I am back after a two week visit to India. I took the week off last week to be with my folks and to unwind and recharge in my home city, Mumbai.
The week before that was an incredible one for me as I saw the hi tech boom in India first hand. The swelling and enthusiastic crowds at the Sun Tech Days event at Hyderabad on Feb 27, 28 and 29 was very thrilling to experience to say the least. The event was highly successful in attracting budding youngsters and experienced professionals alike. I am told that the content of the event was very fulfilling for attendees.
Some notes of interest :
- Each session had between 1000 and 1500 attendees. Community Day was on Feb 29th with tracks such as GlassFish, OpenSolaris, Netbeans, etc. and each track had an expected 450 people based on hall capacity. In the GlassFish track, we saw that increase to around 500.
- At the GlassFish booth, I met quite a lot of visitors many of whom had either vaguely heard about GlassFish or never heard of it. About a 3rd of people were ones who work with an Application Server in a professional capacity. Others were developers learning the ropes at work or students who were excited to see an open source appserver like GlassFish.
- GlassFish is relatively new here - people have heard about it and are now beginning to try it out. So this was a huge opportunity to spread the word about GlassFish as a compelling open source project delivering a fully Java EE 5 compliant application server packing a whole bunch of features that commercial vendors usually provide for the cost of an expensive license and services attachment.
- Common theme of questions from professionals were on availability of migration tools to move from BEA, and Websphere. They are looking for detailed documentation and engineering services support for migration to enable them to recommend GF in their orgs and in their client orgs. We are working on this on multiple fronts and through the migrate2glassfish project.
- Many professionals I talked to had tried JBoss before but due to their employer or customer platform preference, they were on WebSphere or WebLogic.
They were impressed with GlassFish's Administration ease of use and GlassFish's published SpecJ numbers.
- Companies from which people came to booth read like the who's who of the hitech majors' list such as Wipro, Satyam, Infosys, Cap Gemini, etc.
- Most users were still developing on J2EE 1.4. Many are beginning to move to Java EE 5.
- Many developers I met were on Eclipse. I demoed GlassFish and NetBeans 6.0 when possible at the booth and many went back saying they will surely try NB with GF.
Based on reactions and questions that came from people at the booth, here are the things that I thought attracted many of these folks to think of converting from their existing middleware to GlassFish :
- GlassFish's open source status
- Free for development and deployment
- No license fee for product purchase
- Strong community support
- Sun's backing and commercial support offering (the concept of indemnification was new for some but many understood impact for their customers abroad)
- Administration ease of use
Market leading product differentiators such as Grizzly
, Virtual server support in Web tier, Web Services
support, Easy cluster creation and management, Call Flow Monitoring, High Availability Options through In-memory replication and HADB, Inclusion of a quality MQ product, Netbeans and Eclipse IDE integration, etc.
Many of the professionals working with other application servers said the Administration, Clustering, High Availability, Loadbalancer support, Webservices support, migration support, and IDE integration would motivate them to try out or switch to GlassFish.
Looking forward to hearing from these new GlassFish users at our user community mailing list.