Saturday, December 06, 2008

JBossAS-5.0 goes GA

JBossAS-5.0 GA community edition has been released a few days back!!! Many of you might be knowing that the JBoss-5.0 development was going on for a few years now. After 4 Betas and 2 CRs the application server is now GA. JBossAS-5.0 GA complies with JavaEE5.

Some of you who keep an watch on the JBoss forums and mailing lists, might already be aware that JBoss-5 was completely rearchitectured. There have been a variety of architectural changes that have been introduced in JBoss-5. So what does this mean to a developer who's been using JBoss-4.x so far? The purpose of this article is to highlight the changes that have come in as part of JBoss-5. I won't be dwelling a lot into the technical details (i will leave it to the experts), but will try to give an overview of changes in this version from JBoss-4.x. This article is aimed at making you aware about things to keep in mind when you start using JBoss-5.

So let's start!

1) Additional server profiles/configurations :

JBoss-4.x AS community users will be used to seeing 3 server profiles being shipped by JBoss in the %JBOSS_HOME%/server folder. The "all", "default" and the "minimal". JBoss-5.0 GA adds couple of more profiles to this. Now in JBoss-5 you have "all", "default", "minimal", "web" and "standard".

* The "web" profile is meant to contain services which will allow simple web applications (servlet, jsps) to be deployed. It also has support for JTA, JCA and JPA. Some of you might ask how is it different from the "minimal" configuration. If you look in the deployers folder of "minimal" profile, you will find that there are no deployers available in the "deployers" folder nor any applications in the "deploy" folder. The "minimal" profile is mainly meant for letting the developers decide what services they want to be available. The "minimal" is just an empty profile which the users can build upon depending on their needs, whereas the "web" is a subset of the "default" and allows deploying web applications.

* The "standard" profile is the one against which the tests for JavaEE support were run against.

2) Separation of "deployers" and "deploy" :

If you look in the "deploy" folder of a JBoss-4.x system, you will notice that it contains two types of deployables. Some of the deployables are meant to deploy other applications. For example: The jbossweb.deployer in the deploy folder is actually used for deploying web applications (WAR). With JBoss-5, there is now a clear separation between the deployer and the deployable. You will notice that in JBoss-5, there is a "deployers" folder under each server profile %JBOSS_HOME%/server/< serverName>/deployers. The jbossweb.deployer, which i used as an example earlier, is now in this "deployers" folder along with various other deployers. The actual applications that are to be deployed reside in the "deploy" folder %JBOSS_HOME%/server/< serverName>/deploy.

3) Libraries are now moved to a common/lib folder:

In JBoss-4.x, you will notice that the lib folder under each server profile contains almost the same set of jar files. This obviously leads to increased disk space usage. In JBoss-5.0 GA, these common jar files which are required by all these server profiles is now moved to %JBOSS_HOME%/common/lib folder. This common/lib will act as a parent to all server/< serverName>/lib folders. If you want to add any jar for a specific server profile, then you can add it to the %JBOSS_HOME%/server/< serverName>/lib folder. For example: The database drivers that are required by the datasources can be placed in the server profile specific lib folder (%JBOSS_HOME%/server/< serverName>/lib). With the addition of this new common/lib folder, two new JBoss system properties have been introduced:

* jboss.common.base.url - This evaluates to ${jboss.home.url}/common
* jboss.common.lib.url - This evaluates to ${jboss.common.base.url}/lib

All other JBoss system properties available in JBoss-4.x continue to remain in JBoss-5.

4) For Windows users, its now one step easier to run JBoss as a service :

For JBoss-4.x Windows users, running the server as a service required downloading an appropriate version of JBoss Native and then using the service.bat in the JBoss Native to install the service. In JBoss-5.0 GA, its now one step less. JBossAS comes with JBoss Native installed by default. This way, the user no longer has to download the JBoss Native package separetely. The service.bat for installing the service can be found in the %JBOSS_HOME%/bin folder.

5) New jmx-console :

The jmx-console now comes with a better "professional looking" look :-)

As i mentioned earlier, in this article, i'am going to leave out all the technical details about the changes that have come in JBoss-5. I'll leave it for my next articles, which i plan to do pretty soon after spending some time on this new GA version :-) But in the meantime, JBossAS enthusiasts can start playing with the GA version by downloading it from here

And yes, if you run into any issues using JBossAS-5, feel free to post in the AS-5 dedicated forum here