Tuesday Apr 28, 2009

Which Application Server to use with MySQL?

At the MySQL User Conference last week I had a number of attendees come up to me to ask which application server they should be using with MySQL. They were looking for something that was fast, lightweight and compatible. To me the choice was obvious -- GlassFish

So why GlassFish?

Project GlassFish, was launched when Sun open-sourced its application server and the Java EE Reference Implementation, was Sun's first step toward open-sourcing the entire Java platform. Less than a year after the initial launch, the GlassFish community delivered the first release of the GlassFish Application Server, a production-quality, Java EE-compliant application server, followed by a second release in 2007. Today, GlassFish is the leading open-source and open community platform for building and deploying next-generation applications and services. The GlassFish application server has been downloaded more than 18 million times since 2006.

Another choice might be Red Hat's JBoss application server that was released in 2006. Although JBoss has had some success in the past, I would caution that there are some issues around  backward compatibility and features that are not supported in the commercial release of the product. In addition it seems to be pretty far behind as far as latest features around JavaEE are concerned.

In contrast, the GlassFish application server is backward-compatible; features released today will be supported in future freely available versions as well as future Sun-supported commercial versions of GlassFish Enterprise Server. Additionally, the freely available GlassFish application server is ready for production right out of the box. For these reasons, I recommend GlassFish application server over JBoss!

Tomcat application server is extremely popular with Java developers who only want to only use servlets, but it doesn't support the full Java EE stack. So why use only a bit of Java when you can use the full reference implementation?

Friday Apr 10, 2009

Gartner's View on GlassFish from Jess Thompson

Just wanted to give you a pointer to a great article by Jess Thompson from Gartner on GlassFish Portfolio. This article does a great job of setting up the case on why enterprises should look at open source (and why they shouldn't) and how GlassFish helps address these issues...

Give it a read and let me know what you think.

If you want more details on GlassFish check out http://www.sun.com/glassfish.

Sunday Apr 05, 2009

The problem with Proprietary Middleware Stacks

There is a great saying that it took a long time to invent the wheel, but replicating it is easy! I think the main challenge with proprietary stacks is exactly this -- paying for a business model on a wheel that in its day was revolutionary, but today is old and not effective. Does your car still drive on a granite wheel -- didn't think so! The open source "wheel" has taken the best designs from the proprietary world and enhanced them, and in doing so created some great new solutions at lower costs.

What I am not suggesting is rip-and-replace! But I am suggesting you look at your whole application needs and see when open source alternatives like GlassFish will work.We have seen some really interesting cost savings by using GlassFish over the proprietary alternatives -- savings of up to $3M in some instances.

 Now before you think that open source is just for those hot web 2.0 garage startups.. consider that T-Mobile is using GlassFish with some great results.

"High availability allows us to meet our stringent uptime requirements and the Sun GlassFish Enterprise Server enables us to cost-effectively deploy new services while meeting our performance and availability requirements," said Erez Yarkoni, vice president, T-Mobile, USA.

The other issue to consider with proprietary vendors is lock-in. Basically for the proprietary vendor lock-in is key to success. With lock-in they become a sole source vendor for your needs and they can charge what they like -- and may have!

The combination of high-cost, proprietary products and vendor lock-in frequently constrains businesses from embarking on new software initiatives -- something that customers I speak to can't afford to have happen.

Additionally, the capital expenditures and associated financial risk required to deploy proprietary products can either delay the profitability gains of new software initiatives or simply prevent enterprises from attempting innovative ideas to drive new revenue streams.

For example, proprietary products from BEA Systems/Oracle are far more expensive to acquire than open-source alternatives and don't offer enterprise developers the flexibility to customize to fit the business' changing needs. Although developers can submit feedback, the cycle of development is long and, with a limited number of engineers working on the software, new features and updates are delivered much more slowly than in open source.

To ensure that problems can be addressed as quickly as possible and to reduce operational costs, enterprises can chose a comprehensive open-source platform backed by an established commercial entity that provides support and understands the interdependencies not only of that platform but of other third-party products that are already in the enterprise's IT infrastructure.

 I invite you to share your story, or read other stories from real users: http://blogs.sun.com/stories/

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Musings from Mark Herring at Sun...

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