Saturday, January 16, 2010

Keeping Current with JEE-- the App Dev showdown, round 1

JEE Development -- contemporary toolkits, Round 1

As mentioned earlier, I'm on a quest to refresh my Java EE skills. I've decided to explore two popular toolkits-- Netbeans/GlassFish and JBoss Tools/JBoss AS 5.1. This entry is the first of a short series documenting my findings.

Resource guides
To help me navigate the JEE waters, I'm using 3 titles from Packt publishing:

Java EE 5 Development using GlassFish Application Server
GlassFish Administration
JBoss AS5 Development

By the way, if you follow the above links you'll find free chapters and other resources.

Initial impressions:

GlassFish comes optionally packaged with NetBeans, in a very convenient single download. Everything was easy to use and worked out of the box.
JBoss Tools and JBoss are not integrated. JBoss Tools is a set of Eclipse plug-ins which you have to download into your Eclipse instance. On my Ubuntu laptop, both the app server and the Tools plug-ins downloaded and configured as advertised.
Advantage: Netbeans/GlassFish (hereafter 'Sun') for the tight integration.

App Server Configuration
I started out with some knowledge of old-school app server configuration, but it's been at least 2 years since I worked in this space. For that reason, I relied pretty heavily on my books for this section.
GlassFish offers both a well-put together UI and a command-line interface for most every configuration task. The UI is top-notch and intuitive to use.
JBoss offers 3 different UI consoles (Administrative Console, JMX Console, JBoss Web Console) and a wide array of XML-based files that can be used to perform most common administrative tasks.
Advantage: Sun, for ease of use. In the long pull, JBoss may offer a little more granularity in configuration, but unless you spend a lot of time learning the nooks and crannies, you're going to be up to speed much faster with the Sun toolkit.

So we end today's blog with the score 2-0, favoring the Sun JEE stack. Let's see if this holds true as we enter the application development arena in a near-future blog.

'Till then, Happy Coding!


Mariusz Róg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mariusz Róg said...

Well, nice comparison :-). I'm curious what will be next. I'm placing bet on the GlassFish :-)

nforbes said...

For your first point, I believe that it was not very accurate since JBoss Developer Studio (the more advanced, subscription based IDE) comes integrated with a optional JBoss Application Server instance when you do the installation.

Anonymous said...

For my latest project I've chosen JBoss AS first, but later switched to Glassfish 3.0. Reason for that - Jboss eats memory like a hungry beast. I needed a JMS broker, a couple of session beans and an MDB. I had to upgrade my VPS plan for the Jboss just to launch this configuration. Switching to Glassfish saved me ~256 megs of RAM instantly.