Out-of-the-Box is a CD distribution that bundles over 100 Open Source projects for Java developers, sample applications, and a deployment/testing environment. v2.0 includes a graphical install/uninstall, a built-in project knowledge base, automatic dependency management, and adds many more OS projects including AspectJ, CAstor, Hibernate, Jedit, PostgreSQL, Eclipse, Middlegen, and more.
- Posted by: Rod Cope
- Posted on: April 28 2003 18:41 EDT
Out-of-the-Box(tm) 2.0 for Java(tm) Developers Released:
Software Development with Open Source Infrastructure Made Easy
DENVER, Colorado - April 28, 2003 - Expanding on its successful Out-of-the-Box(tm) product family, EJB Solutions, Inc. today announced the immediate availability of Out-of-the-Box(tm) 2.0, an intelligent distribution of over 100 Open Source projects for Java(tm) developers.
Out-of-the-Box 2.0(tm) represents a major leap forward in the areas of flexibility and ease of use. Its new graphical installer delivers selective, incremental installation and uninstallation, a built-in comprehensive project knowledge base, automatic dependency management, context-sensitive help, and more.
With over 100 integrated Open Source projects, 10 reusable custom sample applications, and more than 350 pages of highly-organized, critical project documentation with tips, gotchas, and workarounds, Out-of-the-Box makes every
Java(tm) developer fully productive in a matter of hours.
In addition to updating projects included in the first release, Out-of-the-Box 2.0 adds the following:
JBoss-IDE Roller Weblogger
JEdit Very Quick Wiki
JFreeChart Over 20 more
Out-of-the-Box ships on two full CDs, one for Red Hat(r) Linux(r) 7.3/8.0/9 and one for Microsoft(r) Windows(r) 2000/XP.
For those who like to try before they buy, a Community Edition is available. This free version is a fully-functional, non-expiring version of Out-of-the-Box that does not require a license key, password, or registration. It installs just over 25 of the 100+ projects, including JBoss, MySQL, Ant, EJB Benchmark, Castor, and the Castor sample application.
For more details on Out-of-the-Box, visit EJB Solutions on-line.
About EJB Solutions
EJB Solutions, Inc. is a leading provider of enterprise grade tools and services that remove barriers to effective software development. With a strong history of delivering results to the Fortune 500, we excel at building, fortifying, and integrating software for mission critical deployment.
Headquartered in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, EJB Solutions is on the web at www.ejbsolutions.com.
Public Relations Contact:
EJB Solutions, Inc.
rod dot cope at ejbsolutions dot com
Out-of-the-Box is a trademark or registered trademark of EJB Solutions, Inc. Java and all Java-based marks are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the U.S. and other countries. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.
- What we really need is.... by Thomas Schaefer on May 01 2003 15:01 EDT
- the setup gave an error! by Madhan Babu Manoharan on May 01 2003 19:33 EDT
- Strange indeed by Rod Cope on May 01 2003 20:55 EDT
- the setup gave an error! by Tilo Christ on May 02 2003 05:52 EDT
Are any of these people Open Source Contgributors? by j2ee master on May 02 2003 08:55 EDT
- Are any of these people Open Source Contgributors? by Ravishankar V on May 02 2003 09:21 EDT
- Setup problems by Rod Cope on May 02 2003 12:48 EDT
- Are any of these people Open Source Contgributors? by j2ee master on May 02 2003 08:55 EDT
- Any plans to integrate / config PHP? by nick duong on May 02 2003 13:25 EDT
- Cool little product by Tim McNerney on May 06 2003 13:02 EDT
I am always suspect that these kind of things will botch up existing installs of things like Tomcat, my JVM home, etc. Is this really intended for a naked install?
What I really need is a service like "Microsoft Windows Update" - an ActiveX control that would go in, examine our machine, and somewhat intelligently offer apps and upgrades that would be compatible.
I agree with you, I was searching for something like that, and I think I have found it: it's called Gentoo. It is a linux distribution based on a system called portage. The magic about it: it's a source based distribution with installation driven by scripts called ebuilds. You have a simple command (emerge -u world) that looks for new versions of your installed software, and automatically downloads the sources, compiles and installs them, taking into account any possible dependencies.
There are a number of java packages included in the current set of ebuilds. Anyway, if you don't find the package you are looking for you are free to contribute ebuilds, and even become a developer. It is evident that the ability of the system to stay current relies on the developers of Gentoo, but the more people that contributes, the more packages we will have up to date.
In addition to the Gentoo distribution of Linux, there are several other ways to get the latest Open Source development packages, such as via RPM and other mechanisms, but they are not the same thing as Out-of-the-Box.
First of all, to our knowledge all of these mechanisms work only on Linux whereas Out-of-the-Box works equally well on both Linux and Windows. Secondly, they appear to simply perform the first step of downloading and unzipping the distributions, just as you could do in 5 minutes yourself. Out-of-the-Box, however, goes several steps further to 1) make each of the projects work correctly, 2) configure the projects so they integrate smoothly, 3) provide highly-organized documentation on the projects, 4) provide sample projects that demonstrate usage of many popular projects and make them easy to approach.
We believe that the RPM-like nature of these mechanisms is valuable, but only provide a very small portion of what's required to use the projects in an integrated fashion. For example, you could use one of these mechanisms to download and install JBoss, MySQL, PostgreSQL, and possibly even EJB Benchmark, but then you would have to figure out how to make them work together. Out-of-the-Box, for example, configures each of these projects to work together so that at the end of the installation, you have each of them up and running with JUnit and HttpUnit test reports to prove that they're integrated. You even get a small database switcher script that allows you to easily point JBoss at either MySQL or PostgreSQL in a single step after installation is complete. Without Out-of-the-Box and these utilities, you would have to manually update several configuration files scattered throughout the projects.
I hope this helps to explain some of the differences and the value add Out-of-the-Box provides. Please ask more questions or just grab the free Community Edition to see some of these features in action (Community Edition primarily integrates JBoss/Tomcat with MySQL, but a few other projects such as Castor are also included).
Although Out-of-the-Box works much better on a naked install because everything can go on seamlessly, it's not just for clean machines. The graphical installer allows you to select which projects to install/uninstall, so it's very easy to avoid messing up your current Tomcat, JVM home, etc. Just pick and choose the pieces you want to install and ignore the rest. The product does not touch your current classpath and almost everything it installs is isolated under the top-level installation directory you provide. (On Windows, a few projects such as MySQL and PostgreSQL must be installed on the C drive.)
The Windows Update/Red Hat up2date type functionality is on our radar, although it's a major version or so down the road.
I downloaded the developer version of it (158 MB file) and tried to install it and it gives me an error saying
String PRODUCT_NAME was not found in string table
We've tested the Community Edition installation to which you refer on our supported platforms (Windows XP/2000 w/SP2+, Red Hat Linux 7.3/8.0/9) and everything works as expected. If you're on one of these platforms, I would have to recommend that you reboot because that error is rather bizarre.
> I downloaded the developer version of it (158 MB file) and tried to install it and it gives me an error saying
> String PRODUCT_NAME was not found in string table
What installation language and what localization of Windows did you use? I had similar problems with other software installers, unless I switched my machine to US English and chose English as the installation language. My defaults are German.
Or are they just pirates trying to make a buck from the work others do? Just curious. If they are committers, it seems this could be a nice to have for some people. I do not have a problem with people making money from open source as long as they are the same people that at putting in the time to hbring the OSS to the world. JMHO.
Calling 'Out of the Box' pirates would also make companies like Red hat and Mandrake pirates. There is a significant value add from the company to the existing products. It is easy installs like these which will help market OSS better.
Although we are not committers for any of the projects we distribute, we have contributed various patches, fixes, and workarounds and suggested improvements for several of them.
Even if we didn't contribute these things, we could not agree more with your statements about Out-of-the-Box making the OSS experience and therefore OSS as a whole better in some way. The more users that find OSS easy to use, the more people will become involved and the more committers the community will gain in the future. Project quality will go up and that's good news for everybody.
We did create the InstallShield installer on U.S. English Windows. We apologize if this causes you or our other international users problems. We're open to suggestions if you know better ways for us to package the installer that would be more international user-friendly.
Out-of-the-Box sounds GREAT!!! Just donwloaded the Communitiy edition. Can't wait to try it out.
But is there any plans for auto-integration of PHP into Apache?
First of all, thanks for your enthusiasm. We hope you enjoy it.
As far as including new projects goes, we are user-driven. If you request a project to be added to Out-of-the-Box, we add it to our master list. As the number of users requesting a particular feature increases, so does the likelihood that it will be included in a future version of the product.
Regarding PHP, we do plan to consider PHP and the most popular PHP-related projects in the near future. It's possible that we will address the LAMP development community with a separate product in the future, but at this point we haven't made any firm decisions.
Please feel free to post your project inclusion recommendations to suggestions at ejbsolutions dot com - many of the projects in Out-of-the-Box 2.0 were included because somebody suggested them to us through email.
What about SUN Cobalt support? According to Netcraft, 5% of Web servers World-wide are running on Cobalt and I can tell you by experience that the Java support is really bad (servlet mapping with their Tomcat install on Raq 4 simply doesn't work, it is still a 3.2.3 and JDK 1.4 is still not available). GUI management sounds great, but don't forget that real server appliances don't even have X-Windows installed...
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We are well aware of the fact that server appliances and most deployed servers are headless and we have several strategies for facilitating Out-of-the-Box usage on these machines going forward.
The current release, however, is targeted at Java developers who will certainly develop primarily on a machine with a display. It's possible to configure the installer on a machine with a display then run the installation process using those parameters on a headless box, although we do not currently provide instructions for doing so.
If you need to install Out-of-the-Box on headless servers, please let us know as it helps us prioritize our seemingly infinite list of potential features.
So I had a clean install of W2K that I needed to get up to speed. Having read this article a couple days ago, I thought I'd try the Community Edition.
Downloaded it, no registration necessary. Unpacked it and ran setup. Selected all the components and clicked OK a couple times. A few minutes later, I have the software installed, running AND TESTED. The system runs sanity checks to make sure that everything is working okay.
I haven't had time to look in detail at the apps, but this was absolutely painless. Got most of the tools and pieces I need in place. Plus, since they have sample apps which tie together the different pieces, you know that everything works together, which is no minor task when putting together a dozen different open source components.
Whomever said they were ripping off the OS community has no clue as to what he's talking about. This is a very convenient way of getting this software up and running. The packages are very current. The process is very easy. There is a free version. And examples of using the stuff, too. Plus, as I mentioned before, they test the components that are installed. And the non-free version is cheap.
I'll be upgrading to the full version.