I've heard alot of hypothetical solutions here, but does anyone know of an actual consumer facing production site running J2EE/EJB with MS SQL Server as the db?
I'm exploring the possibilities of doing this, ideally in a manner that has the development simplicity of the ASP/ADO route.
Can't speak to 'actual site' knowledge per se, but I'm working on a project in development right now using J2EE/EJB and Microsoft SQL Server. SQL Server was mandated by the client, and we felt that EJB met the rest of their requirements, so we moved forward with it.
The newly-available beta Microsoft SQL Server 2000 JDBC driver (or Merant, depending on your POV) is a boon in that regard, and JBoss is proving relatively solid.
I can't really suggest that EJB has the simplicity of your average ASP/ADO development process. ASP sites are often two-tier, relatively quick-and-dirty code. EJB doesn't lend itself that well to that model, IMO.
If you're looking to leverage J2EE/SQL Server against ASP/ADO in a sheer price-performance-development time matrix, I'd be inclined to leave EJB out of it. That said, I think EJB has a lot to offer, but it's a very different kind of beast from a basic ASP/ADO environment.
I have used MS SQL Server in conjunction with EJBs in 2 large public sites.
The largest site handles hundreds of concurrent users and around 150,000 articles.
We used the Una2000 JDBC driver from I-net Sofware. We have used Orion, IAS and Weblogic successfully in this configuration.
My experience tells me that MS SQL Server is a solid choice for J2EE, especially compared to Sybase for one. In fact, contrary to my general view of MS software, I reckon it gives great bang for the buck.
With regard to EJB complexity, I have found that it hinges on database design constraints most of all. If you need to model an existing relational structure, EJB can be a bit tricky. If you are free to design a schema from scratch and keep it simple, EJB will offer better productivity.