Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Java application servers are dead!

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Application Servers support the deployment of applications. File formats include WARs for web applications, EAR for enterprise application with multiple different modules and JARs e.g. for EJBs or libraries. These file formats do not support dependencies outside the Java world. For example it is not possible to define that a Java application depends on a database server or a specific version of a database server.

Also it is not possible to define that a JAR, WAR or EAR depends on a specific application server or version of an application server – even though applications are often not portable across Application Servers. Other deployment tools e.g. Linux package managers support these kinds of dependencies.

They are also more generic and support any kind of application – not just Java. These tools are used by operations quite successfully. These tools can automatically configure and deploy server farms and clusters. It does not take an Application Server with cluster support to do this. Rather any well-run operations department should be able to install large clusters.

So some features of the operating system might be the better choice to deploy applications. Also the operating system can start applications – for example as Unix services. That way the application makes the best use of the operating systems and how applications should work on such a platform.

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