Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Frank Lupo

Related Topics: Java IoT

Java IoT: Article

What Is a Java Application Server

What Is a Java Application Server

Application servers are not new. Many information systems, from mainframe transaction processing environments like CICS to the stored procedures of a DBMS, provide for the server-side execution of business processes. Running business logic on a server can improve security, managability, performance and reusability. With the explosive growth of intranets and the Internet, developers need a rich, flexible server to host their business applications---a server that complements the content from databases and Web servers.

As a platform, Java raises the bar for application servers. A Java application server marries the benefits of a robust, scalable application server with the expressive power and dynamism of the Java platform. Java's bytecode-based Virtual Machine allows objects, including both code and data, to be exchanged among heterogeneous systems. This means that rather than making an RPC call or sending a message composed of ints and structs to a server, a stock trading application can send a high-level business object like Order to a remote business component like Trader. Moreover, Java's dynamism allows applications to be partitioned and repartitioned at runtime by relocating a service component from one machine to another.

When it comes to deciding how to partition an application between the client and server(s), developers need flexible tools that best meet the needs of the problem at hand. For example, when performing an ad hoc query, you need database access directly from the desktop. But in a "thin-client" application, you want to hide the DBMS operations behind a set of reusable server-side business processes. Certain applications will require synchronous request-response between components (JavaBeans) or objects (RMI), while others are better organized using asynchronous communications like event publication and subscription, or point-to-point messaging. Just as developers use different kinds of collections for different kinds of data (e.g., Hashtable, Vector and Set), they also need a set of off-the-shelf tools (Remote Method Invocation, Events, Distributed JavaBeans) for tackling application communications.

Besides code mobility and partitioning, developers want to use Java-blessed programming models: database access via JDBC, name and directory services via JNDI, distributed objects via RMI and Enterprise JavaBeans, Web server plug-ins via Servlets, and event management and messaging via JMS. Merely wrapping a proprietary C/C++ API with Java won't cut it. Nor will inventing yet another set of non-portable proprietary APIs. Developers want to use Java industry-standard APIs so that the skills they learn on one project will be transferable to other projects and the code they write will run wherever there's a JVM.

Given that a developer should be able to assemble an application using best-of-breed products, a Java application server must be compatible with a diverse range of complementary technologies. It should work in harmony with leading Web servers and database management systems, and across heterogeneous Java platforms. The server should also work with major Integrated Development Environments (IDEs); it should not require the adoption of an IDE that is proprietary to the application server.

Standards and portability don't stop at the server. GUI building technology used for multitier applications should use standard widgets and JavaBeans - not yet another proprietary set of widgets. Any automatically generated Java code should be accessible for further customization so that you can tweak it, should you choose to, and not worry about getting out of sync with the tool.

Finally, a Java application server should provide an integrated management environment that offers a comprehensive view of the application and the server. Transaction semantics must be built in to ensure data integrity even across distributed components, and the Java application server must address network security using SSL and access control lists. The server should also allow access to the broadest number of clients through standard protocols like HTTP and IIOP. And in the end, a Java application server should be written entirely in Java so that it is portable, it can be easily embedded within value-added applications and so that new Java-native capabilities can be delivered rapidly to market.

This is a tall order. Java has been out of beta for about two years and many of the products and applications written in it have been servlet and applet plug-ins to non-Java systems rather than full-blown production applications. The time for the all-Java application server is now, and developers should demand nothing less in the server than the Java API standards, stability and robustness they require in the client.

More Stories By Scott Dietzen

Scott is widely credited with helping put together the J2EE standard, launching the Web application server category, launching the Java Community Process, and driving the Web services collaboration with Microsoft and IBM. Prior to Zimbra, Scott was CTO of BEA Systems where he was the principal architect of the technology strategy for the WebLogic product family.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that TidalScale will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TidalScale is the leading provider of Software-Defined Servers that bring flexibility to modern data centers by right-sizing servers on the fly to fit any data set or workload. TidalScale’s award-winning inverse hypervisor technology combines multiple commodity servers (including their ass...
As hybrid cloud becomes the de-facto standard mode of operation for most enterprises, new challenges arise on how to efficiently and economically share data across environments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Dr. Allon Cohen, VP of Product at Elastifile, will explore new techniques and best practices that help enterprise IT benefit from the advantages of hybrid cloud environments by enabling data availability for both legacy enterprise and cloud-native mission critical applications. By rev...
Join IBM November 1 at 21st Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, and learn how IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Cognitive analysis impacts today’s systems with unparalleled ability that were previously available only to manned, back-end operations. Thanks to cloud processing, IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Imagine a robot vacuum that becomes your personal assistant tha...
As popularity of the smart home is growing and continues to go mainstream, technological factors play a greater role. The IoT protocol houses the interoperability battery consumption, security, and configuration of a smart home device, and it can be difficult for companies to choose the right kind for their product. For both DIY and professionally installed smart homes, developers need to consider each of these elements for their product to be successful in the market and current smart homes.
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, will lead you through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He'll look at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that N3N will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. N3N’s solutions increase the effectiveness of operations and control centers, increase the value of IoT investments, and facilitate real-time operational decision making. N3N enables operations teams with a four dimensional digital “big board” that consolidates real-time live video feeds alongside IoT sensor data a...
In a recent survey, Sumo Logic surveyed 1,500 customers who employ cloud services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). According to the survey, a quarter of the respondents have already deployed Docker containers and nearly as many (23 percent) are employing the AWS Lambda serverless computing framework. It’s clear: serverless is here to stay. The adoption does come with some needed changes, within both application development and operations. Tha...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of enterprise storage for the hybrid cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Avere delivers a more modern architectural approach to storage that doesn't require the overprovisioning of storage capacity to achieve performance, overspending on expensive storage media for inactive data or the overbui...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that mruby Forum will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. mruby is the lightweight implementation of the Ruby language. We introduce mruby and the mruby IoT framework that enhances development productivity. For more information, visit http://forum.mruby.org/.
Digital transformation is changing the face of business. The IDC predicts that enterprises will commit to a massive new scale of digital transformation, to stake out leadership positions in the "digital transformation economy." Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, Oct 31-Nov 2, will find fresh new content in a new track called Enterprise Cloud & Digital Transformation.
Most technology leaders, contemporary and from the hardware era, are reshaping their businesses to do software. They hope to capture value from emerging technologies such as IoT, SDN, and AI. Ultimately, irrespective of the vertical, it is about deriving value from independent software applications participating in an ecosystem as one comprehensive solution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kausik Sridhar, founder and CTO of Pulzze Systems, will discuss how given the magnitude of today's applicati...
SYS-CON Events announced today that NetApp has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. NetApp is the data authority for hybrid cloud. NetApp provides a full range of hybrid cloud data services that simplify management of applications and data across cloud and on-premises environments to accelerate digital transformation. Together with their partners, NetApp emp...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
Amazon is pursuing new markets and disrupting industries at an incredible pace. Almost every industry seems to be in its crosshairs. Companies and industries that once thought they were safe are now worried about being “Amazoned.”. The new watch word should be “Be afraid. Be very afraid.” In his session 21st Cloud Expo, Chris Kocher, a co-founder of Grey Heron, will address questions such as: What new areas is Amazon disrupting? How are they doing this? Where are they likely to go? What are th...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SkyScale will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SkyScale is a world-class provider of cloud-based, ultra-fast multi-GPU hardware platforms for lease to customers desiring the fastest performance available as a service anywhere in the world. SkyScale builds, configures, and manages dedicated systems strategically located in maximum-security...
Join IBM November 1 at 21st Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, and learn how IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Cognitive analysis impacts today’s systems with unparalleled ability that were previously available only to manned, back-end operations. Thanks to cloud processing, IBM Watson can bring cognitive services and AI to intelligent, unmanned systems. Imagine a robot vacuum that becomes your personal assistant th...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of hybrid cloud enablement solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Avere Systems was created by file systems experts determined to reinvent storage by changing the way enterprises thought about and bought storage resources. With decades of experience behind the company’s founders, Avere got its ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Taica will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ANSeeN are the measurement electronics maker for X-ray and Gamma-ray and Neutron measurement equipment such as spectrometers, pulse shape analyzer, and CdTe-FPD. For more information, visit http://anseen.com/.
High-velocity engineering teams are applying not only continuous delivery processes, but also lessons in experimentation from established leaders like Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook. These companies have made experimentation a foundation for their release processes, allowing them to try out major feature releases and redesigns within smaller groups before making them broadly available. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Brian Lucas, Senior Staff Engineer at Optimizely, will discuss how by using...