Rails and Java EE integration - Native Rails on GlassFish v3

The last part of this tri-series blog (Part 1, Part 2) will show how a Rails application can be deployed on GlassFish - without the need of Goldspike, Warbler or any other gem or plugin. Yes, that's a native Rails app deployment on GlassFish v3.

GlassFish v3 is next version of GlassFish v2 and the focus is modularization, enablement of non-Java EE containers and modularity - download b09.

Rails powered by GlassFish provides all the details on why GlassFish provides an industry-grade and functionally-rich Application Server.

Now detailed steps:
  1. Using JRuby 1.1 (installed with Rails), create a Rails app "railsee3" as:

    ~/testbed/jruby-1.1/samples/rails >../../bin/jruby -S rails railsee3
          create  app/controllers
          create  app/helpers
          create  app/models
          . . .
          create  log/production.log
          create  log/development.log
          create  log/test.log
  2. Add Servlet descriptors
    1. Create a new directory "WEB-INF", and a new file "web.xml" in that directory using the following contents:

      <!DOCTYPE web-app PUBLIC
        "-//Sun Microsystems, Inc.//DTD Web Application 2.3//EN"
    2. Create a new file "sun-web.xml" in "WEB-INF" using the following contents:

      <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
      <!DOCTYPE sun-web-app PUBLIC "-//Sun Microsystems, Inc.//DTD Application Server 9.0 Servlet 2.5//EN" "http://www.sun.com/software
      <sun-web-app error-url="">
        <class-loader delegate="true"/>
    3. Create a new directory "WEB-INF/lib".
  3. Create and Copy Servlet
    1. Create a Java library with Servlet code as explained in bullet #5 here.
    2. Copy "HelloServlet.jar" from "dist" directory of NetBeans project to "WEB-INF/lib" directory.
  4. Configure JRuby-on-Rails in GlassFish - Edit "config/asenv.conf" in GlassFish directory and specify JRUBY_HOME as the last line:


  5. Deploy the Rails application as:

  6. ~/testbed/jruby-1.1/samples/rails >~/testbed/glassfish/v3/p2b9/glassfish/bin/asadmin deploy --force=true railsee3
    railsee3 deployed successfully
    Command deploy executed successfully.
  7. The bundled Servlet is now accessible at "http://localhost:8080/servlet/hello". The default browser output looks like:

    And passing a parameter to the URL as "http://localhost:8080/railsee3/hello?name=Arun" shows the output as:

With this, your Java EE Servlet is now bundled with your Rails application deployed on GlassFish v3.

Now, lets add Controller and View to Rails application and invoke this servlet from there to show complete integration with Rails.
  1. Create a new Controller and View as

    ~/testbed/jruby-1.1/samples/rails/railsee3 >../../../bin/jruby script/generate controller home index
    JRuby limited openssl loaded. gem install jruby-openssl for full support.
          exists  app/controllers/
          exists  app/helpers/
          create  app/views/home
          exists  test/functional/
          create  app/controllers/home_controller.rb
          create  test/functional/home_controller_test.rb
          create  app/helpers/home_helper.rb
          create  app/views/home/index.html.erb
  2. Change the generated controller in "app/controllers/home_controller.rb" to:

    class HomeController < ApplicationController

    include Java

      def index
            url = java.net.URL.new("http://localhost:8080/servlet/hello");
            conn = url.open_connection;
            reader = java.io.BufferedReader.new(java.io.InputStreamReader.new(conn.get_input_stream));
            @servlet_output = "";
            input_line = reader.read_line;
            while input_line != nil
                    @servlet_output << input_line;
                    input_line = reader.read_line;
  3. Change the generated view in "app/views/home/index.rhtml.erb" to:

    <p>Find me in app/views/home/index.html.erb</p>

    <%= @servlet_output %>
  4. Re-deploy the Rails application as shown in bullet # 5 above and "http://localhost:8080/railsee3/home/index" shows the output as shown:

So this blog explained how a Rails application can be deployed on GlassFish v3 without the need of any gems like Warbler or plugin like Goldspike - total native deployment!

In summary, the tri-part blog showed the deployment models for a Rails application on GlassFish. Each model showed how a Java EE 5 Servlet can be co-bundled with Rails application and invoked from Rails view:
Technorati: rubyonrails netbeans glassfish v3 javaee5 servlets jruby ruby warbler

If I do not have the need to interface my rails app with any additional servlets (HelloServlet etc.) what configuration do I need to do in order to deploy the rails app to glassfish v3?

Posted by Brandon on April 14, 2008 at 01:07 AM PDT #

[Trackback] The last part of this tri-series blog (Part 1, Part 2) will show how a Rails application can be deployed on GlassFish - without the need of Goldspike, Warbler or any other gem or plugin. Yes, that's a native...

Posted by Arun Gupta's Blog on April 14, 2008 at 01:20 AM PDT #


If you need to deploy only a Rails application, with no interface with any Java EE application, then bullets # 1, 4 & 5 will give you that.

Posted by Arun Gupta on April 14, 2008 at 03:22 AM PDT #

Can you tell anything about performance between native ruby and jruby?

We've tried to run ruby on a T2000 but the single thread performance is horribly bad for our application (although the T2000 is a great box overall).

IMHO the problem lies in the single-threaded character of mongrel and ruby being an interpreted language.

Posted by Mika on April 14, 2008 at 05:59 AM PDT #

Mika, Charlie Nutter ran some live performance benchmarks between JRuby1.1 trunk (now released) and Ruby 1.8.6. The results are reported at:


The gist is "JRuby 1.0 was 2x slower than Ruby 1.8.6, JRuby 1.1 Beta1 2x faster, JRuby trunk 2-5x faster and often faster than 1.9". And the JRuby performance has only gone up since Beta1.

Posted by Arun Gupta on April 14, 2008 at 06:02 AM PDT #


Thank you for this exciting post.

For those of us who prefer to code without an IDE, could you provide a link to the relevant jar?

Could you also sketch out the minimum contents of the jar needed to get things running?

Posted by Raphael on April 16, 2008 at 06:24 PM PDT #


The jar contains minimal content:

~/NetBeansProjects/HelloServlet/dist >jar tf HelloServlet.jar

and is now available at:


Posted by Arun Gupta on April 17, 2008 at 03:29 AM PDT #


asenv.conf seems not to pick up JRUBY_HOME.

On Win XP deploy gives:

FAILURE : Exception while deploying the app : java.lang.RuntimeException: JRuby installation not found at C:\\glassfish\\modules\\jruby
Command deploy failed.

Posted by Raphael on April 19, 2008 at 06:26 AM PDT #


In order for Glassfish to pick up JRuby, add to "asenv.bat" (not to "asenv.conf") the following (no quotes)
set JRUBY.HOME=C:\\jruby

Note the dot in JRUBY.HOME

However, success is short-lived as a cascade of new errors indicates that Glassfish has problems in a Windows environment

C:\\jruby>#!/usr/bin/env jruby
'#!' is not recognized as an internal or external command,
operable program or batch file.

Posted by Raphael on April 19, 2008 at 07:42 AM PDT #


I tried this on Mac environment and it works there. Will try on Windows when I get to work tomorrow.


Posted by Arun Gupta on April 20, 2008 at 02:06 AM PDT #


I tried GlassFish v3 10a (http://download.java.net/glassfish/v3-tp2/promoted/glassfish-v3-preview2-b10a.zip) with JRuby 1.1 and it worked. The only change is to set JRUBY_HOME (note "_") in asenv.bat as:

set JRUBY_HOME=C:\\testbed\\jruby-bin-1.1\\jruby-1.1

and I could deploy the basic Rails app (without any Servlet).


Posted by Arun Gupta on April 29, 2008 at 02:32 AM PDT #

[Trackback] Redmine is a flexible project management web application written using Ruby on Rails framework. The feature list is pretty comprehensive from the usual suspects like multiple projects, role-based control, forums/wikis/SCM for each project to enterpris...

Posted by Arun Gupta's Blog on May 22, 2008 at 11:10 PM PDT #

[Trackback] JRuby 1.1.2 is now released - download here! The highlights are: Startup time drastically reduced YAML symbol parsing &gt;100x faster Performance, threading, and stack depth improvements for method calls Fixed several nested backref problems Fixed bad...

Posted by Arun Gupta's Blog on May 29, 2008 at 12:16 AM PDT #

how do i create ,deploy and run webservice on glassfish using Eclipse ?

Posted by priyanka on October 22, 2008 at 11:05 PM PDT #



describes how to create a Web service using Eclipse and deploy on GlassFish.

Posted by Arun Gupta on October 22, 2008 at 11:09 PM PDT #

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Arun Gupta is a technology enthusiast, a passionate runner, author, and a community guy who works for Oracle Corp.

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