Monday Jun 04, 2007

Retailer Auchan shops for a better open source application server

Auchan Logo

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!

Monday Jan 08, 2007

Peerflix: Hot DVD Exchange Site Trades .Net for GlassFish

Peerflix Logo Why rent when you can own? That's the question that Peerflix poses to potential users.

They are, of course, talking about their exchange program where anyone can buy and sell DVDs online with an overhead of "just $0.99 plus postal fees each time you receive a DVD." But in some sense, you could say the same philosophy extends to their site's infrastructure. Instead of essentially renting closed source software that you do not control, why not have an ownership-like stake with as much participation and control as you desire in an open source project?

So when Peerflix became unhappy with the instability of its previous .Net infrastructure, the company turned to its new CTO, Cyril Bouteille, and his ideas for starting fresh with a Java-based architecture. To select an application server for the heart of that architecture, Cyril and team "first narrowed down the space by cost, focusing mainly on open-source application servers." Next, they narrowed the list further by eliminating any candidates which did not provide both a full Java EE implementation and good commercial support options. At that point, Cyril says, "It basically came down to GlassFish and JBoss, and we felt GlassFish was ahead in terms of EE 5 compliance and architecture."

Six months later, Cyril's team of eight engineers completed a new implementation of the Peerflix site using the GlassFish v1 ur1 app server, Solaris 10 operating system, and some of Sun's shiny new x64 hardware. As Cyril notes, "We experienced a 360% increase in traffic after our launch as many of our quarter million registered users as well as new visitors came to check out our new site, and we have not experienced any unplanned downtime on our (4) Sun Fire X2100."

Wow. Congratulations to everyone at Peerflix for such a strong launch! We're excited that you selected GlassFish and other Sun technologies to play a part in your success story.

Want more info? Here are some additional resources:

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