Application Servers Updated

BOSTON (06/07/2000) - Application server vendors this week are unveiling more powerful software at JavaOne, adding features for running and managing large-scale Java applications.

Allaire Corp., Cambridge, Massachusetts, is announcing Jrun 3.0, which combines two previously acquired products, one a program for running Java servlets, the other a program for building and running software components called Enterprise Java Beans (EJB).

Jrun 3.0 makes use of the latest specification for Java Server Pages, which is a simple way to run Java code, usually in the form of EJBs, in server-based Web documents. It's the Java equivalent of Microsoft's Active Server Pages.

The latest Java Server Pages release, JSP 1.1, lets developers create custom tags, which in effect simply giving directions on how a Web page should behave.

These tags can now comply with the XML so these pages can contain, and share, more complex behaviors, according to Adam Berrey, Allaire's director of product marketing.

"Without these tags, you would need to do extensive coding to, for example, send an e-mail message by calling the Java Mail API," he says. "With the tag, this is a simple declarative call."

Jrun 3.0 also supports persistence storage of Java Beans and their containers locally and has feature to map, or translate data between Beans and relational databases. Also new is the inclusion of the Java Transaction API and support for the XA standard for interoperability between transaction servers.

Jrun was built according to the Java specification, but without using any of the Sun technology in the Java Development Kit, or any of the community source code available from Sun. Allaire is negotiating with Sun about being able to brand Jrun as Java-compliant, Berrey says.

The Jrun 3.0 professional edition is $795 per server CPU. The enterprise edition, with additional Java APIs and support for clustering and server failover, is $4,995 per CPU. Both are available this month. Later this summer, Allaire will ship Jrun Studio 3.0, a full tool kit for building Java servlets.


GemStone Systems Inc. is announcing GemStone/J 4.0, apparently the only product so far that can run multiple Java Virtual Machines as part of one copy, or "instance," of the application server.

GemStone says this approach dramatically improves server performance, letting GemStone/J handle many more concurrent users than a single-JVM product running on the same server.

Version 4.0 includes a new feature that automatically balances the loads being placed on several server resources, such as threads, components such as Enterprise Java Beans, and connections to back end database via the JDBC interface. GemStone/J creates groups, or pools, of these resources. The new load-balancing feature can dip into these pools for additional resources to meet an increase in numbers of users or transactions.

Also new is a more precise failover feature. The previous GemStone/J version could switch to a new disk or CPU if one failed. Version 4.0 handles software failures - GemStone/J can switch over to other software processes or Virtual Machines without having to switch hardware systems, says Phillip Bride, GemStone's director of product marketing.

Finally, the new version also now can run software components based on different component designs, such as EJBs, but also servlets and objects based on the CORBA specification. In Version 4.0, it's now much easier to deploy and manage these components as part of one application.

As with most application server vendors who license the Java 2 Enterprise Edition from Sun, GemStone is phasing in various Java APIs, and moving from past to most-recent API versions. Version 4.0 currently supports the EJB 1.0 specification, and plans to add EJB 1.1 later this year.

GemStone/J 4.0 is available this month, at $4,995 per CPU.


Lutris Technologies, in Santa Clara, is posting on its Web site an early release of its Enhydra open source application server for enterprise users.

Enhydra Enterprise is the result of a joint engineering effort with France's Bullsoft. Lutris had rebuilt the Enhydra core to act as a manager of various kinds of services, such as the various Java APIs.

The companies then pulled apart Bullsoft's Java 2 Enterprise Edition application server, codenamed "Jonas," and incorporated three key pieces into Enhydra. The three services are the Java Transaction Manager 1.0, EJB 1.1, and the Java Database Service, which calls to external relational databases via the JDBC interface.

Enhydra Enterprise includes the same core Enhydra code as the standard and professional editions, but with the additional J2EE services, says Keith Bigelow, director of product management for Lutris.

The software is open source, and downloadable from, but Lutris does offer fee-based versions, which include documentation, sample applications and technical support. Pricing for enterprise edition has not yet been set, but it will likely be under $1,000.

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