A new product review on Macromedia JRun 4 from Drew Falkman has just been published on JavaBoutique. It provides an independent, in-depth look into the technical details of the JRun J2EE app server, including installation, development, web services, Flash MX, and hot deployment information.
Review on Macromedia JRun 4
great stuff. Ive been mentioning JRun4 to people for ages. Clean, simple and damn inexpensive. You want a cheap J2EE solution but IT director finding opensource ideas too scary, its a great pick.
I cant count the number of clients who ive seen purchase BEA/WS when all they wanted was a J2EE application server for small-medium scale sites without any of the extras.
Save yourself tens of thousands of pounds? thank you that'll do nicely.
I have used JRun in my previous job and it is a great platform with very knowldegeable support staff. But I don't see a buzz about this product , even though is is a worthy contender. It leads me to wonder if J2EE ,even without the EJBs,is actually used in SME space ?
I agree... JRun4 has proven to be a good, fast and stable j2ee server in my organization. What concerns me the most is the fact that Macromaedia decided to ship JRun with Axis beta 1 soap engine with no warning that the webservice implementation bundled was not proven to be stable. As of service pack 1, Axis has been upgraded to RC1 ( a big improvement however :) ). The fact that Axis is an apache opensource project does not concern me, but it may concern others...
I was a big fan of JRun for a long time (I know it since the first version, when it was one of the first commercial Servlet Engines), but since Macromedia acquired it the situation has changed. We will have to switch to another application server because of the new pricing policy.
Before there was a JRun Servlet Engine (without EJBs) and a separate Enterprise Edition (with EJB). The developer version was available for free (4 concurrent connections or somethings like this I think).
Now there is only one version (more expensive, licensed per CPU) and a very limited developer version. Maybe we will switch to Resin.
$500 per Server, free Developer Version
$899 per CPU (!!), limited Developer Version
"Applications deployed on the Developer Version will not accept requests from other client machines."
I have been watching JRun for quite a while, including extensive evaluations of 3.0, 3.1, and 4.0. Generally, I've liked JRun's easy installation and intuitive handling, especially JRun's Management Console in all versions, and 4.0's startup tool. But I also repeatedly stumbled into problems with it, for example some internal exception when deploying a web application from a directory instead of a WAR. 4.0 seems to have improved quite a bit in terms of transparency, but it's still not at the level I like to have.
That's why I love Resin and Tomcat 4: Both are very transparent - simple configuration, source code is available, and container exceptions are helpful instead of confusing. I prefer Resin for both development and deployment, it's very fast and well-documented - at a fair price. Note that Resin ist not only free for development but also for demonstration and non-commericial usage. Tomcat 4 is very handy too, and it has some unique development features like detection of changed resource bundles - while being free!
Of course, if you want to have support from a "major" company or absolutely need a graphical management console, I suggest JRun 4 instead of heavyweights like WebLogic or WebSphere, at least for web-centric applications. But if you can live with XML config files and log files in some directory, go for Resin or Tomcat 4!
BTW in my experience, it's unnecessary to use a dedicated web server like Apache or IIS in front if you don't need specific features. All of the above-mentioned J2EE web containers have built-in HTTP servers, both reliable and fast. You can even integrate CGI scripts easily, preferably via Tomcat 4.1's CGIServlet that works in any container (as Resin's own is rather limited, for example).
If all you need is a fast, easy-to-use servlet/JSP engine, then you might want to also consider ServletExec, especially if you need to add servlet/JSP support to Microsoft IIS (it works with Apache and iWS/NES, too):
ServletExec was originally released in 1997, just a few months after JRun. It's mature and reliabel, and supports all the latest servlet/JSP specs, including support for JSTL and web services.
New Atlanta Communications, LLC
Oh yeah, a few things I forgot:
- ServletExec is free for development
- ServletExec has a graphical admin console
- ServletExec is commercially supported
- some major web sites running ServletExec:
(No, ServletExec is not open source).
New Atlanta Communications, LLC
Finally someone has spoken up about ServletExec. For some reason this product seems to get dropped in all the evaluations. For a while I thought you guys disappeared. :D
I've been looking through NewAtlanta's web site and Servlet Exec looks pretty nice. I can't seem to download the documentation PDF's from your site.
But the question is: What sort of clustering, load-balancing, and failover features does servlet exec have?
Northwest Alliance for Computational Science and Engineering
oops. never mind about downloading docs. Switched to redhat recently from SuSE and they've got some language support issue with Acrobat. All set.
I was also under the impression that the developer's version could not accept connections from other machines. The beta version (nozomi?) definitely couldn't, but the latest download seems to have removed the restriction - may someone from MM can shed some light on this?
In terms of the quality of JRun 4.0, it is a completly different beast from the old Valto/Allaire product 3.x. The old app server suffered from a poorly thought out architecture and very poor documentation. Many of the features it advertised didn't even work (such as the DataSource Connection pooling).
Jrun 4.0 seems to be a complete re-write that also benefits from using serveral Jakarta projects and the use of Jini for object clustering. We introduced Jrun 4 on a platform that was notoriously unstable and it's improved clustering alone has contributed to 99%+ uptime.
In short Jrun 4 is a great product, but I think many people may have written it off as an option due to the abysmal performance of it's predecessors.
As a reminder, BEA recently introduced a couple of low-end products:
1. WebLogic Server Workgroup Edition ($4,000), which has full J2EE capabilities, limited to 20 concurrent users.
2. WebLogic Express (repriced at $495) - a servlet engine with full servlet and JSP capabilities.
Both products are BEA engineered and give you a lot of the same benefits as the full WebLogic Server product line.
I agree strongly. I have been using JRun4 on a large project for about 9 months. I have found it to be extremely stable, simple to use and pretty well documented.
There have been some issues but these have been solved in service pack releases.
I previously evaluated JRun3 for our company and recommended against it because even in testing it seemed unstable and difficult to use.
I think that JRun is a good example of the fact that it is always worthwhile approaching products with an open mind.
I have used JBoss for previous projects and I think that it is not surprising that JRun seem to have copied several of the good ideas from this project (hot deploy, dynamic proxies). I don't see this as a criticism, more as proof that the JRun developers were open minded enough to admit when someone else had solved a problem in an innovative manner.
As far as I know, developer version's of JRun are exactly the same as the real version. You just can't connect from outside machines I think. As for pricing changes, it seems to me that JRun is one of the most competitively priced out there. All features included for $900 (used to be $3000).
As for JRun and Resin: Sure I like them both quite a bit. But you're math doesn't really add up. With Resin you pay $500 for a servlet engine. With JRun you pay $900 for a complete J2EE engine that has among other things:
Much more advanced clustering
The ability to "install" multiple server instances for each JRun install
A pretty complete management interface
A fairly easy web services implementation
A pretty great EJB implementation (especially for development)
A whole bunch of other stuff that neither Resin nor Resin-EE have.
We went through the same thing you did. But the extra that JRun gives for only $400 more are worth a lot more than just
There aren't many technical advantages of Resin over JRun. The big advantage is really that Resin licenses are per server (which I'll admit is pretty nice).
Northwest Alliance for Computational Science and Engineering
Indeed JRun4 is worth considering for your projects.
I think that with the competition from open source, picking J2EE servers often comes down to the support you get. Whilst some people require specific services above J2EE provided by BEA and IBM etc. Those that require straight J2EE for their Servlet/JSP projects will/should be looking for support as a reason to pick a product.
JRun 4 is easy to get going and use but so is ServletExec, Resin and Tomcat. If I was forced to recommend, then I would pick the one with best support. I would look at their knowledge base and online education as well to see if enough examples of techniques above J2EE development are covered.
BTW: I have used JRun on and off since it was created by Live Software, the GUI used in version 4 is alot easier to use than the property files of version 2!
MS the evil empire is at it again there is article in Infoworld
that MS has been very jumpy as of the late bacause of all the innovation on Macromedia's part So much so in fact that the MS just wants to buy them perchance to avoid any competition in the desktop and developer frays where MS plays.
We know what MS wants to do now with .Not hmmm
I was a pretty happy user of JRun 3 for an 18 month project and was incredibly happy with it because of an IDE that could be purchased with it - JRun Studio. Although at times buggy, I could really crank out the code in this environment.
When Macromedia purchased Allaire, one of the first things they did was to kill JRun Studio and suggest that we "upgrade" to Dreamweaver UltraDev (at a discount). Well guess what: You can't do Servlet development in Dreamweaver, just JSP. Don't get me wrong, Dreamweaver MX is an awesome tool in its own right for everything it does, but IT DOES NOT DO SERVLETS, EJB, or any Java class development. I am still, and will always be, a little peaved at Macromedia for this.
How hard would it be for Macromedia to add Servlet development to Dreamweaver?
And no one has mentioned the Flash MX Remoting you get free with JRun 4.
As Flash Remoting retails at $999 dollars for other applications, getting JRun for $899 with remoting for free would be a damn good idea if you were builting a rich internet application from scratch.
it does call into question MM pricing structure on the remoting though. A thousand dollars come on MM!! its worth a couple of hundred (unless you are trying to flog JRun
buy Remoting and get a J2EE application server for free!!
I agree completely with you. We went through the whole beta proccess, expecting a price of 2-3 hundred bucks max and loved it once they got the J2EE version straightened out. Once remoting was released, though, they slaped a $999 price tag on it. I bet %90 of the beta users forgot about remoting as soon as they saw the price.
Use JBoss.Net and get flash remoting for free!
Next Version Adobe JRun : Beta Available
Beta release of next version of JRun appserver, code named Cheetah, is available. Adobe JRun Team is inviting serious evaluators to give feedback on this beta release. Contact 'vrreddy at adobe dot com' to be included in the Beta program.
We believe Beta of JRun Cheetah is reasonably stable and reliable. And we plan to reward those who prove otherwise. We intend to give away fully functional JRun licenses to the users who report highest quality issues during the Beta.
What More ! We are throwing open a JRun Sample Apps Challenge. We invite the beta users to develop sample applications exploiting the new JRun Cheetah feature sets. The best apps developed by you will be rewarded, and on qualification, will be featured as part JRun releases in samples section.
Write Code, find Bugs ! Help us serve you better.
Adobe JRun Team.