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What You Can Expect From GlassFish v3 Prelude

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GlassFish is fast becoming the most popular application server. When you consider the feature-rich v3 Prelude release, the rise of GlassFish no surprise. With almost 8 million downloads of Glassfish in the last 12 months, and 250,000 product registrations in the same time period, it looks like it's here to stay.

Masoud has a good one page review of the v3 Prelude features - this article tries to encompass all the features included. 

Developer Productivity 

Developers will find themselves significantly more productive with GlassFish v3 Prelude with the introduction of a modular architecture and rapid deployment technology. The OSGi-based microkernel improves startup time and memory management by only loading those modules (features) that are required to service deployed applications. The GlassFish plugin, when used with GlassFish v3 Prelude and either NetBeans 6.5 or Eclipse compile-on-save technology, can auto-redeploy an application without losing existing application state. This functionality simplifies a developer's iterative Java Web development experience to “edit-save-refresh browser”.

GlassFish V3 Prelude also gives developers the choice of Java, Groovy or jRuby as the development language, providing both the same reliable and performant deployment platform features.

Java EE 6 technology previews in GlassFish Update Center 

While GlassFIsh v2 is the Java EE 5 reference implementation, GlassFish v3 Prelude gives insight into Java EE 6 features. The following Java EE 6 functionality is available in, and can be downloaded from, the GlassFish Update Center:

  • JAX-RS 1.0: Stable release, supported
  • EJB 3.1 LIte: Early Access
  • JSF 2.0: Early Access.


GlassFishv3 Prelude In Detail

  • Modular architecture based on OSGi.
    Faster startup and reduced memory consumption. Only those modules required to service deployed applications are started. GlassFish v3 Prelude gives developers the opportunity to use the new modular architecture with their existing and well tested Java EE 5 applications.
  • Java Web Technologies & other APIs
    Java Servlet 2.5, Java Server Page 2.1, JSTL, JSF 1.2,  JMX, JTA, JavaMail, Java Activation Framework
  • Java DB
    Portal Java Database included in download.
  • Maintain session state on application re-deploy.
    When an application is re-deployed, the developer simply refreshes the browser to test the code changes. With Netbeans 6.5, Eclipse, and the GlassFish plugin, developers edit the code, save the code, and refresh the browser. The IDEs will auto- compile and auto-redeploy the code. The iterative Java Web development cycle is simplifed to "edit-save-refresh browser"

  • Native Rails deployment
    JRuby on Rails applications run directly on top of the OSGi microkernel. No WAR deployment required. However, JRuby applications can still be deployed via warbler on top of the web container. A GlassFish v3 Prelude GEM is also available. Last, but not least, GlassFish v3 Prelude can dynamically increase and shrink its JRuby runtime pool to meet demand and manage resources efficiently.
  • GlassFish Update Center 2.0
    Update installed features and install new features, including JRuby on Rails, Groovy on Grails, JSF 2.0, JAX- RS 1.0, and more. One-click installation of new features through the GlassFish Update Center
  • Embedded API
    GlassFish v3 Prelude includes an embedded API. ehCache Server and Nuxeo WebEngine standalone server already bundle GlassFish v3 Prelude.
  • Extensible
    Includes APIs to extend the administration console and command line to manage your own custom OSGi bundles.
  • cometD
    Support RIA push applications
  • mod_jk support
    Load balance across multiple web applications
  • Administration console
    Easy-to-use web administration console. This will be very familiar to GlassFish v2 users.
  • Support
    Production support is available through annual subscriptions, with seamless transition of support to GlassFish v3 when available
  • Web Services Support
    Through the Metro Web Services stack. .NET 3.5 Web Services interoperability. JAX-RS 1.0 is also supported for RESTful web services.
  • Enhanced Monitoring
    GlassFish v3 Prelude lets you monitor through JMX with minimal overhead through a lightweight monitoring framework that enables fine-grained control over what is monitored.
  • IDE Integration
    An Eclipse plugin for GlassFish v3 Prelude is available. A NetBeans 6.5/GlassFish v3 Prelude bundle will be released shortly. Developers can begin with NetBeans 6.5 Release Candidate 2.
  • Support for dynamic languages such as Ruby/Rails and Groovy/Grails
  • 30 MB download, with both a zip-based installer and graphical installer available.

GlassFish v3 Prelude can be downloaded from https://glassfish.dev.java.net/downloads/v3-prelude.html


Jacek Furmankiewicz replied on Thu, 2008/11/06 - 11:35am

Darn, that looks impressive.

Any chance you could clone some of the Glassfish developers and assign them to let's say Swing development? :-)

James Sugrue replied on Thu, 2008/11/06 - 11:45am

Hah! Now there's a thought - I've an post on that very topic on the way :)

Eric Parnell replied on Thu, 2008/11/06 - 12:31pm

Regarding the auto-redeploy, I don't think they have the ability to hot-replace java class files on the fly as they demonstrated at Java One. It's fine to automatically redeploy the application but that involves running through all the startup code which in large apps can be time-consuming. What I need is to replace a class and have it be recognized immediately.


This would save be purchasing JavaRebel. 

Jacek Furmankiewicz replied on Thu, 2008/11/06 - 12:41pm in response to: Eric Parnell

I agree...instead wasting 1billion cash on MySQL, they could have spent probably just a few million (or mayve even less) on JavaRebel and delivered a massive addition to the whole Java platform....

Mike P(Okidoky) replied on Thu, 2008/11/06 - 1:20pm in response to: Eric Parnell

Not necessarily. Re-deploy means reloading, so I'm guessing that objects that are stored in a session are lost due to it being redeployed. A good construct to program an EE application is to create a server side model in which the various web requests end up making changes to. I would like to be able to make code changes without loosing the instance of that model.

John Clingan replied on Thu, 2008/11/06 - 2:21pm

Mike P, because of the re-deploy, all classes are re-loaded. However, GlassFish will maintain the session state during the re-deploy, so just refresh the browser for latest changes.


John Clingan

GlassFish Group Product Manager

John Clingan replied on Thu, 2008/11/06 - 2:57pm

FYI, more info on retaining session on redploy.

John Clingan, GlassFish Group Product Manager.

Mike P(Okidoky) replied on Thu, 2008/11/06 - 3:01pm in response to: John Clingan

But let's say that I have a model with a bunch of data, and classes attached to it that react to model changes. You're saying that the "session state" is maintained, but what does that mean? It remembers what objects were in the session? I want the objects, which are classes with code, to not be lost when making code changes.

Perhaps we're not understanding each other.

Karsten Silz replied on Thu, 2008/11/06 - 5:31pm

The article states that "GlassFish is fast becoming the most popular web development platform".  What facts back up that claim?

John Clingan replied on Thu, 2008/11/06 - 7:02pm

"web development platform" should say "application server".  James and I exchanged an email validating features, and that may have been an error in translation. I'll take the hit for that. Thanks for pointing it out. 


8 million downloads in the last year.

14 million downloads since inception in 2005

GlassFish Geomap

Adoption Numbers

John Clingan

GlassFish Group Product Manager

Karsten Silz replied on Thu, 2008/11/06 - 7:24pm in response to: John Clingan

It seems Tomcat still rules the day (at least it did last December - http://www.sdtimes.com/content/article.aspx?ArticleID=31882), but you're probably going to say that Tomcat is not an application server and that this was a year ago.  :-)

Mike P(Okidoky) replied on Thu, 2008/11/06 - 9:10pm in response to: John Clingan


My immediate observations are:

1) Wasilla didn't have any downloads, and must still be using the server to nowhere.

2) England has *many* more downloads than France.


Alexis MP replied on Fri, 2008/11/07 - 4:24am in response to: Mike P(Okidoky)


England has *many* more downloads than France.



They're users, not downloads. This is built based on the usage of the admin console. 

Steve Perkins replied on Sat, 2008/11/15 - 12:56pm

Maybe this is low-priority, but I would like to see GlassFish eventually support a zero-install ZIP style of deployment like Tomcat or JBoss.  That is... being able to just unzip the archive, start and stop using a couple of scripts or batch files, and zip it back up to capture all your configuration changes.

This may not be so important for production, and sounds trivial on paper... but it's often a big deal in practice with many shops.  In my shop we have a nice and neat "reference" JBoss ZIP for new developers that come on the team, we frequently pass around server instances for various reasons, throw one on a thumb drive for demo/presentation purposes, etc.  Tomcat and JBoss have made these practices so common, I just can't envision my shop ever migrating back to a paradigm of requiring fixed installs (no matter how nice Glassfish's admin GUI is).  It would just change too much about the day to day model of how we get things done.

The same sort of issues are there for IDE's as well... one of the most awesome things about Eclipse is that it's so self-contained and portable.  I've only just started playing with NetBeans again now that they also have a no-install ZIP version.  It would be nice for the GlassFish team to take steps in the same direction.

Alexis MP replied on Sun, 2008/11/16 - 9:16am in response to: Steve Perkins

Try http://download.java.net/glassfish/v3-prelude/release/glassfish-v3-prelude.zip

Steve Perkins replied on Sun, 2008/11/16 - 6:06pm

Ahh, excellent!  There isn't a zero-install ZIP for the current stable release, and I hadn't noticed that they added this for the new v3 generation.  I always love reading about how the problem I'm describing has already been resolved!


Alexis MP replied on Sun, 2008/11/16 - 10:17pm in response to: Steve Perkins

[quote=sp100392]I always love reading about how the problem I'm describing has already been resolved! [/quote]

Keep the RFE's coming, I'm sure they haven't all been implemented already :)

The team is always listening for user feedback and requests. 

Arbi Sookazian replied on Fri, 2009/11/06 - 5:03pm

Seam 2.x has a special classloader that will allow us to hot incrementally deploy changes to POJOs.  It does not currently support EJBs.  I believe JRebel (formerly known as JavaRebel) will support EJB interface changes:

"The big things to look for in the next release are integration with EJB containers supporting changes to EJB interfaces"


What about Glassfish V3?  What kinds of hot incremental deployments (without redeploying the entire app - undeploy/deploy cycle) does Glassfish V3 support?

Ganeh Kc replied on Sun, 2010/09/26 - 10:57pm

I agree that GlassFish is one of the fast and most popular web development platform for the users. Not only web development platform, but can also be named as application server. Moreover, I've only just started playing with NetBeans again now that they also have a no-install ZIP version.  It would be nice for the GlassFish team to take steps in the same direction.



 email marketing software

Jone Sam replied on Fri, 2010/10/15 - 4:36am

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Carla Brian replied on Sat, 2012/05/19 - 9:19pm

If you develop enterprise Java applications, being a GlassFish community member gives you an early opportunity to develop those applications and test them for conformance to Java EE 5. - The Balancing Act Lifetime

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