Retailer Auchan shops for a better open source application server

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Big retailers face tough challenges. Any disruption to their supply chain can have a big impact on their profits. Also, covering a lot of territory means having information systems which can handle a diverse set of users spread out over many time zones.

Auchan Russia could be the poster child for such challenges. It's a division of one of the world's largest retailers (Auchan had 1.3 billion customers in 2006). And it certainly has no shortage of territory, given that Russia spans two continents and eleven time zones.

Moving off of Oracle application server, Auchan bet on GlassFish for an application used by thousands of users to manage internal collections and promotional activities. It was chosen over JBoss and Geronimo (Open Source was a key criteria) and the existing application migration was minimal. Spring, Hibernate, Struts and Oracle are the main technologies at work with GlassFish. The management console was considered to be "clear and intuitive that can be used even by support staff with minimal training" and the application running without a hitch for months.

Software Architect Guillaume Bilodeau has some very kind words on his experience :

"GlassFish impressed us from the beginning, particularly because of its intuitive web-based management interface. Deploying the existing applications was painless, requiring us only to write simple deployment descriptors; we did not meet any classloading issues."

You'll find much more information in Guillaume's full response to the GlassFish adoption questionnaire. Enjoy!

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