Java EE 6 Support Comes to OpenShift
People who have applications that run on EE 6 and its predecessors now have a zero-coding approach to moving to the cloud.
Red Hat recently announced that they had integrated their
OpenShift PaaS with JBoss Application Server 7, bringing
Java EE 6 to OpenShift. In this interview, we speak to Red
Hat’s Mark Little and Issac Roth, about this update, and what it
means for the PaaS user.
JAXenter: OpenShift now supports Java EE 6,
thanks to JBoss Application Server 7 technology. What was the
biggest challenge you faced, when integrating JBoss AS with
Mark Little: There was only one technical
challenge and that was putting JBoss AS 7 on to Express. Because
Express runs a more constrained cloud profile than Flex, it was not
possible to provide all of the EE 6 capabilities. Fortunately
several years ago during the EE 6 process, we were instrumental in
pushing for “profiles” within EE 6. A profile is basically a
persona for EE 6 and you can provide some or all of the different
(full) EE 6 capabilities within a profile. During the EE 6
standardisation effort two profiles were created: the full profile
(which includes all of the EE 6 capabilities) and the Web Profile
(which is intended for Web development and hence does not need all
of the capabilities). The Web Profile was a perfect fit for Express
and we had recently just certified AS 7.0 against the Web Profile.
Obviously the Full Profile is supported within Flex and migrating
from Express to Flex is therefore relatively straightforward, since
Flex is a superset of Express.
JAXenter: How does this integration help with
the problem of migrating existing applications, which is often
faced by PaaS users?
Mark: EE 6 is a standard. It is a natural
evolution from EE 5 and as with all of the EE (and previously J2EE)
standards, we have worked hard within the standardisation effort to
provide backwards compatibility where it is possible. What this
means for our PaaS, which is significantly different to other
approaches, is that people who have applications that run on EE 6
and its predecessors now have a zero-coding approach to moving to
the cloud, and importantly, moving out of the cloud too. Therefore,
there is no vendor lock-in with OpenShift JBoss PaaS. Furthermore,
the learning curve to move into the cloud is virtually zero too: if
you know EE 6 then you’re pretty much there. If you don’t, then we
spent a lot of time and effort in the EE 6 standardisation work to
make it easier to develop applications in Java, so it is now easier
to work in Enterprise Java standards than with vendor specific
frameworks of old.
Issac Roth: One thing that is unique about
OpenShift among PaaS is that it has a full UNIX filesystem
underneath it, which is usable by the applications. Any application
that was written to an on-premise datacenter uses the filesystem.
We don’t break this and make developers re-write applications to
bring them onto OpenShift PaaS.
JAXenter: What are the next steps for
Issac: OpenShift will continue to have a better
and better experience for developers. More ease, more built-in
utilities for the development lifecycle, integrations with useful
developer tools, more choices of frameworks and middleware.
JAXenter: What functionality will be included
in JBoss Enterprise Application 6?
Mark: JBoss Enterprise Application Platform 6
will support the EE 6 Full Profile that I mentioned before. Outside
of that, it will have faster boot time, a more modular architecture
to allow for easier upgrades, much more manageability and also will
be a lot faster across the board. We’ve spent a lot of time and
effort in performance optimisations and improvements, so those will
be some of the most obvious benefits for all of our users.