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Paris, je viens à toi! (JUG) November 28, 2008

Posted by Sacha in Français, JBoss.
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Si vous habitez ou travaillez à Paris, ce message est pour vous!

J’ai été gracieusement invité mardi prochain (2 décembre 2008) par le Paris JUG pour une soirée JBoss. Malik Saheb parlera de Seam et moi de JBoss AS 5.0.

Venez nombreux! A+,


P.S.: For English speakers, I will be at the Paris JUG next Tuesday, if you are around, please join!


Onto JBoss AS 5: JBoss Web released November 17, 2008

Posted by Sacha in JBoss.
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But first, what is JBoss Web? You can see it as our customized version of Tomcat or more simply “JBoss Tomcat++”. And the reason is that we wanted to add things like:

  • Native libraries leveraging Apache APR and OpenSSL for optimal performance and scalability,
  • Highly flexible URL rewriting module,
  • Advanced event driven Servlet API, including non blocking IO, which greatly expands on the Apache Tomcat 6.0 Comet API,
  • Comet support using Apache Tomcat Bayeux API,
  • NIO optimized character IO,
  • PHP support,
  • mod_cluster support,
  • etc.

The idea was to provide an optimized binary including everything our users need and “sanitized” to remove anything we think they shouldn’t be using. Also, when ran as part of JBoss AS, it provides a clean integration with our fancy deployers, meta-data layer, classloading, etc.

Still, JBoss Web is not a new product, and the reason for that blog entry is that just released JBoss Web 2.1.1 is the specific version which will be embedded as the web container inside JBoss AS 5. So if you want to test it now, we would appreciate your feedback!



Jingle Bells Beta release November 14, 2008

Posted by Sacha in JBoss.
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You can now download the beta version of JBoss Developer Studio 2.0 (GA for ~ Q1 2009). So, what’s new? Well, the biggy is certainly added support for SOA Platform 4.3 and related components such as JBoss ESB and Smooks (for data transformation), a conversation wizard from STP BPMN files to jPDL and much more.

It also features tons of smaller additions such as initial Seam 2.1.SP support, a new UI for the Generate Seam Entities tool, improved Hibernate Tools JPA, a new source/refactor action which turns your JavaBeans into JPA annotated entities automatically, a new tighter and leaner UI for interacting with Servers, much faster visual Page Editor and hundreds of bug fixes (you can find some screencasts here).

But, what’s more, this beta release comes with the free download of the Enterprise Application Platform 4.3 (EAP 4.3) and the SOA Platform 4.3 (SOA-P 4.3), our certified binaries.

Jingle bells, jingle bells…



The first clustered RoR server is … JBoss! November 12, 2008

Posted by Sacha in JBoss.
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Thanks to the great work that Bob McWhirter has done recently, Ruby on Rails users can not only run their RoR applications on top of JBoss, but they can get access to some of its very Enterprisey Features out of the box.

The clean integration Bob has performed not only enables in-place native deployment of Rails applications in a way familiar to traditional rubyists, but you also get rock-solid clustering out of the box with fancy features such as field-level replication. And if you are not a Java-lover, that’s fine, you’ll get all of this without having to care about Java: you’ll just put your RoR in a dedicated folder and configure the features you want in XML configuration files, that’s it. That most probably puts JBoss as the first RoR runtime server to provide true clustering capabilities with load-balancing and state replication.

And that’s not all: Bob is currently working on increasing the number of features that can be leveraged by RoR apps from the JBoss foundations. If you want to follow what he’s doing, the best way is to subscribe to his RoR-on-JBoss dedicated mailing list. Also, if you are a RoR developer and have ideas on what you’d like to see leveraged from JBoss (Transactions? Hibernate? Messaging? BPM? Drools? Something else?) please chime in (and contribute if you feel like a star!)



JBoss as a JBoxx November 11, 2008

Posted by Sacha in JBoss.

The Thincrust team at RHT has been recently been on one of my old dreams: the JBoxx i.e. a JBoss software appliance. And the result is very good: in a not-yet optimized 299Mo download you end up with a minimal Fedora + OpenJDK + JBoss AS 5.0 software appliance. No need to pick up the right JVM, no need to optimize the OS and JVM for JBoss, everthing is directly properly setup for you inside the appliance.

From there, you can either run it on any desktop/laptop/server running KVM/VMware/Xen, done. You can also run in on your laptop while developing at home (similuating your production environment as closely as possible) and then migrate the exact same appliance on your more powerful desktop PC once you are back at the office.

But you can also to run it “in the cloud“. The Thincrust team has uploaded several JBoxx images to Amazon EC2 (the id below is actually a Fedora+OpenJDK+JBoss AS+JOPR shared appliance). Once you’ve installed the EC2 toolset on your computer, running the following commands will do the trick:

ec2-run-instances ami-3c31d555 (start the instance)
ec2-authorize default -p 8080 (authorize access to port 8080)

And voila, a few seconds after ,you can access your instance on http:[EC2_INSTANCE_PUBLIC_IP]:8080/embedded-jopr/


If you are interested in following or helping with that effort, the best way is to follow Bob McWhirter’s new blog (implemented in Rails, running on top of JBoss AS) or subscribe to the Thincrust mailing list.



Tech Presentation on JBoss Microcontainer November 11, 2008

Posted by Sacha in JBoss.
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JBoss’s co-founder Scott Stark recently presented the state of JBoss Microcontainer at a JUG. While the presentation is not trivial to read in the absence of Scott’s comments, I thought the more tech-savy could benefit from it. It is located here.

The presentation covers the general principles of the MC, its background, and then shows how it enables smooth integration with other frameworks like Spring or specifications like OSGi, all on the same kernel.

Edit: this presentation has been co-authored by Ales Justin.

Web Beans Public Draft November 11, 2008

Posted by Sacha in JBoss.
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As you probably know by now, Gavin King has released a public draft of Web Beans (JSR-299). If you want some context on what Web Beans aims at solving, what is the history behind it, etc. then you must read Gavin’s last blog entry on the topic: “Web Beans and the EE platform“. It is really a great entry.

Also, if you don’t feel at ease reading specifications, a great Introduction to Web Beans is available as a PDF.



Tech News: mod_cluster and embedded AS November 10, 2008

Posted by Sacha in JBoss.

JBoss’s clustering and httpd teams recently announced the first beta of mod_cluster and I am not sure it got the visibility it deserves, so I wanted to give it more exposure as it aims at solving a frequently faced issue.

I bet you have already tried using mod_jk or mod_proxy in the past? I am writing “tried to use” because using those modules has never been a trivial task. In the last years, Mladen Turk and Jean-Frederic Clere have done a great job at sanitizing the releases and providing up-to-date documentation with the binaries (I never quite got the mod_jk1.2 vs. mod_jk2 relationship right…), yet they needed another level of abstraction to start implementing some long missing features such as dynamic load-balancing as well as the ability for the load-balancer to react to specific AS lifecycle events (new node joining, clean shutdown of a node, app (un-)deployment, etc.)

From the mod_cluster project homepage:

mod_cluster is an httpd-based load balancer. Like mod_jk and mod_proxy, mod_cluster uses a communication channel to forward requests from httpd to one of a set of application server nodes. Unlike mod_jk and mod_proxy, mod_cluster leverages an additional connection between the application server nodes and httpd. The application server nodes use this connection to transmit server-side load balance factors and lifecycle events back to httpd via a custom set of HTTP methods, affectionately called the Mod-Cluster Management Protocol (MCMP). This additional feedback channel allows mod_cluster to offer a level of intelligence and granularity not found in other load balancing solutions.

Within httpd, mod_cluster is implemented as a set of modules for httpd with mod_proxy enabled. Much of the logic comes from mod_proxy, e.g. mod_proxy_ajp provides all the AJP logic needed by mod_cluster.

So please, give a try and let the mod_cluster team know what you think about it (I maintain it should have been called mod_mladen or mod_jfc).

The other good news is that since AS5.0 GA will soon land, we can refocus some resources on some other efforts, and this include Embedded JBoss. Consequently, if you have ideas/requirements or time in your hands to help, please join the team, this is a much requested feature.