Hot on the heels of my previous entry praising the JBossAS team, the team go and do it again! This time they've achieved EE6 web profile compliance and have tagged the code! Of course an official release may not appear until the new year, but this is great news. I don't want to spoil the surprise too much, so expect to see a lot more said about this release from the team once it comes out in January! Once again congratulations go to the entire team (core developers, docs, managers, QA etc.), who pulled together to make this a reality. And on Christmas Eve no less! It's almost certain to be a merry Christmas and a very happy new year!!
Over the years we've put in a lot of time and effort to make JBossAS the best application server out there. With JBossAS 5 we refocussed around a new microcontainer architecture that gave us a lot more flexibility in terms of deployments and configuration. Building on AS 5, we saw performance improvements through AS 6 and now into AS 7. For those of us within JBoss and the active developer communities, this progression has been fairly low-key. However, now that we are through the first official community release of AS 7 and more people are starting to kick the tyres on it, the feedback we're getting is very positive and most folks seem quite pleasantly surprised!
Take the latest article for instance, which looks at startup times for various types of Java EE container. If you skip to the bit where the author comments specifically on JBossAS you'll see that between AS5 and AS7 we've seen orders of magnitude improvements in the start-up time. However, this is not due to the use of OSGi (which we do support), but to the work of Jason and the team on improvements to the microcontainer architecture and implementation. If you want more details then be sure to check out the Asylum Podcast that was recorded recently.
Of course start-up times are only part of the equation. You'll hear more of the benefits of the micro-services architecture on the podcast. But the various teams, such as HornetQ, JBossTS, EJ3, JCA and others, have all been looking at how to improve the run-time aspects of the container. We aren't quite ready yet to publish official figures, but I can tell you that by the time EAP 6 comes out, JBossAS 7 will rock! It will be the best platform on which to develop and deploy your enterprise applications, whether they run in the Cloud or run locally. So if you haven't taken a look at it yet, I recommend that you do so and provide us with your feedback. Or write articles extolling the virtues of the new performance improvements that you will find :-)
And I'll take this opportunity to congratulate Jason and his team, along with the other project leads and their teams, for putting in a great effort! We are really seeing the benefits and they'll keep coming over the next few months!
It's been nearly two years since Sacha left and "passed the baton" to me. As instructed, I think/hope that I didn't "screw it up", as he requested ;-) It has been a very eventful 18 months or so and I continue to be indebted to Sacha for selecting me as his successor. Over this time we've seen some of our competitors get acquired, the release of Java EE6 (which we pioneered with CDI and Bean Validation), the start of a new JBoss developer conference series, some acquisitions, countless project releases, new standards efforts, adoption of newer languages, and new projects being created, and many new product releases. In short, it has been a very busy year and a half!
My thanks go out to everyone involved in what I have mentioned above. It would take an entire blog entry to mention them all and even then I'd probably miss out some, so I won't even try. Each of our projects and platforms has a thriving and growing community of contributors. Whether those contributors cut code, provide docs, log issues, comments, use cases, or whatever, whether they are Red Hat employees or work for some other company, they (you) are all part of the greater JBoss community and critical to our (your) success. And over this last 18 months I've been in the privileged position to monitor all of these efforts in one way or another, and sometimes help where I can. I've seen the communities grow and the core developers thrive on the challenges that their communities offer. In a word, it has been fun!
I've also watched out competitors increase their FUD against us (queue Richard Burton's voice and the ominous music from Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds!) Our market share has increased over this period. Our communities have increased over this period. But probably the most telling thing that shows how much of a threat we are to others in the enterprise Java middleware space is the amount of FUD that has also increased in this period. As I said in a separate blog, "I suppose [FUD is] easier to do than actually provide significant technical differentiation"! Yes FUD is annoying, but if you take the time to step back and think about it, it's actually quite flattering that you (we) have gotten to the point where companies large and small have to resort to it in order to try to retain their market share! JBoss and open source is a major player in middleware, whether you are looking at traditional deployments or new arenas such as Cloud.
So in the last 18 months I've definitely had "fun". But I suppose if there's one downside of Sacha (and Marc's) legacy, it's that I have less time to spend on actual coding. Or at least that's what I was worried about when I had to weigh up the pros and cons of taking over. Although it turns out that I don't have as much time for cutting code as I once had, I still manage to do it. (Which reminds me, I hope that my transaction addition to TorqueBox makes it into the trunk eventually ;-)! I think it's important to keep coding, particularly in an environment such as JBoss which is heavily engineering driven. Plus it helps keep my grounded as well as sane :-)
Back in March 2009 when Sacha asked me to take over, I recall thinking that this could be either the best move I could make for JBoss or the worst. It wasn't an easy decision to make. But now, almost two years on from that date I think I made the right choice and have to thank him and the wider JBoss community for a wonderful journey! If the past is any indication of the future then bring it on!!