Let's talk about Java Application Servers today!
Some months ago, it was announced by Red Hat that our gold and old JBoss Application Server (JBoss AS) would receive a new name after the version 7. Starting with version 8, the server will now be called Wildfly. The name was chosen and voted by the community, which was a nice initiative to aggregate community member with direct decisions about the product.
From version 6 to 7, a big revolution happened to JBoss AS. Lots of people used to complain that it took lots of time to develop Java Web applications due to long deploy times, large memory use and the big skill set you had to know to manipulate and tune these servers. JBoss AS 6 was based on JBoss Microcontainer project, which was one of the responsible for ultra-extensive exception logs, which as also a big complaint among developers. JBoss AS 7 broke this line of thought introducing a lightweight container with a very fast startup. Based on JBoss Modular Service Container (JBoss MSC), the Application Server became much more optimised.
Wildfly 8 is already available to download, on version Alpha 4 by the time this post was written. It keeps with some similar line thought from JBoss AS 7 that became extremely popular - JBoss MSC is present again, keeping the container light and providing a fast startup, classloading (a.k.a. JAR hell) problems are minimised by JBoss Modules, classes loaded on demand; basically many things were kept from JBoss AS 7 to Wildfly 8. New features, such as support to WebSockets and Non-Blocking I/O non are more related to Java EE 7, that will be officially coming soon.
I downloaded Wildfly 8 to do some tests. First of them was start time. On My Mac OS Mountain Lion, 64 bits, version 10.8.5, 2.9GHz Inter Core i7, 8GB RAM 1600MHz DDR3, it took around 2.5 seconds to start an empty server, running standalone.sh start script. Not bad. But starting a JBoss AS 7 on the same machine took me 2 seconds.
One other point that surprised me a bit was about adding users to manage the server. This feature exists since JBoss AS 7 and you can add a new manager user running ./add-user.sh script. You will be asked to type a password for the user. Until JBoss AS 7, this could be a simple character sentence with a few rules for the password. However, guys decided to increase admin's password security on Wildfly. I had to try several times!
Well, besides this, I tested some of Wildfly quickstarts and run perfectly.
This is it! There are few information about Wildfly, since it's on Alpha version yet. However, if you are curious, keep one eye on Wildfly's Github!