Committers from Apache's Avalon project are pleased to announce that Avalon-Phoenix 4.0 has reached beta. This release adds JMX capability via an embedded MX4J application.
See the Phoenix homepage
Phoenix is a server of servers. Phoenix is a micro kernel for Java components. Phoenix is 'Avalon Container Enterprise Edition'. Phoenix is not an EJB server. Phoenix does not provide RPC capability out of the box, thus is not a replacement for an EJB server. Phoenix mounts applications distributed in SAR format (like EAR in a way). Phoenix has a JMX management application (MX4J) via port 8082. Phoenix likes components that implement all, some or none of the interfaces from the Avalon-Framework project.
Does Phoenix compete with EJB? Not really. You could build an EJB server on top of Phoenix.
What uses Phoenix? Numerous Apps
What can be used to help build apps? Avalon-Cornerstone
Where are we trying to go? Well, we are interested in seeing many servers mountable as components inside Phoenix. That includes standards like FTP, POP3, IMAP, LDAP, DNS, Echo, Finger, HTTP, SSH, EJB, CORBA, JMS and OGG servers (multiple implementations).
Terms: Avalon is a collection of projects, it is not a product. Avalon-Framework is a set of interfaces and abstractions. Avalon-Phoenix is a container for server apps. Avalon-Excalibur is a set of reusable tools in jar form, not exlusively for server-side Java. Avalon-Cornerstone is a set of reusable comps for Phoenix. Avalon-Logkit is logger design for Avalon projects (though it is not mandatory).