Monday Jun 22, 2009

GlassFish Day in Zurich, Switzerland

Today I presented project Metro at GlassFish Day event which took place in Zurich, Switzerland as part of the larger Jazoon 2009 conference. From what I can say the event was very successful. We had great speakers and I think that the whole event was very well attended and received.

Alexis did a great introduction by providing insight into where we are with GlassFish at present as well as where are we heading. In the second session he showcased clustering with GlassFish and the GlassFish Enterprise Manager - a really nice and useful tool that lets GlassFish administrators monitor various aspects of GlassFish instances and presents the collected data in a very comprehensible graphical ways - an ideal tool for all customers who "have more money than time".

The third morning session was dedicated to Roberto and his preview of the new features in the upcoming JavaEE 6 release. I think the guys in the JSR expert group did a really good job in making the enterprise java developer's life MUCH easier. The coming APIs seem to be very flexible and easy to use and learn. From what I can tell, this isn't "yet another update", this is probably the first JavaEE release where I have a good feeling about its completeness, flexibility and maturity. Great thing also is that this JavaEE release not only adds new stuff but it also recognizes obsolete technologies, which will be pruned and eventually removed from the specification. Among technologies currently on the prune list are JAX-RPC (hurray!), Entity EJBs (is there anyone brave enough still using them anyway?) and few others. These technologies either never really caught up or have already been practically replaced by their modern counterparts anyway. As for the features which I am particularly interested in and happy about are dependency injection specified by JSR 299 (Web Beans) and Servlet 3.0. Also I am very glad that JAX-RS - Java API for RESTful Web Services (JSR 311) made its way into JavaEE 6 as well.

The last session before lunch was my Metro talk. I provided a short overview of Metro, its features and architecture and dedicated most of the session to practical demonstrations including development of simple SOAP web service and client as well as few other demos showcasing advanced Metro features, such as message-level security, reliable messaging and streaming large data over SOAP web services.

After the lunch Alexis did his "GlassFish Survival Guide" talk focusing on installation, profiles, most useful administration commands as well as other useful tips which are good to know when starting with GlassFish. Those are the tips which can help you to avoid something I call unnecessary "aha!" moments and which can save you a lot of time.

In the next session, Jerome went through the new and noteworthy stuff coming in the planned GlassFish v3 release. This release, which is planned for September this year, is getting closer and closer and truly brings the next-generation GlassFish AS. The new application server - or "application container" would be probably more accurate - will be OSGi-fied, highly modular and extensible and will bring support for additional languages and frameworks, such as Ruby on Rails or Groovy. Those of you, who are interested in trying it out right now, you can download the latest GlassFish v3 Preview release - a really fancy name for a beta release, isn't it :-).

After the interesting talk on the tooling support for JavaEE 6 features presented by Ludo and Roman came the last talk of the day - the one that I was eagerly awaiting - the talk on JSF 2.0 presented by Ed Burns. If there was ever an API that needed a major update it would definitely be JSF - this is not my sentence, I read it in some materials to the talk, but I absolutely agree :) And once again I was very pleasantly surprised by the new prospects that lie ahead of us in the space of this UI framework. The new single-file component definition which resembles Objective C object definition or revamped and standardized Ajax support are only few notable changes to mention.

It was a great session to end with the day full of new information. Overall today's GlassFish Day was a realy great kick-off for the Jazoon 2009 Conference that starts officially tomorrow. Looking forward to it - stay tuned for more details!

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