OSGi front, but our demos certainly felt very similar.
Thanks to Paolo and the rest of the organizers, this was a great event, I wish I could have stayed a bit longer, the city looks beautiful!