Monday Sep 17, 2007

Five Reasons to Upgrade to GlassFish V2 ...

GlassFish V2 is now released. 

Download it here. GlassFish V2 

There have been quite a few firsts and positives about this release. Deployers, administrators and developers have all got reasons to pick GlassFish V2. Here are my top five reasons (not in any specific order) to pick GlassFish V2 as your platform:

  • Fully Open Sourced Product: GlassFish is 100% Open Source. This is an attractive option for the industry deployments and developers because of the obvious advantages. The user and developer community for GlassFish is thriving and the discussion forums have been invaluable to various users. There has been contributions from several users to the FAQ's based on their experiences. Over 3500 issues have been filed by the community at large in a year and quite a few of them have been fixed for V2. An excellent knowledge base is being developed at the Wiki. Users and developers have been contributing to documentation and its reviews. A search of specific terms on discussion forums is likely to direct you in the right direction if you are looking to solve a particular problem. The open source momentum is driving this effort fabulously.
Another interesting fallout of this is that GlassFish V2 has been successful in integrating various technologies so that deployers can pick and choose. These include SOA integration in terms of Open ESB and Web Services Interoperability Technologies.
  • Ease of Use for Developers and Deployers: GlassFish V1 was the reference implementation for Java EE 5 more than a year ago and that won the mindshare of several developers. The success of EJB 3.0 and JPA is evident. Developers like the ease with which they can develop the enterprise applications. The industry-leading IDE for Java EE 5 in NetBeans makes the development even easier. All of these advantages have been retained in GlassFish V2 as it is fully compliant with Java EE 5. With its introduction of usage profiles, it has been possible to get rid of the Product Editions, which were too course-grained and difficult to upgrade. GlassFish V2 adds the ability to manage the software for enterprise with ease. The attractive features for administrators and deployers include:
    • A Web-based Administrative Console with uniform look and feel.
    • An exhaustive, easy to use and uniform command line interface (asadmin).
    • An ability to add clustering support to an existing server, retaining your behavior (in other words, an easy upgrade to clustering).
    • Ability to monitor the servers in the cluster and the admin server itself using any tool of choice. The tools for monitoring include the asadmin, admin-console, JConsole and any JMX-enabled console (like HP OpenView) etc. The asadmin program has added a new command called "monitor" that gives you a more intuitive output, similar to several Unixy commands like iostat, vmstat etc.
    • Ability to run heterogeneous domains through use of profiles. Three profiles of interest are bundled with any distribution and they can be made to work if required components are just plugged in. This was not possible in the past with Sun's application server offering. The introduction of profiles makes it possible to have single download that gives you an ability to create administrative domains (protected by distinct security credentials) with specific behavior.
These administrative advances in GlassFish V2 make other offerings without any cluster management support look old-fashioned.
  • World-record Web-tier Performance: GlassFish V2 posted the best ever Specjappserver2004 performance numbers. The Grizzly front-end adds performance and features that are poised to make your deployment blazingly fast. Grizzly brings in the Comet Support and Port Unification. The additional Web Container enhancements are described by Jan Luehe.
  • Clustering and Availability: This is one of the distinguishing features of GlassFish V2. Clustering of the application server instances as far as the conversational state of Stateful Session Beans and HTTP Session is concerned would not have been easier to manage. Based on robust architecture of JXTA, this solution is close to zero-configuration and delivers reasonable availability. In case your business demands warrant a more available solution, you can always use the Highly Available Database (this is available as a binary download from The good thing about this is, it is pretty easy to interchange the in-memory session state replication and HADB solution, for well-written user applications.
  • Pluggability into Sun's Software Stack and Support Benefits: You can reap the benefits of alignment of Sun's server product offerings. Along with the GlassFish V2 release, Sun has also released Sun Java System Application Server and Application Server/Platform Suites. These integrate the Identity Management, BPEL Engine and so on. Sun also delivers the same set of GlassFish V2 bits into Java Enterprise System -- an integrated stack involving industry-leading directory server, identity manager, portal server and registry. The integration has been smoother than ever before.
Sun's support is more than equipped to guide you with right advice on deployment on Solaris, Linux and Windows platforms. GlassFish V2 also supports Mac OS X. If you have an adoption story, please let us know at stories portal.

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