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Advice in selecting a free EJB Server

Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
On my current project, we need to use a free EJB server, since we can't afford a commercial one (we may be able to afford JRun). I'm am looking for advice, warnings, suggestions, bribes, or anything else which would influence our decision.

Our needs:
We're running a trading simulation. It will have at most 200-300 people, but probably with no more then 100-120 active at any one time. We won't be using any really tricky features in J2EE, but will rely on the basics, especially in the areas of EJB, JMS, and JavaMail.

Here's what I'm looking at:
JBoss
This is the most well known. They've been around, they're reliable. They include extra features. Unfortunately, it's not free. JBoss is a service company. I can get the JBoss server for free, but if I want to use it, at a minimum I must spend $100 for their book. If that's the only cost, I don't mind it. How good is the book? Given that I already understand EJBs and some other J2EE APIs, will I be able to work with JBoss using just the book, or will I find I need to buy more things from them? Does JBoss have any good GUI management tools? I wouldn't expect it from an open source product, but since they seem to be throwing in extras, maybe they have it.
OpenEJB
This seems to be a small team, and relatively new. They haven't reached a stable version yet. However, the authors of the software have a good reputation, and have published books on the subject.
JOnAS
I know almost nothing about them.
Enhydra
Does this even support EJBs? I thought it did, but it talks mostly about Servlet's and JSPs.
Sun's Reference Implamentation
They say RI's aren't useful for development work. I'm under the impression that this is just because RI's don't try to be efficent. It all lacks bells and whistles making setup and management easier. Is that enough reason not to use it? Any other reason not to use it?
Sun ONE J2EE App Server
Sun is apparently giving this away free on all major platforms (or claim they will be this fall--waiting for them to actually do it could be an issue if it's not out yet). Is this different from the RI? Is it good? Does it have some nice bells and whistles, or at least enough that it's not a total pain in the ass to setup and maintain.?
JRun
This is arelatively cheap. I hear it's not as powerful as some of the big names, but then, I don't think we need all that power. Does anyone have any experience with JRun? What are it's strengths and weakenesses?
I appreciate any help. Thanks.
--Mark
John Wetherbie
Rancher

Joined: Apr 05, 2000
Posts: 1441
Mark,
Did you also check out Orion? Or are they charging for it now?
BTW, with that few people you probably don't need to use EJBs. Unless you want experience developing them or plan on scaling up quickly.
Where I'm at uses JRun. I am not impressed with it compared to WebLogic or WebSphere but it works. Sorry I can't help more.


The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen all at once.
- Buckaroo Banzai
John Wetherbie
Rancher

Joined: Apr 05, 2000
Posts: 1441
Oh, if you could come back and tell us what you picked and why that would be great! ALways looking for more data.
Thanks,
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Ah, Orion, ok, another choice. They offer a free license for development and non-commercial deployment, which is suitable. It's $1500 for commercial deployment (per server).
They only have partial EJB 2.0 support. Although this may not be a big deal. It's mostly Message Driven Beans that we'll need from the 2.0 spec. They do claim to have some GUI interfaces.
So add this to the list above, on which I am seeking information. :-)

--Mark
Ashik Uzzaman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 05, 2001
Posts: 2370

JBoss is my choice!


Ashik Uzzaman
Senior Member of Technical Staff, Salesforce.com, San Francisco, CA, USA.
Matthew Phillips
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 09, 2001
Posts: 2676
ResinEE also offers a free development/non-commercial license, but I don't believe it supports JavaMail.


Matthew Phillips
Vladimir Ergovic
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 22, 2001
Posts: 63
JBoss should do the trick, Orion has a GUI but it not very useful, if you want to use EJBs JBoss is better choice + you have a lots of plugins for IDE.


Vladimir Ergovic
 
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
 
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