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News: The Great J2EE AppServer Free-for-all

  1. The Great J2EE AppServer Free-for-all (15 messages)

    Despite the garnering of majority marketshare by BEA and IBM, ZDNet writer Eric Knorr predicts that this year, competition will open up for two reasons: major revisions to the J2EE specification and the continuing emergence of strong alternative products. A new article gives a brief overview of the appserver market and J2EE 1.3.

    Read The great app server free-for-all.

    Threaded Messages (15)

  2. "While some vendors, such as ATG, have thrown in the towel"

    Can someone qualify this statement or provide other URLs? Our company uses a Weblogic/Dynamo hybridized tier architecture and is looking to homogenize. This would simplify our choices.
  3. The Great J2EE AppServer Free-for-all[ Go to top ]

    I think the meaning of that, is just that ATG is changing focus. It will not be working on the application server itself, but on building functionality on top of the application server
  4. The Great J2EE AppServer Free-for-all[ Go to top ]

    Actually, I think that is an invalid assessment. Here is a quote from their site:

    "Continued commitment to the ATG Dynamo Application Server
    ATG is supporting the leading J2EE application servers in the market - and that includes the ATG Dynamo Application Server. ATG is still completely committed to DAS and will continue to innovate and invest in DAS for the same reason we always have - to enable our enterprise applications to run with massive scalability and outstanding performance."

    The last I spoke with their development team, which granted was several months ago, they had every intention to continue to support the Dynamo Application Server. I think the difference is that they are one of the few application server vendors with value add offerings that are listening to their customers’ demands that those applications run across a number of J2EE compliant application servers.
  5. The Great J2EE AppServer Free-for-all[ Go to top ]

    Jeff has pretty much summed up our (ATG's) approach. While we will continue to invest and support our application server, DAS, we also realize that there are a lot of people who want to use our core products (personalization, commerce, portals) on other application servers. I'm a bit biased since I work for ATG but I honestly don't see it as "throwing in the towel" but rather being realistic and also expanding our market. We have announced support for a number of app servers, have shipped WebLogic support in December, and will be releasing support for Websphere soon. I would be interested in hearing what people think so feel free to contact me if anyone has comments.

    Jim
  6. ATG has effectively (note: not nominally) given up on supporting J2EE standards.

    I spent a significant amount of time trying to get a J2EE-standard WAR deployed on DAS last year, and it was enough of a nightmare that I persuaded our systems group to discard Dynamo as our platform.

    There were a host of issues. Here are a few examples:

    Usability: Nil. Deployment is a nightmare. If you use the Dynamo/Nucleus approach, life is grand, but J2EE apps are a *pain*. You have to use this Darina tool to turn an .ear file into a .dar file (by the way, no .war deployment without .ears, either directory or otherwise). The tool alone takes minutes to run on a beefy Linux or Solaris machine. And there's no live editing of JSP files within a WAR environment -- you have to re-dar it.

    Compatibility: I ran into one JSP after another that didn't compile or didn't run correctly. There were typing issues right and left. I also ran into a number of showstopper bugs with character encodings in J2EE apps (JSP encoding tags and directives just didn't work).

    etc.

    Effectively thrown in the towel, not nominally. It's just not worth fighting with tech support and project management about trying to make a useable app server.
  7. The Great J2EE AppServer Free-for-all[ Go to top ]

    Dear All,

    We use JRun 3.1, the first Application Server for J2EE and Alliare is the company has given the concept of Tag Libraries to Sun and they implemented in JSP from their experience from CFML. No one will do this and still Macromedia is cont. their support to improve JSP sacrificing their CFML, wonder server side language which didnt comeup. We find JRun features a wonderful easy to use Management Console which we feel the One and Only Console which can be compared with IIS web console for Admin purpose. There is no one giving like this. Its working fine and u can clearly seperate all a Web itself by just creating a Server for that Product. The Admin Server and Default Server is there. U can deploy in Default during testing and create a new Server itself for a Web Application which no one is giving with this easy to use Management Console. It support EJB, etc. But, since we are not using EJB. Since we are a small solution provider in Web to our clients, we use only JSP. Which is much easy to manage we feel.

    Any Comments on JRun 3.1 who has experienced it.

    Yours,
    Sankar.B
  8. The Great J2EE AppServer Free-for-all[ Go to top ]

    <Sankar B>
    There is no one giving like this. Its working fine and u can clearly seperate all a Web itself by just creating a Server for that Product. The Admin Server and Default Server is there. U can deploy in Default during testing and create a new Server itself for a Web Application which no one is giving with this easy to use Management Console.
    </Sankar B>

    Hi Sankar,

    thank you to sum up these features. Now I know they are provided in JRun. I haven't used JRun yet, but please note that everything you sum up is also possible in the WebLogic administration console (very easy by the way.)

    If you are using WebLogic too, can you compare the administration tools please?

    Cheers,
    Pieter.
  9. <Ben Flaumenhaft >
    ATG has effectively (note: not nominally) given up on supporting J2EE standards.

    I spent a significant amount of time trying to get a J2EE-standard WAR deployed on DAS last year, and it was ... a nightmare
    </Ben Flaumenhaft>


    If you tried this a year ago, using say Dynamo 5.1, I'm not surprised you weren't happy. But to infer from an incomplete first release that ATG has "effectively given up on supporting J2EE standards" isn't reality.

    Pretty muI'll be the first to agree that JSP and web application support in Dynamo 5.0 was pretty mediocre, but pretty much all of the problems you cited have been addressed in more recent versions of Dynamo -- in the current version there's a graphical J2EE deployment manager that does the work of loading and deploying war, ear, and dar files. You can deploy applications packed or unpacked and can edit JSP files in an unpacked application and see the results immediately.

    Current versions of of Dynamo support JSP 1.1, with 1.2 in the works -- I suspect the version you ran only supported JSP 0.91, which would explain why JSP pages that relied on 1.0 or 1.1 features didn't work. ATG has also moved most or all of its demo and reference applications to JSP, and now provides a JSP tag library that carries the functions of JHTML and droplets over to JSP pages.

    Far from abandoning J2EE standards, ATG has made improvements in features and compliance with every release, and is active in the JSR process to define new releases of the J2EE specs. (JSP 1.3 has some features that make it look a lot like ATG's version of JHTML, for example.)

    Doesn't sound like giving up to me.
  10. There are so many arguable points in this article that it's hard to know where to start...

    <quote>
    Why code something if it's already been coded?
    </quote>

    There are numerous reasons, just look at the hundreds of open-source softwares being redeveloped and reinvented every day. The truth is simply that it's fun to write something from scratch. I'm not saying it makes sense (most of the time, it doesn't), but it's the reality.

    <quote>
    I predict that this year, competition will open up for two reasons:
    </quote>

    This would go against all the marketing rules proven ofer several decades (Mythical Man-Month, Tornado/Chasm books) but well, it's a prediction, so nothing wrong with that.

    <quote>
    Every time the J2EE spec shifts, the list of app server winners and losers reshuffles a bit
    </quote>

    I don't remember that ever being true, and the author doesn't substantiate this claim with proof. Leaders do get reshuffled once in a while (in the early adopter phase) but certainly not because of standards, and much less J2EE. It's the capacity to innovate and answer to customer's demands that creates traction.

    <quote>
    This omission is one reason the major application server vendors have already begun implementing Web services support as they see fit
    </quote>

    This proves the point made above: Web services might define who the next leader will be, except that it won't be thanks to J2EE but to the company who will be able to address the points I mentioned above.

    <quote>
    when Oracle jettisoned its crummy application server and replaced it with IronFlare's Orion (dubbed Oracle 9i Application Server Release 2), Larry and Co. instantly got back in the game.
    </quote>

    Sure, since they are four times faster than Weblogic and unbreakable.

    Okay, getting off the soap box.

    --
    Cedric





  11. The Great J2EE AppServer Free-for-all[ Go to top ]

    Oracle back in the game????

    Clearly the niether the author nor Cedric has tried to install and use 9iAS. While Orion is a great product on it's own, Oracle in their infinite wisdom has added all the extra "Oracle" add-ons like bc4j, coupling with JDeveloper (another oracle bastardization!), changing a light wieght effective app-server that I could run on my Win 98 machine at home to a BEHEMOTH that requires a MINIMUM of 512 megs to do anything. Deploying ejb's, jsps etc is cumbersome. Oracle should stick to the database business...

    And the author missed one of the best app-servers around ... jboss!!!

    When Jboss 3.0 (Rabbit Hole) is released in the next couple of months it will be even better...of course as Open Source they can't afford to pay Sun for the Certification Logo but they are still compliant and a great alternative for the big guys.


  12. The Great J2EE AppServer Free-for-all[ Go to top ]

    "Clearly neither the author nor Cedric has tried to install and use 9iAS"

    I think Cedric was being ironic when he cited Oracle's marketing claims. :-)
  13. The Great J2EE AppServer Free-for-all[ Go to top ]


    "changing a light wieght effective app-server that I could run on my Win 98 machine at home to a BEHEMOTH that requires a MINIMUM of 512 megs to do anything"

    I use Oracle 9i app server, Oracle 9i database, and Jdeveloper with 128 megs of ram all running concurrently.

    "Oracle in their infinite wisdom has added all the extra "Oracle" add-ons like bc4j"

    readup on J2EE design patterns then you may know of the power behind it. It's 100% J2EE compliant component.


    "Deploying ejb's, jsps etc is cumbersome. Oracle should stick to the database business... "

    huh? I deploy these with a click of a button

    Please, just for the sake of evangelizing JBOSS let's not lie about other J2EE developer tools. JBOSS is a great product and Oracle9i is a great integrated development environment.
  14. The Great J2EE AppServer Free-for-all[ Go to top ]

    Wonder how long it will take for JBoss Group to be acquired?

    Seems to be the pattern first seen in the BEA/Weblogic marriage of convenience/acquisition. Boring old, established, rich company buys hot young cutting edge group of developers.
  15. The Great J2EE AppServer Free-for-all[ Go to top ]

    It looks like the mudslinging and questionable marketing tactics are increasing in the space. But I guess if you draw the analogy to Ellison with databases there is some historical justification I guess :).
  16. Actually, other then being the typical ZDnet plug for whomever is paying them the most advertising this month, the article is so far off the mark that it isnt even funny.

    What I though conspicuously missing was Borland Application Server.

    Sure, if you wanna do a shopping cart and e-commerce, than BEA is your best bet. However, if you want to deploy a distributed application that is a mix of modern code, legacy and CORBA code, then Borland will hand BEA their lunch back to them.

    In fact, recently the vendors, other than Borland, and reviewers have been focusing almost exclusively on building e-commerce systems. Strage given the recent, and all too predictable, crash in the .com market. As a matter of a fact, e-commerce could have never lived up to what it was touted to do.

    The future, in my opinion, is three tier and even n-tier integration of large scale products. Reasearch systems for pharmaceuticals, banking applications, point of sale inventory manaagement, SAP replacement solutions are the future of the industry. What will get it nowhere is Joe bob wanting to put up his own online store.

    Ironic that in a time of advancement associated with EJB, CORBA and distributed object revolutions that the majority of programmers are focusing on using this spiffy technology as a rag to clean their windows.