Tutorial Thursday

7 Reasons to love JBoss AS7

The year was 2002. JBoss was busy taking the Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EE) world by storm, boasting over two million downloads and earning a position as the de facto standard for deploying Java-based Web applications.

The secret to the success of JBoss 3 (the version at the time) was that it was borne out of the developer community and thus offered all of the things developers love: it was easy to download, quick to install and simple to run. It was designed around a small microkernel based on Java Management Extension (JMX) that required very little memory. It was relatively easy to use, yet endlessly extensible. It was stable. It had forward-thinking architecture. It was portable and standards-compliant, capable of competing with the big boys. It even won “Best Application Server” at the 2001 JavaWorld's Editors' Choice awards. And best of all, it was – and always has been – free.

There’s no denying, though, that in recent years, the JBoss Application Server was stuck in a compliance “no man’s land” between J2EE 1.4 and Java EE 6. Configuring the server meant diving deep into the internals of the bean wiring or selecting from one of several web-based admin console add-ons. It also wasn’t keeping up with modern requirements such as usability, embedded mode, an HTTP API, an interactive command-line and multi-server management, to name a few. The startup time was a minute or more depending on hardware, but was leapfrogged by Servlet containers like Tomcat and Jetty and even its OSS competitor from Sun/Oracle, GlassFish V3.

During the summer of 2010, JBoss Application Server underwent an aggressive transformation to return to its roots. The project was rebooted and set off on a new path towards JBoss Application Server 7. A new beginning.

The team built an entirely new, high performing and manageable core architecture. With some truly amazing engineering effort, they were able to go from a tiny prototype on github to the full blown Java EE 6 Web Profile certified container in a year’s time (and the Full Profile is coming soon in 7.1). Keep in mind they delivered JBoss Application Server 6 in parallel to provide JBoss users interim access to Java EE 6 technology.

With the JBoss Application Server 7 release, JBoss has its mojo back! There’s genuine excitement and optimism about this milestone at Red Hat, a feeling that permeates deep into the community as well, which brings us to the seven reasons why you’ll love JBoss Application Server 7.

Dan Allen
Dan Allen

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