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Steve is Director of Strategy & Planning at Red Hat, where he's responsible for the cloud strategy and innovation for JBoss and middleware technologies. Prior to Red Hat, he led marketing efforts for Windows Azure, Microsoft's cloud computing platform. Steve is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 2 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Red Hat's Next Steps for JBoss App Server

10.02.2012
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The rapid change of technology and rise of cloud computing, mobile devices, and NoSQL is making us re-evaluate what a modern application server needs to provide for our customers and how developer tools and technologies need to evolve to meet today’s and tomorrow’s needs.

Today is an exciting day for us where we’re able to share where our middleware platform and projects are headed that will help lead us to an exciting future.  There’s a press release; the content below provides more context.  Mark Little, our engineering leader provides more insight in posts here and here.

Over the past few years we’ve observed these industry changes and received input from our engineers, our thriving, global community of JBoss AS developers, contributors, and our enterprise customers who use JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (EAP) for their mission-critical workloads.

To meet these needs we’re announcing an ambitious next phase for our application server strategy and the JBoss EAP application server, a technology collaboration with 10gen and their MongoDB database, and exciting changes to our community projects you can vote on.

The strategic roadmap for the JBoss EAP server has four key components:

Hybrid Clouds & Dynamic Service Fabric: The rise of cloud computing also calls for cloud-enabled application servers with a dynamic service fabric that supports public, private, and hybrid cloud environments. A significant step in this evolution is JBoss EAP operating in Red Hat’s OpenShift platform as a service (PaaS), creating the industry’s first Java EE6 PaaS.  Our goal is to also make sure JBoss EAP provides customers and developers with choice and application portability, and to prevent lock-in to proprietary platforms or cloud services.  To support hybrid clouds, we plan on making advanced cloud features such as auto-scaling and auto-provisioning available to participate in multiple cloud configurations.

Mobility: In the mobile space, analysts predict the already impressive growth of mobile will only accelerate.  Mobile has increased from roughly 4% of all web traffic at the end of 2010 to now exceeding 10% with mobile searches quadrupling since 2011. There are now more than 1.2 billion mobile web users worldwide.  Through projects such as AeroGear, the roadmap for JBoss EAP focuses on providing solutions for native, hybrid and mobile web to an increasing number of computing devices and form factors beyond the traditional PC.

NoSQL: As NoSQL applications gain increasing adoption among major web and enterprise developers, NoSQL is quickly taking shape as a viable alternative to traditional RDMBS.  Yet there’s currently little consistency in programming models to interact with that data.  Like we’ve done with the Hibernate project to provide consistent data-access to relational databases, we want to provide consistent frameworks and standards to increase the scalability and reliability of Java and NoSQL solutions. To that end, we are partnering with 10gen, stewards of the leading NoSQL database, MongoDB, to develop these standards in the Hibernate OGM project.

Polyglot Computing: While Java continues to be the leading platform for application development, new languages and frameworks have arisen to address specific scenarios.  While offering differing capabilities, each benefits by taking advantage of advanced management and scaling features of a cloud-enabled application server like the JBoss EAP server and the Java Virtual Machine.  The roadmap for JBoss EAP ensures that developers have multiple choices of alternative architectures and languages available by running Spring Framework, Ruby via the jRuby and Torquebox projects, Clojure, Ceylon, and Scala among others.

Embracing What Works: With change come questions about reconciling the new with the old.  While we aggressively pursue this brave new world of cloud, NoSQL, mobile and polyglot, our commitment to our community and customers dictate we not only continue supporting existing enterprise Java standards, but also drive new standards to provide a path for customers to migrate and adopt at their pace.

Finally, to signify this important milestone we’re asking for the community to vote on a new name for the core JBoss Application Server.  We will continue to use the JBoss name for our commercial open-source product offering JBoss EAP, which will be made available to developers and customers, providing the rock-solid and cloud-scale application middleware platform that customers bet their businesses on.  Details on how to participate and contribute your ideas are further down.

Some more details on how we’re approaching these changes are below:

Mainstream NoSQL & MongoDB

In the course of a few short years, we’ve witnessed a massive upswing in developer activity and the rise of new applications and tools that change the way developers bring their products to market. As the pace of innovation and market demands increase, flexibility and developer productivity are top-of-mind. Similarly, the rise of cloud computing has created new possibilities for developer agility and application scalability. Lastly, the amount of data created – structured, unstructured, and semi-structured – has continued to mushroom, giving rise to the new discipline of Big Data. The NoSQL movement – led by 10gen and its open-source database, MongoDB – has catalyzed these three trends, driven by adoption among everyday developers and Fortune 500 corporations alike.

The Hibernate project, the industry’s leading object-relational mapper (ORM), solved a significant data problem by providing a standardized interface for Java developers to interface with a variety of relational databases.  Hibernate is the industry standard, used by millions of Java developers and has directly shaped Java standards around data access, notably the Java Persistence API (JPA).

Today, we’re announcing a partnership between the JBoss team at Red Hat and 10Gen to power the next generation of data-powered applications.  We are collaborating closely on the next generation of Hibernate for NoSQL – what we’re calling Hibernate OGM – with 10gen given its leadership in the NoSQL space.  Our joint goal is to make NoSQL a mainstream technology that all Java developers can leverage using their existing expertise, applying the principles that made Hibernate a success:  standards and ease-of-use.

Hybrid Clouds, Portability, and Choice

At Red Hat Summit 2012 we announced the availability of JBoss EAP 6 on OpenShift, Red Hat’s Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), creating the first enterprise Java PaaS in the industry.  This combination reflects Red Hat’s vision for hybrid cloud deployment, offering users choice and preventing lock-in to proprietary infrastructures and cloud vendors.

We have a specific vision for how JBoss EAP can benefit developers and end users as the overall cloud computing market is expected to reach $100 billion by 2016 (IDC).  The foundations of our cloud roadmap are centered on three principles:

Flexibility– offering choice in deployment models, whether it’s on-premise, virtualized or in a public or private cloud infrastructure.

Cloud portability without lock-in – empowering customers to migrate deployments to the cloud location and type of their choosing, offering choice and avoiding lock-in from proprietary offerings.

Spanning & connecting clouds – our customers are now running multiple cloud environments concurrently, dictating the need for flexible deployment and portability. Just as important is the need to connect and synchronize data across systems separated by differing cloud infrastructures, network boundaries and physical location.

Open Choice & Polyglot

Another significant change has been the rise of new languages and frameworks for application development.  While offering differing capabilities, each benefits by coexisting together and taking advantage of advanced management and scaling features of a cloud-enabled application server like JBoss EAP.  The JBoss EAP roadmap ensures that developers have multiple choices of alternative architectures and languages available by providing solutions integrations for Spring Framework, Ruby via the jRuby and Torquebox projects, Clojure, Ceylon, and Scala among others.

While we embrace this vision of polyglot programming, worldwide it’s estimated that Java has 9 million developers and continues to thrive and grow as one of the top platforms, as shown in the latest programing language rankings by RedMonk.  We will continue to be a leader and advocate for standards in enterprise Java and have contributed to many of the standards that have made Java EE 6 lighter, simpler and more powerful.  Standards such as Contexts and Dependency Injection (CDI) continue to be a cornerstone for effectively building applications with JBoss technologies and we’re committed to actively participating in evolving enterprise Java moving forward.

Embracing…and Driving the Standard

It’s essential to note that while our roadmap embraces this brave new world, our first commitment remains to our community of developers and customers.  This means continuing to embrace and support industry standards.  We will continue to avidly participate in standards bodies for Java and Java EE, and provide world-class support for applications written in today’s technology.

We will also drive the modernization of standards for tomorrow’s mainstream technologies.   Our historical community participation has made things such as JPA, for standardized database access, and JAX-RS, for authoring web services, a standard part of the Java developer’s toolkit.  Today’s investments in cloud, NoSQL, and mobile frameworks will continue ensuring computing remains open and non-proprietary, and benefits developers and end users.

A Change In Name

Finally, many of our customers and those in our community are still unaware there have been two faces of JBoss – our community projects and our product offerings with state of the art stability and security. There is a JBoss AS project, and a JBoss EAP product.  Our community projects showcase our latest prototypes, innovation, and integration of our investments in cloud, NoSQL, and mobile frameworks. Our commercial open-source products provide the rock-solid and cloud-scale middleware platform that customers bet their businesses on.

Renaming the JBoss AS community project helps clarify the mission and goals of each.  The JBoss name will continue to live on by representing our commercial open-source product offerings, and we are continuing work to increase its access and availability for developers.

With our ambitious roadmap ahead of us we realized that, like the technology industry overall, we are at an inflection point where embracing emergent technologies into our flagship product makes sense for our developers and customers.

So to mark this important milestone we are asking the community to help us rename the JBoss AS community project.

Knowing how important this is to our community, we want you to participate in this new mission by participating in an election to rename the core JBoss Application Server project. Members of the JBoss developer communities and Red Hat associates are invited to nominate names online between October 1 – 14, 2012.

The top nominated names, as decided by a panel of judges made up of Red Hat employees, will be presented for voting October 21 – November 1. The winning name will be announced November 12 during the Devoxx conference in Antwerp, Belgium.

For more information about the election, or to nominate a name for the final ballot, please visit http://www.jboss.org/vote

We hope you’re as excited as we are about our direction moving forward.  To our community and customers – thank you for being on the journey with us!

Published at DZone with permission of Steve Yi, author and DZone MVB. (source)

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