Simple Web Profile Application Server


Gurkan Erdogdu looks at the world of Web Profile, and Java EE projects within the ASF.

The Java EE 6 Web Profile specification defines the Java EE Web
Profile (“Web Profile”), a profile of the Java Platform, Enterprise
Edition specifically targeted at web applications. Siwpas,
(Simple Web Profile Application Server) is an application server
aimed at implementing the Java EE Web Profile specification. In
this article, the components of Siwpas, its current state and the
level of compatibility regarding the Web Profile Specification will
be discussed.

Java Enterprise Edition (Java EE or formerly known as Java 2
Platform, Enterprise Edition or J2EE) is an enterprise platform for
developing highly available, secure, reliable and scalable business
applications. The Java EE platform has undergone several changes
from its first release version J2EE
(December 12, 1999). The latest version of the
specification is Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (Java EE)
Specification, v6. In this white paper, Java EE and Java Platform,
Enterprise Edition (Java EE) Specification, v6 will be used
interchangebly. The Java EE Specification defines “Java EE
Profiles”. A Java EE profile (simply “a profile”) represents a
configuration of the platform suited to a particular class of

“Java EE Web Profile” is a “Java EE Profile” that consists of
several independent specifications related to web application
development. Siwpas is an open source (LGPL
) application server based on Apache Software Foundation
(ASF) Java EE projects. The latest version of Siwpas is “CR-5″ and
the first commerical quality version is planned to be released at
the end of March. This white paper has been organized as follows:
Java EE Web Profile section gives some details about Web
Profile. The next section talks about the ASF and its Java EE based
projects. The MechSoft Siwpas section explains the
components of Siwpas and its compatibility regarding the Web
Profile specification. This white paper ends with Summary
and References sections.

Java EE 6 Web Profile

The Java EE Platform Specification consists of a huge number of
specifications (APIs). For platform provider companies, it is not
easy to develop a fully compliant Java EE Platform that implements
all of the required components of the Java EE Platform
Specification. For application developers, it is not necessary to
use all of the Java EE APIs for developing enterprise applications.
Because of these observations, the Java EE Expert Group (EG) has
defined Profiles in Java EE v6 and the first standard profile has
been defined, “Java Platform, Enterprise Edition 6 (Java EE 6)
Web Profile Specification”.

The Web Profile is aimed at developers of modern web
applications. Aiming “modern” web applications then implies
offering a reasonably complete stack, composed of standard APIs,
and out-of-the-box capability to address the needs of a large class
of web applications. Furthermore, this stack should be easy to
grow, so as to address any remaining developer needs. The Web
Profile stack has consisted of several technologies. Table 1 shows
the Web Profile required components. Java web applications are
generally written as 3-tiers. These tiers are “Web Tier”, “Business
Tier ” and “Persistence Tier”. Each of the Web Profile component
sits on these tiers as follows:

Web Tier: Servlet, Java Server Pages,
Debugging Support for Other Languages, Standard Tag Library for
JSP, Java Server Faces.

Business Tier: Enterprise Java Beans Lite,
Persistence Tier, Java Persistence API

Some of the components are used for general functionality. These
components and their functions are as follows:

Common Annotations for the Java Platform:
This JSR will develop annotations for common semantic concepts in
the J2SE and J2EE platforms that apply across a variety of
individual technologies

Java Transaction API: Transaction management
and demarcation

Bean Validation: Management of business

Managed Beans: Common lifecycle of managed

Interceptors: Aspect Oriented Programming
(AOP) operations

Context and Dependency Injection for Java EE:
Dependency injection for Java EE

Dependency Injection for Java: Dependency
injection for standard Java

As we know, the Java EE Web Profile is a subset of the Java EE
Platform specification. Lots of Java EE Platform specification
required components are not contained in the Java EE Web Profile.
For exampe, these are components that not defined for the Java EE
Web Profile specification: JAX-WS, JAX-RPC, JAX-R, SAAJ, JAX-RS,
Finally, it is worth remembering that Web Profile products are
allowed to ship with additional technologies, to the required ones.
It is conceivable that products will offer choices during
installation between different configurations, some richer in
extensions, or even allow for complete customization beyond the
required core (“à la carte” installation).

Apache EE Projects

The Apache Software Foundation provides organizational, legal,
and financial support for a broad range of open source software
projects. The Foundation provides an established framework for
intellectual property and financial contributions that
simultaneously limits the contributors’ potential legal exposure.
Through a collaborative and meritocratic development process,
Apache projects deliver enterprise-grade, freely available software
products that attract large communities of users. The pragmatic
Apache License makes it easy for all users, commercial and
individual, to deploy Apache products.

In Siwpas, we use ASF Java EE projects for satisfying Java EE
Web Profile required components. These projects and their
correspondence to Web Profile components are shown below.

With the exception of the Apache
project, each of the above ASF projects is standalone
compatible with TCK (Technology Compatibility Kit). In other words,
Tomcat 7,
MyFaces 2,
OpenWebBeans, Bean Validation and OpenJPA are TCK
compliant projects on their own.

EJB Lite container in Siwpas is a subset of the Apache OpenEJB
project and is called a Siwpas EJB Lite Container.
Currently Siwpas EJB Lite Container has not been tested with EJB 3
Lite TCK.


Mechsoft Siwpas Application Server

Siwpas (pronounced as Simple Web Profile Application
Server) is a lightweight Java application server platform for
developing enterprise quality Java EE web applications. Siwpas
integrates above ASF Java EE based projects for providing a Java EE
Web Profile compatible runtime platform Integrating different sets
of projects on the same runtime is not an easy task . MechSoft has been
writing an integration layer component to integrate Apache Tomcat 7
runtime with Siwpas EJB 3.1. Lite container runtime.

Moreover, a cool web based management console for managing all
aspects of Siwpas has been written. The Siwpas management console
will be released with the 1.0.0 GA release of Siwpas and provides
the following management operations:

• Overall realtime view of the current running system: CPU,
Memory, OS, JVM Heap size

• Server configuration

• Applications view and deployment operations

• JMX, JNDI and ClassLoader views

• Dashboards

• Web and EJB Container runtime status

• And more…

Figure 2 shows a sample snapshot view from Siwpas console
“Applications View” page.

Why Siwpas, why another server?

Before Siwpas was developed, Apache OpenWebBeans (implementation
of Context and Dependency Injection for Java EE Specification) and
Apache OpenEJB were used in some commercial projects, but we wanted
to use a lightweight application server in a cloud infrastructure.
At that time there was no open source application server for using
the OpenWebBeans and the OpenEJB in a lightweight server runtime.
Therefore it was decided to implement a lightweight server based on
Apache Tomcat 7.

Nowadays, a huge number of application developers and enterprise
companies want to use lightweight application servers for deploying
and running their web applications. They do not want to use
heavyweight Java EE Servers that are fully compliant with Java
EE Specifications.
They want to manage lightweight, cloud
environment friendly servers. Nonetheless, they also need more
technology stack for implementing their web based applications,
such as “JPA, JSF, JTA , EJB etc.” Moreover, most of them deploy
their critical enterprise web applications into the Apache Tomcat
in their production systems.

Siwpas is aimed at providing a lightweight application server
runtime based on Apache Tomcat 7 . It also fills web applications
technology requirements via ASF Java EE projects. In summary,
Siwpas translates Apache Tomcat 7 into a more powerful enterprise
web server.

The benefits of using Siwpas can be listed as follows:

• It has a lightweight but powerful runtime environment

• It is based on the very-well known JSP & Servlet
Container, Apache Tomcat 7

• It consists of Web Profile Specification technology stack

• It consists of powerful, commerical quality ASF Java EE

• It is an open source project

• It is supported by MechSoft (7×24 enterprise support)

• It is light and will be always light

• It has a very cool JSF based administration console

Web Profile Compliance

Currently Siwpas does not claim compliance with Java EE Web
Profile Specification
because it has not been tested with
Java EE Web Profile TCK. This does not mean that Siwpas
will never be certified as a Web Profile Compliance application
server. In order to test Siwpas with Java EE Web Profile TCK,
MechSoft has to be a licensee of Oracle and we are discussing a
reasonable way to obtain this TCK. As mentioned in the above
paragraphs, with the exception of Apache OpenEJB, ASF Java EE
projects are TCK compliant with their respective

Siwpas Editions

There are two different editions of Siwpas: Community Edition
and Enterprise Edition. The table below shows differences between
each edition.


The Java EE Web Profile Specification is the first standard
profile specification in the Java EE Profiles that is explained in
the Java EE Platform Specification. Instead of using full profile
compatible Java EE servers, developers are now able to use more
lightweight server runtimes for developing their Java based web
applications. This does not mean that full profile application
servers such as Apache Geronimo will be useless. Some enterprise
applications still need to use other cool features of the Java EE
full profile, such as Remote EJB Invocation, Asynchronous
Message Processing via JMS, CORBA Integration
etc. In an
upcoming version of the Java EE platform, a number of more specific
profiles can be seen. Siwpas is a lightweight web application
server based on the ASF Java EE projects. It provides Java EE Web
Profile components with a powerful web based administration
console. It is one of the lightweight application servers to
implement Java EE Web Profile Specification.

Gurkan Erdogdu is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of MechSoft Mechanical and Software Solutions. He is the founder and PMC of the Apache OpenWebBeans Project. He has been working with Java and Java EE technologies since 1999. He is a member of Apache Software Foundation and Open Web Foundation. He also runs training sessions on Java and Java EE technologies. He lives in Ankara/Turkey with his wife. He can be reached at
comments powered by Disqus