JAX Innovation Awards 2016

Grand finale voting: Meet our last round of nominees

JAXenter Editorial Team

This is it. The voting will close on Thursday as we are rapidly approaching JAX London, so here’s the last round of nominees. If you want to know what Vault, RISC-HTML, Quasar, H2 Database, MapStruct and Habitat are all about, you’re in luck. Here’s a sneak peek at the final round of nominees.

You helped us choose the nominees for this year’s JAX Innovation Awards, now it’s time to vote for them. You have until Thursday, September 29, to make sure your favorite nominees earn their spot on the podium.

We want to make sure you are well-informed about your options, so we asked nominees to present their projects and point out their most significant achievements. But before we give the floor to our final round of finalists, let’s take one final look at the entire list of nominees.

Infographic JIA

This post is part of a special series showcasing our final nominees.


What is Vault all about? 

Vault is all about being the solution to secrets managed. Secrets include passwords, certificates, API keys, and more. In a world of growing numbers of applications (especially with trends like microservices), solving the issue of how to securely store and access secrets is critical.

What is the most innovative aspect about Vault? What is its most significant achievement?

There are a few major innovations about Vault. First, it has a very developer-friendly JSON over HTTP (TLS) API for everything. This makes it easy to use and integrate. Second, with “dynamic secrets,” secrets are generated on demand. For example, if you need a SQL password, Vault will create a new SQL user/password specific for you on demand! And third, it is built to run on commodity hardware and in the cloud, it is highly fault tolerant.

This is all in addition to industry expected best practices with regards to storing sensitive information. As an added assurance, Vault is routinely audited by a third party and many of our customers perform their own private audits as well.


What is RISC-HTML all about?

RISC-HTML is a new method of using the browser’s capabilities for building demanding, long-term oriented browser frontends for business applications. The browser is used in an absolutely restricted way – as rendering engine for some few core elements. All application controls – buttons, comboboxes, grids, dialogs,… – are built on top of these core elements by corresponding JavaScript classes.

What is the most innovative aspect about RISC-HTML? What is its most significant achievement?

RISC-HTML is some paradigm shift – with a lot of analogies to the CISC/RISC processor architecture discussion in the 90s. Algorithmic is pushed out of the browser’s core processing into a much more flexible JavaScript layer. Result: much better browser/device compatibility, a new freedom to overcome traditional browser layouting restrictions and – …astonishing! – a great performance. Details on RISC-HTML here.


What is Quasar all about?

Quasar allows the same level of efficient and fine-grained concurrency offered by asynchronous API but with a much simpler synchronous programming model. It also offers a toolkit of concurrency paradigms that can be used through straightforward blocking APIs.

What is the most innovative aspect about Quasar? What is its most significant achievement?

Quasar implements efficient, real lightweight threads (“fibers”) for the JVM and furthermore abstracts both regular JVM threads and Quasar fibers into a single thread-like abstraction, the “strand”. On top of that, Quasar offers a rich concurrent programming toolkit that consists of several effective paradigms (e.g. Go-like channels and Erlang-like actors *) and which works with both regular JVM threads, fibers as well as any interacting and synchronizing mix of them.

* Quasar also provides a fiber-compatible port of “java.util.concurrent”, Dataflow programming, Reactive Streams, an integration framework for languages and APIs, integrations for Java 7, Java 8 and Kotlin.

Pulsar provides a Quasar integration module for Clojure as well as an idiomatic Clojure wrapper and a fiber-based “core.async” implementation, finally Comsat offers a convenient set of ready-to-use Quasar integrations for standard (e.g. servlet), popular (e.g. Spring), opinionated (e.g. JDBI), language-specific (e.g. http-kit) and novel (e.g. WebActors) APIs.

H2 Database

What is H2 Database all about?

The H2 Database is a small and easy to use relational database for Java. While it is open source, it is also fast, offers a rich set of features, and tries to be (to some extent) compatible with other relational databases such as Oracle, DB2, and MS SQL Server.

What is the most innovative aspect about H2 Database? What is its most significant achievement?

The H2 Database and its predecessor Hypersonic SQL were the first relational databases for Java that could prove that fast, flexible, and powerful relational databases don’t have to be complicated to use.


What is MapStruct all about?

MapStruct is a code generator which helps Java developers with implementing bean-to-bean mappings, e.g. to map between an application’s internal data model and models exposed at the public API layer.

Hooking into the compiler (e.g. through Maven, Gradle or directly within the IDE), MapStruct generates mapping code based on simple Java interface definitions, freeing the developer from the tedious and error-prone manual implementation of mapping code, while providing very fast feedback right at compile time.

What is the most innovative aspect about MapStruct? What is its most significant achievement?

Unlike previous mapping libraries, MapStruct generates bean mapping code at build time. This results in very efficient (no runtime reflection) and type-safe mapping code (no accidental mapping of an Order entity into a Customer DTO). The generated mapping code is dependency-less (e.g. making it suitable for mobile devices) as well as easy to read and reason about. Providing many type conversions out of the box, MapStruct makes it easy to plug in hand-written mapping routines or customize the generated code if needed.


What is Habitat all about?

Habitat is a new approach to automation that focuses on the application instead of the infrastructure it runs on. Habitat is an open source project, and we’d love for you to get involved.

What is the most innovative aspect about Habitat? What is its most significant achievement?

With Habitat, the apps you build, deploy, and manage behave consistently in any runtime — bare metal, VMs, containers, and PaaS. You’ll spend less time on the environment and more time building features.

Habitat is automation that travels with the app. Our great discovery was simply that the automation must travel with the application, rather than be provided by the platform. Everything the application needs, from build dependencies, run-time dependencies, configuration, dynamic topologies, deployment strategies, secrets management, security auditing, and so on belongs to the application because we’re doing it for the application.

Head over to the JAX Innovation Awards website now to register your vote! Take a close look at all the nominees and choose the ones you think should win the titles of “Most innovative contribution to the Java ecosystem” and “Most innovative solution to software delivery & DevOps.” Make sure to vote in both categories. It’s up to you, the community, to decide who wins!

The winners will be announced at the JAX London conference, taking place on October 10-12 in London, United Kingdom.

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