Tuesday, December 09, 2008

[Misc] Glassfish

I recently informed myself about the (Sun) Glassfish J2EE server. I never took it as a serious competitor in the field, as I had the impression it is just a reference implementation that is from Sun... However, I had to change my opinion. In the recent years it seems, that the Glassfish community worked hard on their baby and currently it seems to be a solid competitor in the field.

The Glassfish univers "not only" contains a J2EE server, but actually a set of Enterprise-tools like as message broker, clustering framework, enterprise service bus (JBI compatible), a library to implement SIP applications and the like. Additionally it is well supported by the Netbeans IDE. The recent (preview) version contains a J2EE runtime that additionally supports scripting languages like Ruby and Groovy and is based on the OSGi framework.

What I do like additionally is the fact, that Glassfish comes with a decent installation tool, provides a solid web-based administration interface and seems to be reasonably well documented. And, of course, the whole stuff is Open Source.

I must say, I am quite impressed so far. Any comments on that one?


rmeindl said...

Glassfish 3 Prelude is maybe the most convenient and fastest application container so far. JRuby and Groovy are supported natively, the Metro Webservice stack works very well with .Net WCF and based on the OSGi Felix container it can be dynamically extended and updated. Glassfish ist very fast, faster as JBoss or a lot faster as Apache Geronimo. It also ist well integrated in Netbeans and can be used as replacement for WebBrick in Rails (is available as RubyGem). For Unit tests it is easily embeddable.
For some reasons not a lot of people know that Sun has a excellent technology stack, see to http://blogs.sun.com/theaquarium/. Also OpenESB (now GlassFish ESB) is worth a look-
I use it as development playground, but seems to be very mature and the community there is very active.

pelegri said...

Thanks for your nice words about GlassFish - we try!

Any suggestions on how to get the word out?

- eduard/o

Alexander Schatten said...

Well, it is not easy apparently. I wrote an article for a well-read swiss magazin about Glassfish, maybe that helps a tiny bit.

However, I think it is really a shame, that JBoss has such attention where in my opinion many aspects (particularly about the community) are a little bit odd.

Maybe the community behind Glassfish should make a stronger appearance and make it clear, that this is not just a Sun reference project.

rainwebs said...

The problem with Glassfish is its history. The timeframe when JBoss got its first attention the Sun guys ignored this "new" market. Now the claims are defined. And with SpringSource and its engagement in Tomcat, skipping EJB stuff completely, the heavy-weight containers may will struggle even more.