Project GlassFish spins out a beta !

Rejoice !

This is a important day for the GlassFish community. Today, we officially released the Sun Java System Application Server 9.0 Beta which is based on the GlassFish project. Already confused with all these products terminology, I am with you, we could hardly have made it more complicated if we had really tried but consult Tony's wisdom, he will enlighten why everything has a place in the Sun (ah, I could not resist that one).

So what is the fuss about yet another beta... Well, first this is the first beta based on the GlassFish Open Source project, this is therefore the result of hundreds of developers working for at least 2 years. More importantly, this is the first beta of a Java EE 5.0 Application Server.

We worked with the specifications writers for two years to make the developer experience the center of all new features. For me, it really all started with a meeting every Monday evening at 4pm with me, Roberto Chinnici, Bill Shannon and Linda DeMichiel to resolve one of the most hated feature of J2EE 1.4 : XML deployment descriptors. The meeting was let's say always lively...

The first intimidating steps was JavaOne 2005, where Bill presented Java EE 5 during the technical keynote followed my own session to present the current state of affairs. After Abhijit's retirement, I became the GlassFish architect which is really a pompous title to say I am taking care of the stability and the future of the implementation.

We received very positive feedback during JavaOne and continued to work hard to push the specifications and the implementation to beta quality. But let's look at what is new to get you started with Java EE 5 :

  • AJAX : Java EE 5 with Java Server Faces has all the qualities to accomodate the specific requirements of an AJAXified application. Consult our local expert Greg Murray in this interview or the Aquarium page
  • JSF : Talking about JSF, you need to go check Ed's blog for the latest news on the web tier.
  • Persistence : A new persistence API based on Plain Old Java Objects (POJO) has been worked on by Linda and Mike Keith. This API will be available in Java SE as well as Java EE environments. I recommend you follow Sahoo's blogpage for tips and details on how to use this new technology. or the Aquarium persistence
  • EJB3 : The persistence APIs being separated from the EJBs definition will give a new life to this component model : simplified, lean and powerful, the new EJBs should be considered for all back end tasks. Look at Ken's samples, they are a great way to get you up to speed.
  • JAX-WS : the JAX-RPC APIs have came and gone. There were numerous issues with their evolution or ease of use, Roberto Chinnici came up with a new API for Web Services. Of course, Dhiru updated the JSR 109 to include such technologies in the Java EE environment. Go to my blog or to Vijay's blog to details and tricks on web services.
  •  JAXB, StaX and other XML goodies. There are plenty of web resources on how to use XML apis in Java, but I have to recommend the prolific Kohsuke's  train of thoughts

But wait, if you think we stopped at just implementing the specifications, heck no, we also have a full list of product features that will make your experience with our application server easy and complete.

  • Grizzly connector : check Jean Francois's blog on the optimized HTTP path we have in SJS Application Server.
  • Tools integration : we have plugins ! That's right, whether you use NetBeans 5.0 or better NetBeans 5.5 preview, they integrate with GlassFish. That's not all, you like Eclipse, we support that too. Ludo and Vince both maintain active blogs that talk about tools.
  • Admin framework : all administrative tasks of the application server can be done either through a CLI command, an API, or the admin GUI. One reference for administration : Kedar.
  • Web Services : there is life beyong basic web services. First for performance related information, FastInfoset is what you are looking for, Paul has also a blog to get you started. Then there is JBI with this how-to. Also remember to check WebServices Management with this tip
  • Deployment : from autodeploy to Java Web Start, deployment is faster than ever and packed with features, start with Tim's blog.

And we have documentation too, check the download page for the update SJS Application Server 9.0 documentation.

Well that's it, I hope I got you all excited about this new beta, one last thing, there is where you can download it. Please use it, write your ideas and experiences to the beta forum (user forum) or the GlassFish forum (more developer centric). We are looking for your feedbacks.

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