Tuesday Jul 28, 2009

GlassFish v2.1 Packages: The Untold Story

GlassFish v3 garners a lot of attention in our Update Center 2 development project because of its relatively long history of adopting the Image Packaging System and the Update Center Toolkit for its layered, multi-platform distributions.  But there's also a story around the GlassFish Enterprise Server v2.1 release, Sun's premier Java Enterprise Edition 5  platform.

Rationale for Retrofitting Only Packages

Since the GlassFish v2 product offering already had a series of download and install bundles in unpackaged zip and self-extracting formats, it didn't make sense to retrofit those existing deliverables in pkg(5) format for multi-platform use and re-release the entire product distribution.  However, the GlassFish team and several product teams dependent on GlassFish saw an opportunity to make the GlassFish v2.1 product and follow-on support updates available as a series of pkg(5) packages that other products could incorporate into their own pkg(5)-based distributions.

For example, the Web Space Server product's dependency on GlassFish v2.1 was satisfied by including the GlassFish v2.1 pkg(5) packages in the Web Space Server package repositories.  Doing so yielded a soup-to-nut pkg(5)-based distribution of the Web Space Server + GlassFish v2.1 stack.  As part of their set of initial download and install bundles, the Web Space Server team produced a bundle containing GlassFish v2.1, its dependencies and Web Space Server pre-installed using the pkg(5) packages of these components.  Evaluators and customers of the Web Space Server product have benefited from this integrated initial install and ongoing update and add-on experience.

Packaging Kickstart

A special thanks to Christophe Ravel of the shared components team in the Sun middleware group for his instrumental work in getting the initial GlassFish v2.1 packages and their dependencies (including Message Queue, JavaDB and Ant) built for a variety of OS platforms and working with the GlassFish Sustaining team to integrate the package creation process into their existing build system.  Over much of this year, the GlassFish Sustaining team has been refreshing the pkg(5) packages as they've developed update releases for the GlassFish v2.1 product.  These updated packages of GlassFish v2.1 have been published to the Web Space Server support package repository for delivery to customers with support subscriptions. 

Based on his experience, Christophe published a presentation, Multi-platform IPS Packaging for Software Engineers, that is part of the Image Packaging System Best Practices the Update Center project offers to projects adopting pkg(5) for layered, multi-platform use.


Web Space Server Continues to Roll Out Updates and Add-ons

Back in Februrary the GlassFish Web Space Server team rolled out their 10.0 release of their new web portal product.  Following the GlassFish application server project, the Web Space Server team was the second major project team to adopt the Image Packaging System and the Update Center Toolkit for layered, multi-platform use. 

Deliveries Thus far

Since their initial release, the Web Space Server team has been busy rolling out:

  • 5 update releases consisting of updated packages published to support repositories that are accessible to customers with support subscriptions
  • GlassFish Enterprise Server 2.1 packages containing latest fixes for customers
  • More than 30 new add-on packages including many portlets and other extensions to the base platform

Additionally, the Web Space Server team has been aggressively staying on top of the Update Center Toolkit releases by publishing updated toolkit packages to both their release and support repositories.  Doing so ensures that their users get the latest toolkit fixes and features.  They are on v2.2 of the toolkit and will soon publish v2.2 Update 1.

A Satisfied Adopter

Based on more than 6 months of experience supporting their product in the field, James Falkner, a lead on the Web Space Server project, had this to say about the value of adopting the pkg(5) system and the Update Center Toolkit:

"The integration of the pkg(5) system and the Update Center Toolkit as part of the Web Space Server product offering has empowered our customers with out-of-the-box, easy to use tools for managing cross-platform Web Space Server deployments, which allows our product team to focus on delivering high quality releases and updates through an efficient pipeline. Specific benefits include:

    • Ease of rolling in external dependencies (e.g. GFv2.1+dependencies) simply by including the packages in the appropriate repository
    • Desktop notifier, which keeps our customers developing on desktops up-to-date
    • Cross-platform support for our cross-platform product
    • GUI + CLI for addressing many real world use cases
    • Usage metrics"

Closed Network Support: New Territory

Another area where the Web Space Server team is breaking new ground is by enabling customers with deployments that don't have access to the internet-based package repositories to obtain copies of the Web Space Server package repositories and run them locally to feed clients within the customers' closed networks.  More on this front in a future post.

Tuesday Feb 10, 2009

Web Space Server 10 Adopts Update Center

A major new product in the Sun GlassFish Portfolio is the Sun GlassFish Web Space Server 10. Web Space Server is Sun's next generation portal platform and we're excited because the Web Space Server team adopted Update Center 2.1 to package their software and deliver updates and add-ons to their customers. We'd like to thank the team for their hard work, and congratulate them on the Web Space Server 10 release.

Want to learn more about Update Center 2? Then check out our introductory screencast.
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News for projects adopting the multi-platform port of the Image Packaging System - aka pkg(5)

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