Masoud Kalali has a software engineering degree and has been working on software development projects since 1998. He has experience with a variety of technologies (.NET, J2EE, CORBA, and COM+) on diverse platforms (Solaris, Linux, and Windows). His experience is in software architecture, design, and server-side development. Masoud has published several articles at and Dzone. He has authored multiple refcards, published by Dzone, including but not limited to Using XML in Java, Java EE Security and GlassFish v3 refcardz. He is one of the founder members of NetBeans Dream Team and a GlassFish community spotlighted developer. Recently Masoud's new book, GlassFish Security has been published which covers GlassFish v3 security and Java EE 6 security. Masoud's main area of research and interest includes service-oriented architecture and large scale systems' development and deployment and in his leisure time he enjoys photography, mountaineering and camping. Masoud's can be followed at his Twitter account. Masoud has posted 82 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Some Thoughts on the JBoss AS5 Release

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JBoss application server 5 GA released after a very long period of silence from "JBoss, a division of Red Hat". The new version of JBoss application server supports Java EE 5 and is based on modularity concept with a small kernel named JBoss MicroContainer in the core and all functionalities as modules around the kernel. JBoss kernel is POJO based and all modules follows the same principals, some configuration files are required to configure the services which the kernel will load. JBoss modularity system is niether based on OSGI nor drafts of the to be released Java SE modularity system.

JBoss 5, uses the MicroContainer to ensure an easy implementation of Java EE 6 profiles and also let the developers and administrators to easily disable some features and enable some other features.

I think from version 5, JBoss application server development will see some dramatic changes, the modules will be developed independently and therefore, the release cycle will be a mixed model of hot module releases like updates and patches and major releases which is an integration of all available modules. Although JBoss is far from providing a solid foundation in term providing a package distribution system and all required software to keep an eye on the updated modules and installing them, but that is the path which I think they will follow.

With all this architectural changes, JBoss 5 has a drawback. There is no changes in the administration at all, 3 years of development produces no changes in what administrators use to manage the servers, clusters and applications which are assets of the company which they work for. The same old JMX based administration console is what administrators should deal with for some few months or years until Red Hat finishes the development of their new administration console. Yes, the have a project named Jopr to provide a neat SEAM based administration console, but when it will be ready to get bundled with AS, no one knows.

Today GlassFish is one of the dominant open source application servers and gained big  market share in absence of the Open Source application servers steward, JBoss. The steward re-appeared but its re-appearance is not that promising because of many advantages which its replacement, GlassFish, provides over it.

GlassFish v3 uses a modular architecture based on the standards.The OSGI as the bundle layer and HK2 which is an early implementation of JSR-277, Java SE modularity system, for the service layer. There is no need to edit an XML file, just drop the bundle and it is installed or remove the bundle and it will not load the next time. Also you can utilize the very easy to use update Centre which in addition to managing the currently installed modules, let you install updates or brand new features by selecting the features that you need and waiting for the download to finishes.

GlassFish v3 distribution is based on a solid binary distribution system named pkg(5) Image Packaging System or simply IPS which is a operating system independent software distribution system based on network repository of the software packages. The IPS helps keeping GlassFish up to date automatically with in the blink of an eye. it let you install the new features and updates by some clicks in the desktop GUI, web based administration console, or using the command line

GlassFish v3 provides very solid administration channels including the JMX console, the web based administration console and the command line administration tools which one can use to administrate all aspects of the application server from mere deploying an application to large scale management of a cluster farm.

And Finally GlassFish version 3 supports Java EE 6 and its final version will be available by the middle of 2009. if you want to know about GlassFish for Java EE 5, you should know that the version which supports Java EE 5 released in May 2006 and its 3rd major updates is GlassFish 2.1 which is scheduled to be released on Jan 2009


Published at DZone with permission of its author, Masoud Kalali.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)



Artur Biesiadowski replied on Fri, 2008/12/19 - 8:30am

Short summary:

JBoss sucks,  GlassFish is better, I'm not biased by fact that I have written a book about GlassFish.

Actually, scratch the last one.

Karsten Silz replied on Fri, 2008/12/19 - 3:50pm

One comment: Being based on JSR 277 is not really an advantage for Glassfish - it seems that JSR 277 is dead:

Masoud Kalali replied on Fri, 2008/12/19 - 4:09pm in response to: Karsten Silz

We do not know for sure that whether the JSR 277 will be abandoned or not. the only thing that is certain is the need for an standard modularity system for Java platform and so far the only proposal is JSR 77.

Even if the JSR fail to become complete and approved by the JCP, HK2 is a very well designed and benefits from a good architecture service framework.

Masoud Kalali replied on Fri, 2008/12/19 - 4:13pm in response to: Artur Biesiadowski

I In fact  I am not biased at all, my comparison is based on what is available as documentation and experience. Any part which you think is unfair you can comment out and I will try to address.

As for being an author which promote his book, it is not the first comparison which I am making about GlassFish and JBoss. You may see previous one at

Rainer P. replied on Mon, 2008/12/22 - 5:18am

JBoss is a mystery: They were the absolute #1 in (open source) app servers, and it was everybody's darling.
Now JBoss 5 is out. Fnally.  Nearly 3 years after the specification (and even 1.5 years after Geronimo):

• May 2006 - JavaEE 5 goes final.
• May 2006 - GlassFish v1 and SJS AS 9.0 PE.
• May 2006 - Tmaxsoft's JEUS 6, SAP's NetWeaver 7.1, Kingdee's Apsuic AppServer v5.0
• April 2007 - BEA's (now Oracle's) WebLogic 10
• May 2007 - Oracle's Application Server 11
• June 2007 - Apache Geronimo 2 and IBM's WebSphere Community Edition
• September 2007 - GlassFish v2
• June 2008 - NEC's webOTX 8.1
• October 2008 - IBM's WebSphere 7.0
• December 2008 - RedHat's JBoss 5

 Not very much noise about JBoss any more; the author just tells something really eye-catching.

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