An interview with Marc Fleury, founder of JBoss, has been posted on theopenenterprise.com. In the interview, Fleury talks about the history and value of JBoss, claims that vendors are focusing on integrated software stacks because JBoss crippled their ability to make money on appservers, and discusses JBoss' goal to become a monopolistic but responsible provider of Web infrastructure.
Read JBoss: The J2EE Open-Source Alternative
Also see the recent Marc Fleury Hard Core Tech Talk on TheServerSide, which goes into more technical depth:
Is it that jboss has stolen some of the appserver vendor thunder or that after a product becomes somewhat mature there is less and less you can do to command upgrade licenses?
I mean, yes, MS keeps finding ways to continue bloating Office, but after a while you see little incremental advantage to the upgrade. Steve Jobs wants me to upgrade OS X 10.2 at US$179... but I just bought this version 11 months ago. No, sorry Steve. Now he'll only provide JDK1.4 for 10.2, I'm sure.
The integrated stack is a natural evolution of their product lines... I guess they're all finished copying sexy jboss features and they need something else to do. ;^)
I would really like to get hold of a good guide as to how to use JBOSS. Specially for Average programmers. They have the worst documentation right now. They can take over Tomcat market to some extent, if JBOSS is also as eay as tomcat to install and use. I liked Resin as the best to provide good solid documentation.
I kno a lot of you may not agree. But its my experience.
Have you bought the latest docs ($10). I got them last week and I found them to be quite good. Not only did a learn more about how to use JBoss, I learned a lot about its infastruture, as well as some new J2EE stuff (their explaination of JMX is ten times better than anything from the Sun site).
As for installation - I don't see how it can get much easier:
4. Copy your EAR file into the deploy directory
Great stuff, if you ask me.
I don't see how it can get much easier
Try deploying a real application.
Done. Setup your datasources (there's examples under the doc-directory if you feel that's too hard), write the jboss-specific deployment descriptors. Deploy. That wasn't so hard, was it?-)
If you're stuck with for example weblogic-specific code in your application, you know where to point your finger don't you?
If you need documentation, you can byu it. Cheaply.
If you need consultation, you can byu it. Easily.
What was really your problem?
Some stuff are missing to run a real life application under jboss
Where is the documentation about the classloader hierarchy?
Is it the kind of info i have to pay for?
Documentation is available here for a very very small fee
What you're looking for costs $10.00 (JBossAdminDevel for JBoss 3.0.4) and it contains explanations on the class loader hierarchy.
I recently subscribed to the 6-months docs subscription for $60.00. It gives ALL the docs for 6-months.
If having non-free documentation (very cheap anyway) is what it takes for the JBoss Group to continue providing such an excellent job then so be it.
Disclaimer: I'm just a user of JBoss.
We just signed up for the 12 months subscription for ONLY $100. You can't get a better deal than that. Having using WLS from 4.5 to 7.0, I can assure you JBoss is much easier to set up and use.
What do you call a real application?
Would an application consisting of ~600 classes, 40 EJBs ( stateless and entity), JMS, Presentation layer using JSPs & Servlet Controllers, Logging with Log4j, etc... be a "real application"? If yes, then it does deploy by just dropping the ear file into the /deploy directory. Pretty simple if you ask me. It even uses JBoss Clustering features.
Obviously all the ugly stuff that has to be done to package the application is handled by Ant.
Exactly. It really is that easy. Regarding the docs, IMHO, you need more than just the JBoss docs. You also need a good book on J2EE because the JBoss docs only explains things specific to JBoss. For general J2EE stuff like what goes into an EAR file, get a J2EE book. My experience is that people look for general J2EE knowledge in JBoss docs, and not finding it, get frustrated and blame JBoss.
I m sure you are in this market for long so u can put it installation of JBOSS in simple 3 steps. What u dont understand is the irritation one has to go thro when the things dont go in the intended way and one starts getting some weird error message. And then starts the search on google, forums and hell lot of places just to know whats wrong with my installation. And you will never find it in the stupid - not up to date - $10 documentation.
It has happened with so many people. So Ryan, I do respect ur knowledge, but u seem to live in ur own *smart* world. U dont want any avg. / new user to get hold of JBOSS and just try to write a small hello world. We all do understand whats J2EE and I m not looking for that knowledge in JBOSS. Look at Tomcat - I can do installation in few steps and have my App running withing 10 minutes. And this is time for a average user.
Installation itself can be tedious in cases. And thats why if you search on google you will find a lot of people complaining abt some errors in JBOSS not found in documentation. Thats where JBOSS lacks. They think everyone is as smart as they are and everyone's machine is going to be well configured, there wont be any problm with their current classpath setting and things like that. Its not the real world my friend. Atleast just look at Resin, BEA documents and u will know what exactly i m mean by good documentation. I am not marketing any particular App server and its not even a question of paid or not, its a question of What is good documentation. ?
I hope you understand what i mean.
HAPPY CODING !!!!
Sorry if my original reply was a bit flippant. I don't know what everybody's particular environment is, so I cannot comment on ease-of-installation of all machines. From my perspective, though, once you initially get JBoss set up and running, deploying is a breeze - copy your latest WAR/EAR into your deploy directory and watch it fly. Awesome for development builds.
When it comes to non-trivial deployments - things get more complicated and the docs are sparser. That is where we agree. However, as I said before, I bought the Admin/Dev docs a couple of weeks ago. So far, I have poured over (almost literally word-for-word) the first three or four chapters. I am impressed. Much of my ClassLoader questions were answered in the first chapter. As were my questions about the boot process (how services are loaded). Really cool stuff. (Read to source code for a good OO lesson.)
I intend to start studying the clustering fearures soon, and I also anticipate some inpending frustration, as well. Complex stuff is never easy, right? However, I am curious to see just how "ready-for-prime-time" it is when I flex its clustering muscle.
I'm sorry if you have had problems with JBoss. I have found the JBoss forums full of useful tidbits (although the forum's search never seems to work very well, or not at all in some cases). Have you tried looking there for help?
Good luck, and be patient.
Ryan (no direct affiliation with JBoss, but a fan)
JBoss seems to be used heavily by Fortune 1000
well there is no need to pick a fight! .One final thought:
Jboss users don't have to take the RED PILL as well!
what is the red pill?
So, do the following experiment: Watch the entire movie again, this time with the additional info that the red pill that Neo swallows, is nothing more than a strong hallucinogen, which alters reality and shapes it according to the subconscious instructions of Morpheus.
You will then recognize that the rest of the movie is nothing more than Morpheus reality, imposed on Neos mind.
We all like power. And we all would like a chance to control reality in ways similar to Neos way around the end of the movie. So we invent science, machines, law, order and try to understand how mother nature works, in order to be able to control it by extrapolating and predicting its behavior, based on our scientific investigations.
Well, I've got news. You _can_ control reality. Anybody can. Well, anybody who takes the appropriate red pill. So what the heck IS this red pill anyway?
You've guessed it: It's drugs. And in particular, it's the strong hallucinogenic drugs, those that alter the perception of reality. The stronger the alteration, the easier your mind would break under their influence. The weaker your mind, the easier it would be for you to go insane. The more powerful your mind, the easier it would be to shape those altered states.
I will not argue here the validity status of drugs. The last cross posted thread in t.b., argued some of those points. Neither will I condemn either side apriori. Condemning recreational drug use is as silly as condoning non-drug use, principally because either reality is as valid as the other one.
The point I want to stress however, is that whether you are a recreational drug user or a heavy user, at one point you will be asked to make a choice: Whether you will use your drug to shape your reality according to your coveting desires or whether you will just float along and just have fun.
Well, if you try to shape reality under the influence, you will find that others are trying to do the same thing at the same time you are trying. (This is the well known phenomenon of thinking everybody is stoned when you are stoned when you are walking out on the street). The object of the other participants is to scare the living daylights out of you and throw you out of the game while you are doing this.
However, being scared, if examined more closely, is essentially nothing more than a simple state of dealing with unknown circumstances and parameters which have not been dealt before in your conscious or subconscious.
Your perspective in dealing with fear thus, is crucial in determining the exact future of the universe you sit in, when all this happens. If you really shit your pants, you can, very easily die, not because another user is doing reality voodoo on you, rather because _you_ yourself, are perceiving this as someone is doing reality voodoo on me.
I cannot stress the above enough: The existence of various fears while being in a similar situation, is akin to having large unexplored areas in the subconscious, which really when awaken, immediately will try to attack the self in a moment's notice through the manifestation of a specific reality that appears as a fearful or dangerous situation.
In reality, it makes absolutely no fucking difference whether you _are_ alive or not, whether you die at this specified moment in time when you are attacked by the whatever fear or whether you make it.
So here enters the most serious question of all. Why does the unknown in us, try to attack the self when it is awaken or enlightened?
I have searched for an answer to this for so long, that I have essentially abandoned all hope in finding it. Two days ago, my cousin Nick offered the only viable explanation that sort of provides the most truthful answer: The self attacks the self first, because it is the closest potential victim. And since because of our very nature we NEED to victimize our fellow beings, the self will naturally try to attack the first possible candidate that it can find with the least effort. Who's that? The self.
I have no idea why this happens. Perhaps if one could somehow find a separate entity to victimize, the self would stop attacking itself. It may also be because once the self awakens, it essentially sees that there's nobody else there except itself, so it naturally bursts with anger against the only thing that exists. The Me. The I Am.
I am not against recreational drug use. In fact I like smoking pot so much, that I have not smoked any for 5 years. But I am so sensitive to it, that through it, I recognize that the only reality in existence is pretty much only the self or the I Am when I delve into the realms of Cannabis.
And since I cannot find anybody else to attack when I am stoned, I naturally conjure up all sorts of fears to keep my mind busy.
On the other hand, this attack on the self may very well be a natural consequence of the mind's inability to expand infinitely. I am always ok if I put Bachs music in the background. It is the ultimate experience for me: Listening to his music while stoned.
But the moment I exit his mind, Nietzsches abyss takes form and shape and quickly moves against me. Maybe I am severely damaged in my subconscious. I will never know perhaps, but for now, I will simply stay with the magoi who do not try to alter this reality through drugs. I will leave this to the more knowledgeable gurus who have enough mind power to shape the future towards something beautiful, which I cannot do.
What I would like to see in the future? I don't know. But I think that seeing a large chorus of men and women dressed in a combination of white and black, singing Bach cantatas and a large orchestra accompanying them, praising some sort of god (existent or non existent) out there, is as far as I want to go.
It is as far as I _can_ go.
JBoss is a good product but will end up following a similar path to EJB. To obscurity and irrelevance - (because it is very much 'tied' to EJB ?)
my two pence
Daniel - I can assure you, you don't know what you are talkng about. Currently, there is a lot more in JBoss than just EJB. JBoss supports everything in the J2EE spec, of which EJB is only a part. Secondly, the next version of JBoss, Jboss 4.0, will be based on an Aspect Oriented Framework, that will allow developers to create applications that go way beyond the J2EE spec. So I really don't get your statement that "JBoss is tied to EJB"
Waou...how long did it take to type this reply ?
I refered to the red pill as decision to stay in the wonderland of Open source world and not to use off-the-shelf -easy to use Products.As in Matrix Neo did had the choice to choose between Jboss and BEA WebLogic . the poor man does't like the idea of not being in control of his destiniy...
JBoss started out and still is an EJB container. Take out EJB and JBoss does not have alot going for it (that cannot be got from elsewhere). JBoss 4.0 may well be alot of things but then so will JNotDevelopedYet and that won't be supporting the rubbish parts of J2EE (ie: EJB).
What percentage of people currently using JBoss are not using any EJB ?
What percentage of people currently using JBoss are not using any EJB?
How many people are using WL/WAS for just servlets/JSPs? What's your point?
Actually that's a good point:What is the use of all J2ee application Servers if we don't need ejb component for the business logic. All the rest of J2ee shabang can be run in a web container ...any web container and faster!
The EJB container of JBoss seems to be based on their interceptor architecture. I heard the JBoss folks claim that JBoss is 30% J2EE, the rest is just a good server side framework.
I don't like EJBs but use them and JBoss is good at EJB. I wonder if JBoss should totally detach itself from the J2EE spec and use their distribution to push their own standard. It would be something like EJB, but not quite EJB.
EJB done right...
It sounds like you took another pill completely. The red pill is not a "strong hallucinogen." Morpheus explains to Neo exactly what it is. I suggest you watch the movie again.
According to J2ee best pratice Business logic should not be executed inside the web tier. does this apply to JDO or do we have to do this inside an ejb tier - using a SessionBean or even a BMP?
/*taking none of both pills ..*/
I agree. Software isn't so much productive if you have to understand the architecture and features just looking JavaDocs or very dumb simple examples. If you want to review a product to know if it could be useful for your next project, the minimal to expect from the maker is an actual and quality driven documentation, even if the software is free.
Orion is an another example of great production quality Java App Server but it has so many poorly (or may I should call it partial) undocumented non J2EE features (although very useful like clustering and a subset of EJB 2 CMP) that is hard to know what feature you should use.
J2EE has a specification but the world is wild, so every J2EE app server has your owns secrets...
JBoss EJB container, as I know, also was developed by a very talented sweden Java architect (thank you again, Rickard !). But JBoss team must pay more attention to documentation and support. After all, they make money supporting their superb J2EE implementation, right ?
BTW, this link will give you a draft of their upcoming Getting Started book. Give a try !
I've been using Jboss since its first version. It is a smart project by smart coders. The only thing still missing - I say - is TOOLS . Jboss doesn't have tools the same as the rest of good j2ee app servers. U can find few tools in sourceforge.net but they are no more than personal toys .
Out of curiousity, what tools would you like to see developed that would be specific to JBoss?
The problem with the JBoss team is their team culture, that basically is 'We are so cool and smart. You guys should be for ever grateful that you can download JBoss for free.' It is because of this culture that the documentation is so bad and for profit.
Don't get me wrong, they are smart and takes a lot of vision to start this kind of project and lots of determination to take it where it is now, it is just that they could use some modesty.
It is too bad that JBoss it's not part of Apache-Jakarta. The level of professionalism and quality of the jakarta teams have no match.
Thanks for the candid feedback. We are actively working on improving our documentation and making everything more user friendly. I am sorry you feel the way you do about the culture, is this from personal experience?
We strive to deliver a world class J2EE based application server that today is going well "beyond J2EE" and providing a strong foundation for the future of Enterprise Java Middleware. Where .Net killed J2EE in the recent debacle put forth here, JBoss picks up the slack.
We are in fact very different from Jakarta and do not wish to be more like them. Jboss Group strives to find a business in Free Software, instead of letting others like Sun and IBM prosper from our work like Apache. Selling documention funds our development of our product. We do not get grants like Apache, everything has to get paid for.
We welcome constructive ctiticism on how we can better server the community. We are tired of seeing IBM, BEA, and Oracle rip the community off with software that is just OK for lots of money. We strive to bring quality back to the enterprise. And quality support as well. When you ask us for help (for pay that is) we fix your problems fast, much faster than the commercial vendors with huge call centers full of people who have no idea about their products.
Once again, thanks for the feedback, it helps us get better. 2003 will be the year of Free Software!
instead of letting others like Sun and IBM prosper from our work like Apache
You are accusing Apache group? You got to be kidding. Isn't Apache group the one thats made sure JCP is more open?
>> We are tired of seeing IBM, BEA, and Oracle rip the community off with software that is just OK for lots of money
And we are tired of hearing Crap like BEA Killer(with first version of clustering and with no proper console)
You are trying to make money so does IBM, BEA and Oracle.
My understanding is that the JBoss documents are all PDFs. This is fine if you're going to print them out but I don't fancy wasting lots of toner. I'd be more willing to stump up the cash if they were in HTML format (like the ant documentation - very easy to navigate and read on screen) or I could buy them from a bookshop as a real book.
send the pdf to kinkos and they can print it all out and even bind it for you.
Unfortunately kinkos seem to be US only. I'm in the UK.
My understanding is that the JBoss documents are all PDFs.
You are correct. At least the 3.0 Admin/Dev doc is in PDF. It is actually pretty easy to navigate online. Has very fine-grained bookmarks so it is easy to jump to exactly what you are looking for.
if it really bothers you that much just don't print it out. or buy one of the many tools that will do your conversion for you.
all this whinging about jboss docs is like giving someone a free car, and them whining about having to pay for the petrol (gas) themselves, and then whining some more because they prefer diesel.
get a life!
Ben, thanks for you reply.
Just for a second, try to forget all you know about JBoss and Apache. Then go to the jakarta site and pick a random project, say Torque. You very quickly will find a step by step tutorial, documentation, etc. Now go to the JBoss site. After some browsing you'll find the 'quick start guide' that is quite confusing and poorly written.
I don't mind to pay 10$ for good documentation, but after reading the quick guide I thought that the paid documentation would be the same thing with more detail. I am 100% honest, and seems that I am wrong for some of the comments I've read on this thread.
I don't have any problem on you guys making money out of your work ! I hope you make good money!
Some of the jakarta projects have also books on sale and I bought some of them, like the 'Java Dev with Ant' from E. Hatcher. Great book that complements the documentation. So not to much of a problem having good documentation and still making a buck or two writing extra stuff.
>"We are tired of seeing IBM, BEA, and Oracle rip the community off with software that is just OK for lots of money"
I'm too ! Thanks for offering a great alternative.
Disclaimer: I'm an independent developer, without any connection to any open-source team.
Having dealt with JBoss folks, I must say I was impressed with the level of professionalism by the JBoss folks. These guys know what they are doing and I think they have the Open Source business model down cold.
I must say that coming out of the microsoft world, these guys have the big picture really down. I am impressed and I am sold to the pitch of "monopoly" by Mr Fleury.
I see the dynamic of JBoss and coming fresh to the J2EE world I saw JBoss everywhere and recommended by smart guys. What pushed me to test their services is that I view them as having the momentum that Microsoft had 10 years ago. The smart guys get it and go with it while the clueless talk about datacenters. I was part of the smart guys in Microsoft years ago and I am glad to see the same momentum, the same attitude of "we will own the world". It is refreshing to see this in the computing world and frankly very welcomed.
Mr Fleury may be one arrogant and ambitious bastard, I love that attitude and acidity, it is what got Gates to the top and I think the real test will come for JBoss. The real test is that they need to get serious partnerships in place, they need the certification.
I'm not sure I understand the "Open Source *business model*." Help me out please. Software is free and documentation costs? The model seems to be that there are no "software companies," only "service companies," i.e. support, consulting, etc. Is that about it? I'm classifying companies based on the source of their revenue. How do "core" developers provide support and consulting but at the same time work on evolving the core product? After all, to be an effective consulting company, consultants have to be "billable" 85-100% of their time. If some "core" developers do not work support and consulting, that means the other "service workers" have to generate enough revenue to pay everyone's way, correct? Essentially, a consulting company with permanent "consultants" on the bench since the work the core developers are doing doesn't generate revenue for the company. How does this model scale? Don't mean to be a naysayer but I would need to see financial reports from JBoss Group to be convinced they have an effective, long term business model. Do they pay salaries to all members of the group or do members generate their own money? Are members employed by JBoss? Benefits?
Sorry so many questions. Trying to understand the business model. Thanks for info or pointers.
Just more one point :
Every time I has some free time to know about JBoss I got a really very slow performance. From Brazil or from Portugal. Note that I am browsing from a very fast Internet conection in both cases.
The JBoss site was created by http://www.neoline.ru
, and IMHO JBoss deserve a more modern design but more than that, raw performance !
U are right Jboss's site is 'bloody slow and full of unnecessary graphics ...well even nice birds sometimes...the last time one Jboss user was to told to go bed and have w***k for this remark !!!
What I meant my Tools Ryan is:
> Building a front interface for Jboss that deploys ejbs on the fly (JMX),create Mbeans,CMP beans,JDO classes and their mapping ,deploy all web container components(servlets,jsp etc),run,shutdown the server,configure jboss through most of its xml files,create wars,jars and ear files and deploy them ...
Have a look at www.easyj.com
i just read about it, havnt tried it yet,
seems that the download page is down.
it promises much :-)
U can download it now. This is just Beta version -
Not to beat a dead horse, but I still am not clear on what kind of tool you are looking for. Some of things you mentioned may be specific to JBoss, some are just J2EE things, are some things I just don't quite understand:
"deploys ejbs on the fly (JMX)"
- This is already done by copying an EJB JAR file into the deploy directory. Nothing a tool could help with here. You can also start/stop/kill any deployable item through JMX.
- Not sure what you mean here.
- I think XDoclet can knock most of this out for you.
"JDO classes and their mapping"
- I don't know enough about JDO to comment on this one.
"deploy all web container components(servlets,jsp etc)"
- Again, just copy your WAR into the deploy directory. (See EJBs above)
"run,shutdown the server"
I think there are already JMX hooks for shutting down the server. You just need a JMX client (they provide and HTML client out of the box)
"configure jboss through most of its xml files"
This is the only one where I can see a tool may be helpful.
"create wars,jars and ear files and deploy them"
Again - just basic J2EE stuff that is greatly automated with Ant + XDoclet.
I hope I don't sound condescending, but I don't really see a need for a tool in most of these instances. If you disagree, please feel free to shoot wholes in my theory.
Xdoclets is a command line tool ...a primitive tool as long as it doesn't have a GUI . What i meant is all those tools such as XDoclet,EJBTools,MC4J JMX Console,MiddleGen
etc could exist in just one windows -Jboss console so the user won't go nd search for them and find how to use them. this way the whole creation deployment of an app will be easier and more professional. The user doesn't need to copy and watch deployment process in Windows DOS.
Actually, XDoclet is not a command line tool. It is a tool that integrates with Ant. Ant is not a command line tool. It is a Java application that can be executed in various ways (like JUnit). Several IDEs provide environments to edit/execute Ant targets. I don't see why JBoss should duplicate this.
As far as GUI tools for deployment go - I personally hate them. I use WAS 4.0 in production and it the biggest pain in the ass to deploy an EAR file with their dopey wizard.
GUI deployment is non-repeatable. I don't like that because it introduces human interaction, which introduces error. If a deployment process is standard (compile, configure, build archive files, deploy, etc) then it should be repeatable. Ant scripts provide this. While it is not "pretty", it is consistent, fast, testable and repeatable. The same cannot be said for GUI tools.
As for admin - this is where a GUI is more necessary, as human interaction is needed for decision making. Since JBoss exposes all of its components as JMX beans, any JMX client can instrument the server (deploy/undedploy beans, start/configure services, stop servers, etc). Again, JBoss provides an HTML JMX client (and I think an RMI client?). Since they follow the spec, other JMX clients are completely pluggable.
Just some thoughts...not trying to pick a fight ;-)
XDoclet is a vendor neutral way of putting in vendor specific descriptors and it integrates with ANT very well. A lot of the things you are asking for amount to an IDE, which can also deploy. No problem, download Eclipse, it integrates with ANT. Make ANT build files with XDoclet tasks to put in proper descriptors for JBoss and then run other ant tasks to jar, war and ear if necessory and copy the resulting file to the deploy directory of the JBoss server. If you want you can even automate that by using a script to ftp the war/ear file over to the desired location. It beats IBM's multi-step process through the dumb wizard for sure.
I think what you really mean is that for a large project with EJBs, servlets etc. the initial time it takes to setup a proper build environment with ANT build files and XDoclet things etc. takes some time but once you have that you are set and even incrementally adding to this environment isn't that burdonsome. The first setup will always take time for large projects with lots of EJBs.
deploy all web container components(servlets,jsp >etc),run,shutdown the server,
for some of this list check out Jconsole:
We are looking for experienced JBoss users to beta test a JBoss packaged version of Collaxa's orchestration server.
If interested, please write to: jboss at collaxa dot com