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.
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.
Includes APIs to extend the administration console and command line to manage your own custom OSGi bundles.
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.
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