SNCF.com Full GlassFish adoption questionnaire responses from Franck Leprêtre, Software Architect at SNCF.

Date : May 2008


Can you tell us about the application, site, or service in which you have adopted GlassFish?

SNCF is the French railways company. Its reservation system is based on an IBM mainframe: TPF. This system is linked to other European railways systems, and airlines reservation systems (Amadeus, Sabre, and Galileo).

It is important to monitor this system 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With our system anyone can book a train, a flight, from anywhere in the world and at any time, therefore, the reservation system must be checked continuously.

For the coverage team, a J2EE solution has been implemented to monitor the complete system (Web + mainframe + European partners). This is where GlassFish is used. The specification was initially simple:

How and when did you first find out about GlassFish?

We heard about GlassFish on Sun web site 2 years ago. As we were quite happy with JBoss, we did not go any further. Trying a new version of Netbeans, we were impressed by the changes from previous versions. As Netbeans is tightly linked to GlassFish, we wanted to see if the J2EE server was a good as the development editor.

Moreover, we were interested by M. Fleury's comment, about GlassFish. The creator of JBOSS stated that GlassFish will become its main competitor.
As we were using JBoss, we decided to compare functionalities.

Did you go through an evaluation process before selecting GlassFish? If so, can you tell us a little bit about the process and results?

Our goal was to find an open source J2EE Server that could replace JBoss. The evaluation process was to test the administration of a simple application in GlassFish. We were impressed by the simplicity and efficiency of the administration console, and how easy it was to set up the application's properties: JMS queues, JDBC connexions...

Moreover, we wanted the compliance to Java EE 5 specifications, and SUN's products are by principle the most related to the specifications. Netbeans + GlassFish did not seem so different from Weblogic + Workshop.

To try an open source server with the same features as a commercial one was for us very good news.

What specific version of GlassFish are you using?

GlassFish V2 UR1

On what operating system do you run GlassFish? Do you use the same OS for both development and production deployment?

We use Windows as, we need to send graphical images in real time from Flash and the only solution was found on this platform.

On what hardware platform do you run GlassFish? Do you use the same platform for both development and production deployment?

PC with Windows Server 2003.

What specific features or modules of GlassFish are you using?

We use:

What do you like most about GlassFish?

  1. The administration console was really a big hit for our development team. Generated ANT files save a lot of time. It is the reason why a new comer in the application can be productive much faster than before.
  2. GlassFish is a very good quality open source application.
  3. The logging system is very useful and easy to use.
  4. GlassFish is 100% compliant to Java EE 5 specifications. The previous server we used would accept some codes that were impossible with GlassFish. The migration to GlassFish made us make improvements to our application.
  5. Sun is a stable company, and this server will be supported for the years to come.

What would you most like to see improved in GlassFish?

The nice to have features would be:

Are you using any open source or commercial frameworks or tools in your application?

We use Java Server Faces (JSF) and JSTL for the client framework. Hibernate with the Entity EJB. We create graphical representations using JavaSwf and PDF Reporting with Jasper Reports. To generate images from Flash frames, we use Quicktime.

Does your application use a database? If so, which one?

We use Derby.

Are there any figures about the scale of your adoption which you would like to share?

The application is based on one production server and one test server. The application was created in 3 to 4 years, and 2 months were needed for one programmer to migrate to GlassFish.

How has GlassFish performed since your application went live? Have you run into any production issues which you would attribute to GlassFish?

No, everything is ok!

How would your describe your participation in the GlassFish project (e.g. user only, submitter of bug reports and RFEs, developer who has contributed code)?

We try to contribute to the forums with our experience of a migration to GlassFish from JBoss.

Is there anything else you think would be of interest in a story about your GlassFish adoption?

We are very pleased to have migrated to GlassFish.
Some information about the application is present at: http://www.desktopj2ee-projects.com

Thanks Franck for sharing this with the rest of the GlassFish community!