> I would like to know if JBoss is the container that
> fits to my needs.
Yes it is.
> I need an active component, a thread, that handles a
> certain protocol and forewards some data to a
Yes, a custom invoker.
> I have not found any
> standard to plug in an active component into a
> container, is J2EE missing such a thing?
JMX is the mechanism to do that, it's been missing in J2EE for a while but will now be included in the next 1.4 version.
> I currently use a tomcat 4.0 connector to do that but
> it has some features missing.
> a) I want to update the code without shutting down
> the container.
We do support hot-deployment of all services (SAR files).
> b) I want to start and stop the threads with a JMX
The existing invokers (and your custom one) are all MBeans in JBoss, therefore you can expose your own custom management interface for your JMX app as well.
> c) I want a cleaner deploy process.
Package your invoker as a SAR, drop it into the deploy dir. This is the same process as we do with EJBs.
> d) I want an environment (Logging, JNDI env.,
> Classloading ...) set up before my service starts.
You can declare dependencies for your service as part of its configuration (META-INF/jboss-service.xml in your SAR package).
> Is the startup process well enough defined to handle
> active components?
JBoss service contract includes the normal create/start and stop/destroy callbacks to your service implementation.
> What services are available when
> my components start up?
Up to how you configure your service startup, both explicit and implicit dependencies to other services are supported.
> Is the JMX support generic
> enough to include my MBeans?
Yes, what you describe has been done before (custom protocol handling) and is exactly what JBoss does with current RMI/HTTP/etc invokers.
> Can a Servlet
> communicate with the active component, can they
> share memory?
Yes and yes. Servlet can access your service via the MBeanServer.
> Is JBoss the right choice to convert to? What do you