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Now that we are coming close to the final release of EE6, which includes some great technologies we've been leading, it's time for us to consider where we want to go in the future on a number of fronts. But the one I'll look at in this entry is probably one of the most important (it's certainly one of the ones most developers will encounter.) What component model should you be using when developing EE applications in general and specifically when looking at JBoss projects and associated platforms? The interesting thing about frameworks, or probably more specifically about frameworks and Java, is that if you ask 10 developers which one they prefer you'll probably get 11 different answers. So obviously you could try to please all of the people all of the time and probably fail miserably, ending up not being able to please any of the people any of the time, or you could take a pragmatic approach and concentrate on a few of the more popular candidates out there that the majority of people are comfortable with, or even better yet, prefer.


Over the last few years we've spent a lot of time and effort on developing a component model ourselves: Seam. Now Seam began life with some very specific goals in mind, but over the years through community users as well as involvement in the JSR 299 standardization process, it has grown in power and popularity. For instance, Seam is now used regularly in our SOA Platform and pulls in more features from other projects such as jBPM and Drools. In parallel we've seen an increasing number of people ask what is the component model that they should be targeting for applications running across different projects and platforms? In the pure EE space there are a number of answers. In SOA there are just as many. What's really needed is something that can unify these various approaches and provide a single solution. Of course there may be times when developers want to or need to stray outside this, but those should be the exception and not the rule.


So this is where Seam comes in: for the majority of users it shouldn't matter whether you are developing on EE or SOA, for example, if the component model is sufficiently powerful and flexible. As I said before, power and flexibility are at the core of Seam, thanks to the excellent work of Gavin, Pete and the team. Therefore, that future for all of our projects and platform is Seam. The team are already working closely with those projects and platforms, such as ESB and SOA-P, to ensure that new versions of Seam take into account their unique requirements. Importantly though, some of those projects had already decided that Seam was right for them even without any modifications to it, so it's likely you will see closer and quicker integration than some thought possible.


But what will this mean for developers, particularly those who don't want to use Seam? Well as I said at the start, we are not abandoning other popular frameworks and will continue to support them as we do today. In fact the Seam team are doing a lot to work more closely with those alternatives, particularly through standardization. But for the majority of our community and customers this will mean they won't have to worry about learning a new component model when they move between platforms. It will also mean that projects can target Seam as the standard for their community, making the work of assembling our platforms from individual projects that much easier and more efficient when the same component model is used throughout. Reusing components will become a reality not for one or two projects, but for them all. And not just now, but well into the future!


The Andiamo Project

Posted by marklittle Nov 6, 2009


Although it wasn't until my keynote at this year's JBoss World that we officially announced the Andiamo Project, it had been going for a while before then. But just what is Andiamo? Well in some ways it's the culmination of a few years of hard soul-searching about precisely what we need to add to the number one open source application server in order to keep it in that position and move it forward. In other ways it's a fairly logical evolution of the direction we've been heading in, albeit slowly until now.


Put succinctly, Andiamo is an effort to improve the out-of-the-box experience of JBossAS by making it easier to configure and manage, more performant than ever before, and all-round easier to use. With the release of AS 5 and EAP 5 we've covered pretty much all of the core capabilities that our community and customers are calling out for, so now they want us to concentrate efforts elsewhere. Yes, we'll continue to add new cool stuff, such as the forthcoming Seam 3 or Blacktie, but most of our efforts over the next year or two will be going on Andiamo, EE6 and That Which Comes Next.


It's worth noting that although we'll be concentrating on JBossAS and EAP initially, everything we do within Andiamo should be applicable to other projects and platforms. So I'd expect to see benefits to projects such as jBPM, Drools and platforms such as Portal and SOA-P.


At the moment most of our discussions around Andiamo have been internal, figuring out the basics and how best to start executing on the aims. However, over the next few weeks and months we'll be reaching out much more to the community and as always we value your feedback. So watch this space and we'll make new announcements about how to get involved. And so it seems appropriate to conclude this entry with: Andiamo!


We announced the availability of EAP 5.0 at JBoss World in Chicago a few weeks back. This was a limited release so we could ensure that all customer feedback had been taken into account and that there weren't any last minute gotcha's waiting to be found. Well it's with great satisfaction that I can now announce we've moved from that phase to general availability of EAP 5.0! Congratulations to everyone who has been involved with this, from engineers, the QE team, the docs people, product and program management, support etc. If I didn't mention your group by name it's simply because there are so many people out there who have contributed to this release. So if you've been considering moving to the latest and greatest open source application server with full enterprise support, now would be the right opportunity. And just in time for Christmas too!

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