GlassFish Enterprise Server v3: The First Java EE 6 Compatible Application Server
By kevinschmidt on Dec 09, 2009
This is the culmination of over 3 years of work by many members of the JCP, community, and engineers at Sun and other companies that have contributed to the specifications and implementations of them, and interestingly comes nearly 10 years to the day since J2EE 1.2 was released in December of 1999. My thanks go to all involved, particularly the members of my team that made this all possible.
Java EE 6 is important for many reasons, not the least of which is that it continues the development, maturation, and innovation of the standard for enterprise Java development. Past releases of Java EE have continued to add few features and capabilities from servlets, EJBs, and JMS in early releases, to rich Web services support and ease of development features like annotations and EJB 3.0 in Java EE 5 three years ago. Java EE 6 continues to add new features like RESTful Web services, dependency injection, and annotation additions for Servlets further reducing the amount of code a developer must write, but also aims to provide a more extensible and more flexible platform through the introduction of profiles and pruning.
With the Web Profile, there is now a standard set of components defined as part of the specification that will allow compatible implementations optimized for modern Web applications where the full Java EE stack is not required. This will result in lighter weight servers requiring fewer resources that start in a fraction of time past Java EE servers have required.
But a fantastic specification is of little use without a commercial product being available that customers can confidently deploy their applications to knowing that it is ready for such use and that has the backing of an organization ready to support it. This is why GlassFish Enterprise Server v3 is so important, as it is available today, at the same time as the SDK. And with the introduction of the GlassFish v3 Web Profile, developers and organizations can use a platform optimized for modern Web applications while at the same time knowing they are using a standard and product that will allow them to move up to full Java EE 6 at any time without requiring any changes or re-implementation.
While a straight forward implementation of Java EE 6 would be very valuable given the strides it has made, GlassFish Enterprise Server v3 goes much further in a number of areas. These include a modular runtime based on OSGi providing for a faster startup and loading of only those components that are required, the ability to run containers for other languages like JRuby and Jython, an Update Center for updating components and adding new components through an easy to use console, and new iterative development features that enable and edit->save->refresh development cycle for Web applications where redeployment is not required and session state information is preserved.
But realizing the benefits of a great server is only enhanced when you have great tooling. That is why the announcement of the release of NetBeans 6.8 is also very important, as just like GlassFish is providing a full commercial Java EE 6 implementation at the same time as the SDK is released, NetBeans is also providing full support for Java EE 6 with this new release. For those that prefer Eclipse, there is also a new GlassFish Tools Bundle for Eclipse that has been enhanced to add support for Java EE 6.
I can only write so much in a blog entry, and those that have made it this far are probably interested in learning more, and so I'm also pleased to announce that there will be an on-line virtual conference next Tuesday December 15th. Please visit the registration page to sign-up and prepare to participate in a number of sessions covering a summary of what is in Java EE 6 and GlassFish v3 as well as detailed sessions on EJB 3.1, JPA 2.0, JSF 2.0, OSGi, and much more. The spec leads and other developers and experts will be on-line to answer your questions as well.
In summary, visit our Java EE 6, GlassFish v3, and NetBeans 6.8 sites to learn more and download the bits, and register for the conference to take advantage of the information and access that will provide you. We are confident you will like what you see!