mercredi sept. 17, 2008

Virtual Box in Headless Mode, RDP, Sun Rays, Mac ....

I am at SIBOS this week, on Sun's booth, demonstrating our Open Suite for Swift Solution to customers and prospects.

The demo has been prepared by Patrice in a Virtual Box image and requires significant resources to run as it includes, Java CAPS, Directory Server, Oracle XE, Microsoft MQ, Websphere MQ etc ...

Our initial plans was to install that demo on our booth's Sun Ray server but the machine was not sized appropriately to handle a dozen Sun Ray clients running Star Office, Firefox and, at the same time, our huge Swift demo VM.

The solution was :

  • Start the VM on my own laptop, in headless mode (my laptop acting as a Virtual Server)
  • On the Sun Ray, start our RDP client to connect to running VM, over the air

The full picture is then

Sun Ray device ---> Sun Ray Server ---> RDP Client ---> Virtual Box ---> Swift Demo

This setup works great !  People are always quite impressed when I plug my Sun Badge in a Sun Ray client and instantly receive my Windows screen running in a VM on another machine.

It is important to understand that Virtual box \*is\* the RDP server here, independently of any OS running as guest.  This setup will also work with Linux or Solaris guest.  Read this article to find more about Virtual Box's headless capabilities.

vendredi mai 02, 2008

JSCalendarSync v0.75 is released

Just a couple of hours before flying to JavaONE 2008, I released the new version of JSCalendarSync.

Progress is doing well since a couple of months as Mark, the guy behind iClock, started to contribute a lot of code and many good ideas, so, once again, many thanks to Mark for taking the time to improve JSCalendarSync.

This new version allows users to synchronize Tasks, a.k.a. ToDo.  It also includes a Preference Pane to set some rarely used, but useful, parameters.  Last but not least it allows user to choose which Sun Calendar to synchronize instead of the default one. 

On the bug fixes side, we should now get rid of the time zone issue for All Day events.  I received positive reports form users in America/New-York, Australia/Sidney and Europe/Belgium time zones.

Please check the complete change log for more details.

You can download JSCalendarSync from the Sourceforge's repository.  Please, continue to report feedback and issue as it helps to improve the tool.

mardi févr. 05, 2008

Java CAPS on Mac OS X

The next version of Java Composite Application Platform Suite (Java CAPS, formerly Seebeyond ICANN) will be available for Mac OS X. While Sun will not support production use of this platform, we will ship a Mac OS X build for development, testing and demo purposes. I downloaded and installed our internal milestone 6 yesterday on my Macbook Pro and, so far so good, it seems to run as fine as the Solaris or Windows version.

As Netbeans and Glassfish are at the heart of this future version, and because they just run well on Mac OS X, it would have been surprising to not publish a Mac OS X build for Java CAPS.

Other platforms available for this M6 build are AIX, Linux, in addition of Windows and Solaris of course.

While this move won't probably drastically change the adoption rate of Java CAPS, it will make the life of many developers easier, as they will be able to use the Mac as their main development or test platform, with the exact same tool as the one used for production.

Many Sun Sales Engineers and Professional Services Engineers are using Macs as well. For us too, having a native build will avoid playing with huge virtual machines images, just for the purpose of demo.

Thumbs up guys, great job - Thanks !

jeudi févr. 22, 2007

JSCalendarSync v0.30 released

After being quite for some long weeks, I spent some time over the week-end to prepare release v0.30 of JSCalendarSync. You can download it now from SourceForge's repository

We are now several dozen, within and outside Sun, to use JSCalendarSync on a daily basis, with no major problem.

This release introduces some changes and many bug fixes. I would encourage every users to download it to replace the existing version.

I would like to thanks all of you for your testing, suggestions and encouragements, also for your patience when helping me to debug this or that annoying issue.

So, what's new in v0.30 ?
  • the GUI now provides an option to sync or not the "Description" attribute from events. Many users complained about this attribute being synchronized while they are using it to store conf call access codes or otherwise confidential information. You can now ask JSCalendarSync to not synchronize this attribute.
  • Event cancellation / modification notices are no longer sent by default. This request was very popular and caused many annoyances to all of us. By default, JSCalendarSync now asks Calendar Server to not send an email notice to event attendees when an event is modified / deleted on iCal.
    Should you want to enable this again, you'll need to open a Terminal application, type "defaults write com.sun.luxembourg.cso.JSCalendarSync notifyAttendees -bool true" and restart JSCalendarSync
  • And... last but not least..., a fellow Sun coworker started to implement support for recurring events. Preliminary code is in the CVS main branch. And we should expect some more announcements in the near future.

What's fixed in v0.30 ?
  • passwords and all text attributes are now URL-friendly, meaning that you can use special characters (like ?.:&%) in your passwords and event descriptions
  • international character sets (german's umlauts or french accents for example) are now correctly handled in booth directions
  • many small bug fixes

Users upgrading from a previous version might have a small GUI glitch because of the way Window size and position are remembered from your last run. Should you encounter this small issue, open a Terminal application and type : 'defaults delete com.sun.luxembourg.cso.JSCalendarSync "NSWindow Frame window"', then restart JSCalendarSync.

Finally, I would like to remind some of you that, the first time you run JSCalendarSync, you will be prompted by Mac OS X's Synchronization Manager to authorize, or not, JSCalendarSync to synchronize with iCal. You must answer "Yes" to this question ! Failure to do so will prevent JSCalendarSync to work properly.

As usual, do not hesitate to report me any issue you might have or improvements you would like to see in future releaseS (yes : recurring events and attendees are high on my priority list :-)

Happy synchonization !

Sébastien Stormacq is a Senior Software Architect at Sun Microsystems. He uses his 15+ years of professional experience to design large scale, secured and highly transactional architectures based on Sun's middleware solutions.


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