GlassFish v2.1: A Complete Picture

As the Engineering Tech Lead for GlassFish v2.1 and the person who mid-wifed GlassFish v2.1 - I am extremely happy to see the release of GlassFish v2.1. A lot of new ground has been covered for this dot release.

  • GlassFish v2.1 is the first application server in the just debuted  GlassFish Portfolio

  • GlassFish v2.1 is the underlier for the first release of Sun GlassFish Communications Server 1.5 which is built on top of SailFin 1.0 in the SailFin community.  

  • GlassFish v2.1 is the underlier for first release of server add-ons - specifically the GlassFish Enterprise Manager The GlassFish Enterprise Manager works on top of GlassFish v2.1 and provides useful information/tuning/advise in a production environment.

  • GlassFish v2.1 is the first release of the application server on the v2 train that has been rebranded from earlier Sun Java System Application Server to Sun GlassFish Enterprise Server.

GlassFish v2.1 is the next in V2 family after v2 UR2 release in April 08. This had a slightly longer gestation period. Dates for v2.1 were driven by SailFin dates since SailFin was one of the primary release drivers for this 2.1 release. SailFin is the GlassFish Application Server for Telco Domain.

The common question one might have is, so what is new in GlassFish v2.1. So, here is the answer:


  • Enabler for SailFin

  • Addresses several important bugs

  • Newer integrations of MQ, Metro, Shoal etc

  • Hooks for Enterprise Manager

Enabler for SailFin:

SailFin has been implemented on top of GlassFish v2.1. We did not want to maintain a separate code base of GlassFish for SailFin. Design goal was to define SPIs between SailFin and GlassFish so that these SPIs enable for layering SailFin on top of GlassFish V2.1. Here are some changes done to GlassFish for SailFin:

  • SPIs for container integration. (Deployment, Annotation processing, Web Container etc) These SPIs were exposed to SaiFin.

  • Pluggability SPIs for CLI, GUI, and Event framework. Again, these are exposed only to SailFin.

  • Improvements to Shoal/GMS and In Memory Session Replication. Since HA requirements for Telco profiles are lot higher, enhancements were done to Session Replication code to improver scalability.

 Bug Fixes:

Apart for being an enabler for SailFin, there were improvements - primarily bug fixes done all around in GlassFish v2.1. 

  • More than 300 reported bugs were resolved from GlassFish v2UR2 time frame and around 600 since GlassFish v2 - so there has been a significant amount of work to make GlassFish more stable. Here is a partial list of issues that were addressed in v2.1. 

  • Customer Escalations fixes were folded into GlassFish v2.1. Since GlassFish v2ur2 - there have been 5 patches that have been released with close to 100 fixes. These fixes have been included in GlassFish v2.1. GlassFish v2.1 is now patch #6 on GlassFish v2ur2 and customers should be able to seamlessly upgrade from the earlier patches.

  • In addition to these fixes were underlying fixes in the High Availability area and other areas that were required as part of SailFin 1.0.

Module leads for individual GlassFish modules looked at all the open issues and identified the ones with maximum impact and resolved those issues. The product has gone through solid functional, system and perf. testing like any other previous GlassFish releases. Testing has also been done with components of GlassFish Portfolio (like the Sun GlassFish Stack, Sun GlassFish Web Space Server) and Access Manager.


This release also has newer versions of Sun MQ, JSF, Metro. Here are some of the newer versions that have been integrated into GlassFish v2.1:

  •     MQ 4.3

  •     Metro 1.1.5

  •     GenericJMSRA 2.0

  •     Shoal (latest version 1.1_12142008)

  •     JBI 080602_1

  •     JSF v1.2_05

  •     Update Center 1.0_01-b09

MQ 4.3 has a new web-based admin console for MQ and it ships with a new lockhart based admin console. Also, Wildcard destinations, a new feature that enables applications to subscribe to multiple topics using the new wildcard syntax has been introduced. GenericJMSRA 2.0, introduces the synchronous receive model. This would be useful to work with MoM providers like BEA and Oracle AQ. Newer version of Shoal addresses issues that were fixed as part of overall HA improvements.

Enterprise Manager:

Finally, this release has also been the vehicle to introduce several new hooks for GlassFish Enterprise Manager. GlassFish Enterprise Manager is the new Value Adds module that provides terrific features like SNMP monitoring, Perf. Advisor, and Perf. Monitoring for GlassFish customers with certain degree of support levels. Addtional resources and links.

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