J2EE AND JBOSS - OVERVIEW


J2EE: AN OPERATING SYSTEM FOR THE WEB

Enterprise web applications, which live on networks and are accessible through browsers, are redefining Enterprise Web Software. This is the next wave of computing.

Developers, by nature, seek a standard enterprise-ready platform. Microsoft is pushing their paper spec “.NET” on Windows. If you want a multi-platform standard with two years behind it, we recommend Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE), sponsored by SUN and IBM.

JBoss is a free, Open Source J2EE-based implementation.

picture with 4 layers: www, web server, app server, database

J2EE: A STANDARD WEB-OS WITH INDUSTRY MOMENTUM

Sun Microsystems and IBM have defined J2EE as an open industry process. Today, there are about 30 J2EE application server vendors. The most popular charges more than $50,000 for a medium-sized installation.

Enterprise developers can draw on J2EE to speed up their application development. Instead of hand writing database code or pool management, they can leverage Enterprise Java Beans (EJBs) to automatically store data.

Instead of manually dealing with transactions, system developers can use J2EE’s built-in capabilities to run transactions in an automated fashion. Instead of creating all business code from scratch, consultants can assemble components to build their application in a “Lego" fashion.

J2EE APIs

J2EE is a set of standards that, when used together, provide an excellent web application development and deployment platform. J2EE includes standards for middleware (EJB and JMS), database connectivitiy (JDBC), transactions (JTA/JTS), presentation (servlets and Java Server Pages) and directory services (JNDI).

JBoss, one of the leading java Open Source groups, integrates and develops these services for a full J2EE-based implementation.

JBoss provides JBossServer, the basic EJB container and JMX infrastructure. JBossMQ, for JMS messaging, JBossMX, for mail, JBossTX, for JTA/JTS transactions, JBossSX for JAAS based security, JBossCX for JCA connectivity and JBossCMP for CMP persistence. JBoss enables you to mix and match these components through JMX by replacing ANY component you wish with a JMX compliant implementation for the same APIs. JBoss doesn't even impose the JBoss components, that is modularity.

JBoss: A FULL J2EE IMPLEMENTATION WITH JMX

Our goal is to provide the full J2EE stack in the free/open world. We are already there and the reason for our success lies on JMX.  JMX or Java Management eXtension is the best weapon we have found for integration of software. It provides a common spine in which we plug in modules, containers and plugins.

While we provide JBoss implementations for many of these services you are free to include your favorite implementation in the JMX enabled base and therefore "dropping" your own transaction or persistence service in JBoss, all dynamically.

WHY OPEN SOURCE FOR J2EE?

As a web operating system, J2EE is infrastructure. As such, we believe it is a natural fit for the collaborative, Open Source mode of development facilitated by the Internet. Our group, composed of volunteers from around the world, chooses to open the server and container development. We believe this standard’s reference implementation should be publicly owned.

The extreme size and complexity of this sort of operating system is yet another compelling reason for it to exist in Open Source. Even Microsoft has had difficulties stabilizing Windows 2000. We, at JBoss, believe that Open Source technology is a credible, efficient and cost-effective way to scale the development of these large systems.

WHO USES J2EE TECHNOLOGY?

1- Independent software vendors
Two years ago, many Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) developing Enterprise applications took the Java route. ISVs would develop, in-house proprietary infrastructure software for lack of a defined, open standard. This development is time-consuming, expensive and complex. Today most ISVs outsource that infrastructure development to a J2EE server vendor in order to focus on "business logic." Choosing an open source server makes sense from a pricing standpoint because the application price won’t reflect the infrastructure cost. It also makes sense from a technological standpoint because you have access to the code, which makes for a tighter integration with your applications. According to our statistics, about 20% of people who download JBoss do so with the objective of embedding it in their applications.

2- Integrators/IT dept
A recent study showed that Java/J2EE, which claims 60% of IT development, is already the dominant platform for Enterprise Web Software. Most people use our container as a stand-alone web application server. In many instances, we have been chosen over more pricey competitors for both development and production. We sport features, such as hot deploy and runtime-generated stub and skeleton objects (distributed invocation enablers), that can't be found in most commercial tools no matter how much you are willing to pay!

3- ISP/ASP, the next wave of Enterprise Software Hosting
Most ISP providers already offer Web Hosting for static web pages. For more "enterprise level hosting," you need a J2EE platform. Going beyond simple logic and cgi-bin, JBoss was designed for Application Service Provider (ASP) settings. One can deploy its applications on a set of hosted machines and have a web-based Java Management Extension (JMX) console to manage the remote servers. Our integration with Java Server Page (JSP) engines makes JBoss the candidate of choice for ISP usage. While most J2EE vendors do not focus on this market, Jboss is well suited for it in two ways. First, the code is modular so you can administer various configurations, in order to fit every client’s specific needs. Second, there is no license fee per CPU, so you can grow a J2EE server farm at little cost.

4- Module and 3rd party developers
Behind JBoss’ Open Source success is a highly modular design, which allows us to scale development and integrate code. From the ground up, JBoss is built around the concept of modules and plug-ins. We use the JMX specification to configure and administer the different plug-ins. We integrate various modules, from Tomcat to cocobase, to offer a state-of-the-art J2EE container. By integrating in JBoss, developers gain access to the dominant application development market and increase the deployment potential for their technology.

WHY SHOULD I PARTICIPATE

Most people come here to learn cutting edge skills. Many of our contributors are well paid experts in the field and highly recognized individuals in the industry. We see many independent software developers in our ranks. If you are a startup looking for a container to embed in your application you can meet all your needs here. If you are a student, you will find JBoss to be a perfect learning tool, as our code implements many modern high-level java software design concepts. Finally, it’s a chance to do the right thing. We believe J2EE is the mass platform of the future and we are working hard to make it a reality... the information age's infrastructure deserves to be free.

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