Archives for: January 2011


Permalink 12:11:12 am, by david Email , 502 words, 2451 views   English (US)
Categories: SOA Solutions in South East Asia

J2EE Application Servers... a brief perspective from plenty of experience

I remember the very first time I used WebLogic. It was back in around 1998 not long after BEA first acquired it. At the time I was doing a whole lot of work using Tuxedo and C on a Dynix (dinosaur Unix :roll::roll:) in a large government department. During that year BEA set up operations in Australia and the country managing director of the time (Mr. David Moles) offered myself and my team free training on the first WebLogic training course to be run in Queensland Australia. Back in those days I was somewhat of a Linux nut and decided to run the training on Linux so within an our or so I managed to get WebLogic running on Caldera Open Linux 1.3 with the Linux Blackdown JDK (quite an achievement in those days).

Here we are 14 years later with a lot more choice of J2EE application servers at our disposal, the most interesting of these being the open source J2EE containers. Having significant experience with J2EE over many years as a programmer and analyst it is interesting to reflect on the salient characteristics of all these servers. My own experience includes WebLogic, OC4J, Apache JServ, WebSphere, SilverStream, Geronimo and JBoss. Other servers such as Glassfish have built a very credible reputation for themselves also. Not having used Glassfish in anger it is hard for me to include it in my list so I will omit it to be fair. Also since SilverStream has been acquired (by Novell) some years back and may have changed significantly I shall omit it also. The dead products have also been omitted (i.e. JServ and OC4J)… OC4J is somewhat dead even though it is still on Oracle’s price list. Just goes to show what Larry thinks I guess.

Anyway… without going into a horrific amount of detail (actually extremely brief) it is my belief that these servers generally stack up as follows in order of best to worst from a pure usage and deployment standpoint:

1) Developer Productivity: 1:WebLogic, 2:Geronimo, 3:WebSphere, 4:JBoss
2) Implementation of Key J2EE Standards: 1:Geronimo, 2:WebSphere, 3:JBoss, 4:WebLogic
3) Management and Monitoring Features: 1:WebLogic, 2:WebSphere, 3:Geronimo, 4:JBoss
4) Performance and Stability: 1:WebLogic, 2:Geronimo, 3:WebSphere, 4:JBoss
5) Installation and QuickStart: 1:Geronimo, 2:JBoss, 3:WebLogic, 4:WebSphere
6) Tooling and 3rd Party Support: 1:WebLogic, 2:WebSphere, 3:Geronimo, 4:JBoss
7) Overall Happiness 1:WebLogic 2:Geronimo, 3:WebSphere, 4:JBoss

It should be noted that the open source containers (generally) have far less features for management and monitoring etc. than the commercial platforms. Many of these features are also commonly flawed in design or broken in implementation in open source servers. For example the console in the latest production builds of JBoss will not even add data sources properly without problems and developers/admins are forced to resort to the XML configs etc.. These types of features generally work better and are more complete in the commercial products. Anyway, evaluate yourselves and form your own opinion. Feel free to post it here and you are bound to get a response from me.

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The South East Asia SOA Weblog

The intention of this blog is to collect thoughts on the issues, paradigms, process, vendors, solutions, project and any other item related service oriented architecture in South East Asia.

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