WebLogic Console for Tomcat vs. Tomcat Probe

At last year’s BEA World, the conference formally known as eWorld, BEA announced the WebLogic Console for Tomcat. This add-in for the WebLogic console is finally here and I can’t wait to try it out. While I love WebLogic and use it for everything production, I do use Tomcat for some simple development tasks or quick POC applications that don’t require transactions or all of the bells-n-whistles of WebLogic.

The administration tools that ships with Tomcat leave a lot to be desired and so this will be a welcome invitation for anyone using Tomcat. The one sticking point is that it will require WebLogic and so this may only be a value-add for people using WebLogic. Since WebLogic developers licenses are free, anyone can download and use WebLogic but I’m not sure a lot of people will rush and download WebLogic, just to use the Tomcat admin console.

Most people that use Tomcat probably use or should really take a serious look at Tomcat Probe. Tomcat Probe is a web application, which is designed to dig into Tomcat internal objects to display invaluable runtime information about deployed applications and Tomcat instance in general. The list of features include:

  • Display of deployed applications, their status, session count, session object count, context object count, datasource usage etc.
  • Start, stop, restart, deploy and updeploy of applications
  • Ability to view deployed JSP files
  • Ability to compile all or selected JSP files at any time.
  • Ability to pre-compile JSP files on application deployment.
  • Display of list of sessions for a particular application
  • Display of session attributes and their values for a particular application. Ability to remove session attributes.
  • Ability to expire selected sessions
  • Graphical display of datasource details including maximum number of connections, number of busy connections and configuration details
  • Ability to reset data sources in case of applications leaking connection
  • Display of system information including System.properties, memory usage bar and OS details
  • Display of JK connector status including the list of requests pending execution
  • Real-time connector usage charts and statistics.
  • Ability to show information about log files and download selected files
  • New! Ability to interrupt execution of “hang” requests without server restart

I understand (and applaud) BEA’s strategy of adoption of open-source tools, products and their commitment to open source software. In addition to supporting open-source initiatives, BEA has also contributed a lot of source-code and intellectual property to the open-source community as well. I know the strategy behind the WebLogic console for Tomcat is to up-convert people from Tomcat to WebLogic and make the migration process easier but the audience for this tool will be a very small and niche group. I guess I count myself in that small group and will install the Tomcat add-in for the WebLogic console – Can’t wait to see how it stacks up against Tomcat Probe.

BEA, WebLogic, Tomcat, weblogic+console, foss, open-source, tomcat+probe


Using the Java Persistence API with Spring 2.0

Using the Java Persistence API with Spring 2.0 by Seth White — The Java Persistence API (JPA) and the version 2.0 release of the Spring Framework form a powerful combination. Author Seth White uses an updated version of BEA WebLogic Server’s medical records sample application to show how Spring 2.0 and JPA can be used with WebLogic Server.

java, persistence, spring, spring2.0, weblogic, bea, medrec, jpa, jsr220, ejb, ejb3.0

Spring Training with Interface21

Last week was an awesome week at work – Well, every week at work is awesome ;) but last week was even more special because we had Keith Donald from Interface21 onsite doing Spring training. If you don’t know Keith, he is a Principal consultant at Interface21 in addition to being the lead of Spring Web Flow project and the founder of the Spring Rich Client Project.

I have been a user of the Spring framework for almost two and half years now. I introduced Spring at work about a year and a half ago and we started off by using Spring’s DAO framework in our data-access layer with great results. As advertised, Spring is very modular and non-intrusive and so we were able to use parts of it, without having to rewrite other aspects of our applications. Over time, we have replaced many of the standard J2EE components with Spring and our use of EJB is now relegated to act as pass-through façade to the service tier hosted inside Spring’s container. The only reason we even have the EJB’s around is to use WebLogic’s servicegen Ant task to expose the EJB as a set of Web Services. The servicegen Ant task takes as input an EJB JAR file or list of Java classes, creates all the needed Web Service components, and packages them into a deployable EAR file which makes it very easy to create Web Services endpoints using your existing code.

My team had different levels of experience with the Spring framework and so we decided to bring in Interface21 for Spring training to make sure everyone in the team was able to leverage all of the features of Spring. Matt and I had the most experience with Spring and so we felt that a lot of the training would be just a review for us but we were pleasantly surprised to know how much more there was to know and learn about Spring. Keith Donald did an incredible job in teaching us the nuances of Spring and the hands-on labs made learning a lot of fun. One of the great things about this class was the off-topic discussions we had with Keith where he was able to share his experiences in using Spring creatively to solve common problems. In addition to teaching us Spring, Keith was gracious enough to put up with 4 days of bitching and whining about Eclipse from all of us IntelliJ IDEA guys.

If you need Spring training, I highly recommend Interface21 – To me, the mark of a great training class is when it gets you so excited that you cannot wait to fire up your IDE to try out all the new things you’ve just learned. And I can tell you that I’ve spent most of Friday and this weekend refactoring a ton of applications to leverage even more of Spring.

spring, spring+framework, spring+training, ioc, interface21, keith+donald, ejb, inversion+of+control, weblogic, training, webflow, intellij+idea, idea, eclipse, tdd

Daily Del.icio.us for Mar 12, 2006

  • 4 Easy Steps to Avoid Making a Resume at Okdork.com » got some flack from friends saying that my Resumes are Dead article can only pertain to techies and what do I do if I am going to be a accountant, financial analyst, doctor, etc; Wrong, you don’t need a resume or cover letter in any of those positions
  • Google + Writely = Beginning of the end for Google? » I’ll admit the title is a little sensationalistic, but I have yet to see any contrarian view-point on the story of Google acquiring Writely. All the stories Iâ ve read so far seem to taut Google Office and how they are one step closer to getting an of
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Google + Writely = Beginning of the end for Google?

I’ll admit the title is a little sensationalistic, but I have yet to see any contrarian view-point on the story of Google acquiring Writely. All the stories I’ve read so far seem to tout Google Office and how they are one step closer to getting an office-for-the-web to defeat Microsoft.

When I first read the story, I was surprised that Google was really buying a company like Writely. Now I am not trying to bash Writely at all here – In fact, I’ve been a beta-tester of Writely since its launch and I think Writely is a good tool. I even recently ran a little project at work to see if we could use Writely as a collaboration tool. And so my thoughts on this matter as more about Google than Writely. Writely is a neat idea but where’s the real value here? If Google just wanted a WSYIWIG web-editor, they didn’t have to buy a company. They could have used one of the many open-source products out there like TinyMCE, FCKeditor and countless others that essentially do what Writely does at its core. Writely does add on the storage, versioning and other features on top of the WYSIWYG editors but is that worth buying the whole company?

Every time a large company buys a small company, I almost always flashback to a meeting I had in July 2000 with Paul Butterworth, who was then the CTO of Sun’s tools division. Paul had joined Sun as part of Sun’s acquisition of Forte Software. Paul Butterworth was the founder of Forte Software and spent a few months at Sun before moving on and starting AmberPoint, which is doing some really cool things. Not sure how many remember Forte Software, but Forte was the maker of a 4GL programming language called TOOL with a pretty cool n-tier architecture. Instead of using anything that Forte had, Sun decided to buy NetBeans and just use the name Forte for its tools. What a joke – billions of shareholder dollars wasted but that’s history now.

Any rate, a group of us got to spend an afternoon with Paul as part of a client visit. As we were quizzing him on why Sun bought Forte, he said something that’s still with me and rings true in most acquisitions. He theorized that large companies are always amazed at all the innovation coming from small companies and so they buy these small companies in hopes of bringing the small company magic into the larger company – and that almost never works as the small companies were innovative because they weren’t constrained by all the big company process, policies and red-tape. The minute the small company joins the large company, innovation stops as people that could have been creative and really stretched were now constrained by all the big company bureaucracy.

When I think about Google’s acquisition of Writely, I am reminded of that story. Google has some brilliant people that can take something like TinyMCE, FCKeditor or write something like that and ‘network-enable’ the whole idea of a web editor. Why would you buy Writely? Is it just to get the developers? Is Google getting too big that all the innovation that we expected from Google is just not materializing? Obviously I have no idea why Google purchased Writely and there may be something really there that I’m missing. What do you think? Is Google too big to be nimble and innovative like it was in the past? Am I reading too much into this Writely thing?

Daily Del.icio.us for Mar 09, 2006

Daily Del.icio.us for Mar 08, 2006