Five Links: All My Friends Are Dead Edition

Happy Friday, everyone.

The end of the year is often a season of reflection. This year, that reflection seems to have taken a nihilistic tinge, as a lot of people are declaring things dead. Change can feel like death, I guess, but I think it’s easy to conflate something evolving with that something going away. This week, I want to look at some of the technology deaths which, like Mark Twain’s, are greatly exaggerated.

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Five Links: Embrace the Change Edition

Happy Friday, everyone.

As we come upon the glorious time change weekend, I’ve been seeing a lot of posts lately on changes — planning, designing, trying to understand what needs to change and how. Change is inevitable, but the question seems to be how far can we control it or define it. Within technology, we talk a lot about disruptive companies or key innovators, and sometimes it’s easy to begin looking at change for change’s sake. Disruptors and innovators don’t (only) change because it’s fun — they do something new with purpose. So this week’s posts look at change, design, and transformation as means to an end — chaotic yet intentional.

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Five Links: A Big Cup of Joe Edition

Happy Friday, everyone.

This week started off great with a bout on Monday with a lot of people talking about AI and virtual reality (links picked at random). I’m not saying I started a trend, I am simply observing a certain zeitgeist. This is week, I’ve been looking at more familiar worlds: Java, Java EE, and app development. This is the heart of what we do in middleware.

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Image credit: Headline Shirts. Also, the shirt is on sale now.

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Does this Java EE application platform make my app look fat?

It’s time to stop perpetuating the myth that all Java Enterprise Edition (EE) application platforms are a bloated mess. Overweight, over-engineered, slow performing platforms that are a burden to simply deploy Java EE applications on. There. I said it. Now can I prove the myth is unfounded? Let’s see.

First let’s agree on what a Java EE application platform is. I propose a minimalist definition. That being, a Java EE application platform is verified to have implemented a specific Java EE specification. The current Java EE 7 specification is extensive and runs 290 pages long. Implementing the details is no trivial task. As of the date of this article, there are eight products that have been verified by Oracle to be Java EE 7 full platform compatible implementations. Red Hat JBoss EAP 7 is one of those products. However, Apache Tomcat and Pivotal tcServer are not on the list. Neither of those products are Java EE application platforms.

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Mike Piech and Rich Sharples on Facebook LIVE from Red Hat Summit

Rich Sharples, senior director of product management, and Mike Piech, vice president of marketing, got together for a half hour at the end of the Summit day today to discuss some of the major issues that have come out related to middleware this week. There have been some major announcements: the new microprofile project, the release of Red Hat JBoss EAP 7, the growth of microservices, and the recent acquisition of 3scale and what that means for API management in Red Hat Middleware.

As a quick summary, two of the major themes underscoring a lot of the announcements around JBoss, middleware, and Java this week relate to things that are micro: microservices and microprofile.

Microservices has been a subtext in many of the JBoss EAP 7 sessions and in the OpenShift sessions because this containerized, immutable, consistent environment is what makes microservices possible.Containers fundamentally enable microservices. You have an underlying runtime that is commensurate with the idea of “micro.” You can scale elastically, add instances to scale up and down. The opportunity to change things as an application travels from the desktop to the data center is much less. These are communicating systems, and that’s what container orchestration is. It coordinates these complex webs. we’re The application is the only thing that matters. Operations is there to support the application. I hit a build button and it goes through my CI/CD system, and it’s the same configuration in the environment.

However, like any application or project architecture, it’s more than “JBoss + OpenShift  = awesome microservices.” There has to be consideration and weight given to the application and the underlying technology to find a structure that fits. Microservices architecture isn’t about taking everything you’ve got and decomposing it into atomic services. It’s about having a range of sizes and services, depending on what you need. It is important to be conscious of the trade-offs that come from the increased complexity of the system. It really depends on the organization and the technology platforms they have what architecture is appropriate.

That need to understand and define the underlying framework to do microservices effectively is the theme of the second topic: the microprofile. There are defined specifications for different Java platforms (Standard and Enterprise) but both have the assumption of large-scale, full server architectures. New wave development, though, is increasingly small, with small services in those larger complex systems. What Java EE introduced to development was consistency and dependability. As we move into a new containerized world, we must do it responsibly, preserving the consistency and stability of previous environments. The microprofile project was created because a lot of vendors – Red Hat, IBM. Tomitribe, Payara – were just on a Slack chat, discussing what they needed to do for microservices and ways they could implement it. And then there was a lightbulb: maybe there’s something here. This is a chance to bring the whole Java community around a new architecture, with the strengths and discipline they’ve already developed.

Watch the whole video. For microprofile, you can join the Google group or check out the microprofile site for more information and emerging discussions.

MicroProfile – Collaborating to bring Microservices to Enterprise Java

This post was originally published at Red Hat Developers.

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Today at the DevNation conference in San Francisco, Red Hat’s Mark Little was joined on-stage by Alasdair Nottingham from IBM, Theresa Nguyen from Tomitribe, Mike Croft from Payara and Martijn Verburg from the London Java Community to announce a new community collaboration – MicroProfile – whose goal is to make it easier for developers to use familiar Java EE technologies and APIs for building microservice applications.

Mark talked about some of the reasons Java EE has established itself as the dominant standard for companies building business-critical multi-tier enterprise applications, including :

  • An open standard platform that enables vendors to compete on implementation, price, or business model
  • A collaborative standard and process that is driven by many vendors and individual developers rather than a single vendor
  • Consistent and holistic vision for all architectural tiers of the application
  • A strong focus on adherence to the standard and compatibility between vendor implementations and versions of the specifications

As organizations start to think about the next generation of those business-critical applications, many of them are likely thinking about cloud-native, Linux containers and microservices, and how they evolve by using the technologies and skills they already have.

Red Hat, IBM, Payara, Tomitribe and the London Java Community believe that Enterprise Java is a solid foundation on which to build the next generation of applications and the MicroProfile (which may ultimately become a submission for a standard specification) can make it easier and provide portability between vendor’s implementations. The first release of the MicroProfile is expected to be available in September, with Red Hat’s implementation to be based on WildFly Swarm.

Red Hat continues to support those in the Enterprise Java community that are working hard to move Enterprise Java forward by pushing ahead on the evolution of Java EE. To emphasize this point, Red Hat has underlined its support for Java EE 8 and is committed to finishing the JSRs it leads, like CDI 2.0, and any necessary enhancements to Bean Validation while it also invests in the MicroProfile. We see synergy between the current Enterprise Java community efforts and the newly announced MicroProfile, which is born out of the same Enterprise Java community. To us it’s clear that the Enterprise Java community is forging ahead.

Red Hat understands that Enterprise Java has been successful for almost two decades thanks to the community collaboration that drove its evolution. Please join and participate in the MicroProfile effort and let’s all take the next step forward by cooperatively innovating to bring the microservice architecture to Enterprise Java.

Thank you JBoss partners

Thank you JBoss partners. You made our decade.

In the open source world (and I would say increasingly in the software world in general), the success of a new technology begins with active and vibrant communities that crank out compelling and useful technologies.

When the technology gets out and increases in popularity, early customers begin to trust it and it faces the challenge of being adopted by the mainstream market, which is composed predominantly by customers who are pragmatists in nature and that find it difficult to use a new product unless it has support in the market (other customers) and it has an ecosystem of partnerships and alliances with other vendors that serve their industry.

That’s why partners are key to technology products. The larger the partner ecosystem, the more trust customers can have and the better the chances of widespread adoption.

JBoss had started to create that partner ecosystem before it became part of the Red Hat family back in 2006. Many things have happened since those early years, and we’ve probably done a few right things along the way, as Red Hat has become the first open source company to surpass the two-billion-dollar revenue mark, and for the fourth consecutive year we have been awarded a 5-Star rating in the CRN 2016 Partner Program Guide – where vendor applications are assessed based on investments in program offerings, partner profitability, partner training, education and support, marketing programs and resources, sales support, and communication.

However, at the end of the day, it is really the partners who decide which technology partners they choose to pursue success in the marketplace.

In anticipation of the launch of Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform 7 (JBoss EAP), and of the 10th anniversary of JBoss becoming part of the Red Hat family, we offered our partners the opportunity to tell the world about out our collaboration.

So don’t take our word for it. Let our partners do the talking.

We are fortunate to have partners that have worked with JBoss for a long, long time. Some of them, such as Vizuri, were a JBoss partner before it became part of the Red Hat product family. Joe Dickman, senior vice president, explains that the widespread adoption of JBoss in the marketplace, especially among Fortune 500 companies, is “a testament to the ‘power of community collaboration and innovation’ that Red Hat embodies, which has forever changed the way that software is developed and businesses operate.”

Another JBoss veteran is Viada in Germany. In words of Daniel Braunsdorf, CEO of Viada in Germany, “Ten years ago JBoss was the first open source application server being really ‘enterprise-ready’”, and today “we are talking about a full stack of middleware suite products serving our customers needs by giving them more flexibility, agility, and speed to deliver innovative applications.”

James Chinn, CEO of Shadow-Soft, sums it up well: “Over the last decade, JBoss has come a long way in terms of improving performance as well as truly innovating in regards to the way applications run and are managed. With the release of JBoss EAP 7 comes a host of new features including full support of Java EE 7 and Java SE 8 (…) Furthermore, JBoss EAP 7 has also been upgraded to reduce start-up time and optimize networking port utilization making it truly ideal for running within Linux containers.”

SCSK from Japan trust the power of JBoss EAP 7 to drive open standardization and TCO reduction. In the words of Hisanao Takei, Senior Executive Officer, “SCSK thinks JBoss EAP 7 is the best choice that customers want for building open and standard infrastructure and especially expects system TCO reduction for virtual and cloud environment.”

Red Hat JBoss Middleware is at the core of many mission critical systems. And being intimately related with the other Red Hat middleware products, such as JBoss Fuse, enables our partners to support many different types of business customer needs. Hiroyuki Yamamoto, director at monoplus, Inc. in Japan, makes the point that “As business environments continue to evolve, we believe that JBoss Middleware will seamlessly contribute and support in the integration, co-operation and collaboration within businesses”.

Driven by the dynamism of information based sectors, it may be easy to forget that traditional businesses also need advanced enterprise systems to be successful. In such a traditional business as printing, our Japanese partner WingArc1st makes the point that “An enterprise printing platform needs to be highly reliable, stable and provide high performance for seamless operations,” and believe that “Red Hat Enterprise Linux and JBoss EAP 7 are important platforms” for the company’s SVF offering.

Matt Pavlovich, co-founder of Media Driver, abounds on how JBoss EAP 7 helps developers “to be more efficient by focusing their time on delivering business value versus fiddling with tech stacks.” No small feat, as he continues, “Whether it is deployed on-premise, in the cloud or via containers, JBoss EAP 7 provides deployment flexibility that can help DevOps teams avoid having to navigate tricky hurdles to get their environments up and running quickly.”

Regis Kuzel, senior vice president at LCN Services, takes pride at being an unbiased trusted advisor to their customers. “For LCN, the bottom line is you can’t do better than Red Hat JBoss EAP 7. It’s a well-thought-out platform. And it’s gaining market share because it works! We believe Red Hat JBoss EAP 7 is the best technology available at its core!”

In terms of innovation, Farhan Hussain, Founder and CEO, Open Source Architect has a clear view of the contribution of the new EAP7. “This new platform will help us provide reliable, cost-efficient and high-performing container-based solutions for on-site and cloud deployments, while enabling our joint customers to innovate and meet strict compliance, security, and regulatory requirements simultaneously!” says Farhan.

Heinz Wilming, Director, Red Hat JBoss Competence Center for our German partner akquinet, makes a point about the value that long term support provides to our common customers. As you are possibly aware, Red Hat JBoss Middleware product life cycles are generally three, five, or seven years in length, and for certain products can be extended by three (3) additional years (up to ten!), something not many vendors actually provide. In his words, “Long-lasting support, regular updates and interoperability ensure protection of investment and guaranteed future for both our customers and akquinet.”

Some of our partners have been supporting JBoss for a long time, and others have made investments more recently. This is the case of Opticca in Canada. Owner Ivan Cardona shares that “We’ve been deploying Middleware, SOA, and BPM platforms from the major providers for the past eight years. We’ve recently made a large investment In Red Hat’s JBoss solutions because our customers’ feedback led us to conclude open source is now a real option.”

A last word…

We are really happy we are getting this support from our partners. Many others share us in the 10th anniversary and you can learn more from our strategic alliances here. And find more in the JBoss partner ecosystem press release, here.

And for those that are still not in the ecosystem, please join us. We’re here to help you grow.

So let me conclude as I began.

Thank you, Red Hat partners. You made our decade. Ready for more?

PD: Keep reading here for blogs and additional quotes from partners worldwide about the new EAP7!

Summit Preview: JBoss EAP Highlights

Next week is Red Hat Summit / DevNation in San Francisco. And you can still register!

My last highlight post touched on the many sessions and labs related to Red Hat middleware that will be at Summit this year, but (for the eagle-eyed reader) there was something missing: any sessions related to Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform.

There is a reason. Back in December, JBoss EAP 7 Beta was released, and this marked a significant technology advancement. JBoss EAP 7 is based on the Java EE 7 spec, which introduces a number of improvements in data handling, transactions, and other performance and development areas. Additionally, JBoss EAP 7 itself adds a lot of new features and continues down its previous path for lightweight, modular, and highly-configurable server instances.

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Red Hat Summit Preview – Discovery session series

When we go to the Red Hat Summit this year in San Francisco, we have planned to attend sessions, labs, evening events and even maybe a few good seafood restaurants. Little did you know that there is a gem you might want to fit into your busy schedule, as it is a chance to meet some of the rock stars that are backing the  Red Hat Open Innovation Labs.

There will be a series of sessions hosted by experts to showcase use of Red Hat technologies and demonstrate the best practices with interactive white boarding. That is a personal touch session where you can interact with the storytellers and will be taking place in the West Lobby of M0scone Center on level 2.

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Announcing Red Hat JBoss Data Grid 7.0 Beta

We are very excited to announce availability of Red Hat JBoss Data Grid (JDG) Version 7.0 Beta!

Based on the Infinispan project, JBoss Data Grid is a leading high-performance, highly-scalable, in-memory NoSQL store, which enables your enterprise to make fast, accurate decisions on large volumes of changing data and provides superior user experience for your customer-facing applications.

JDG 7.0 Beta introduces major new features in the areas of Real-time Data Analytics, ease of use and administration, and expanded polyglot support.

Real-Time Data Analytics

  • Distributed Streams: In JDG 7.0, we introduce a distributed version of the Java 8 Stream API which enables you to perform rich analytics operations on data stored in JDG using the functional expressions available in the Stream API.
  • Apache Spark and Hadoop Integration: JDG 7.0 features a new Resilient Distributed Dataset (RDD) and DStream integration with Apache Spark version 1.6. This enables you to use JDG as a highly scalable, high-performance data source for Apache Spark, executing Spark and Spark Streaming operations on data stored in JDG. We have also added a Hadoop InputFormat/OutputFormat integration, which enables use of tools from the Hadoop ecosystem on data stored in JDG.
  • Remote Task Execution: JDG 7.0 features the ability to execute tasks (business logic) on a JDG server from the Java Hot Rod client. The task can be expressed as a Java executable loaded on the JDG server or as a stored JavaScript procedure which executes on the Java 8 (Nashorn) scripting engine on the JDG server.

Ease of Use and Administration

In JDG 7.0, we have released a new administration console which enables you to view a JDG cluster and perform clustered operations across its nodes. Operations include creating new caches and cache templates, adding or removing nodes, and deploying or executing remote tasks. We have also added the ability to shut down or restart a cluster in a controlled manner, with data restore from persistent storage.

Expanded Polyglot Support

Node.js Hot Rod client: JDG 7.0 introduces a new Node.js (JavaScript) Hot Rod client, which enables you to use JDG as a high performance distributed in-memory NoSQL store from Node.js applications.

Cassandra Cache Store

Additionally, JDG 7.0 introduces a new out-of-the-box Cassandra cache store, which enables you to persist the entries of a distributed cache on a shared Apache Cassandra instance.

Try It Today

Red Hat JBoss Middleware customers can download JDG 7.0 Beta from the Customer Portal

Beta documentation, including release notes, is available on the documentation page in the Portal.