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The South East Asia SOA Weblog


Permalink 03:39:25 pm, by david Email , 320 words, 15697 views   English (US)
Categories: SOA Solutions in South East Asia

Getting Dozer Working in Geronimo 2.2.1

One would assume that this is a simple thing at the outset but… not quite so fast. This actually took me a couple of days of hard slogging and debugging. The bottom line is that the the time is worth it for getting a value object mapping framework in place for one of the major applications we are building but there is a moderate amount of pain getting it going.

The major issue I struck with Dozer 5.3.2 is that the documentation on installation and configuration is non-existent for application servers. It also seems there have been so0me challenges with the class loader that Dozer uses internally. This relies on Apache Commons Lang 2.5 (the ClassUtils package). Once I had all of the minor stuff sorted out (XML mapping… BTW I recommend that you build a java main() to test your mappings out, especially if you are mapping a deep and complex structure as we are. There are a number of the advertised features of Dozer that are not well documented and also at times just do not work as expected. So you will need to play around with the XML mapping file and learn all of the constructs (which also takes a little time). What I ended up doing was downloading the Dozer sources and modifying the class loader because it was having problems in Geronimo (probably due to Geronimo’s class loading scheme). Anyway… a simple Class.forName() instead of using the CLassUtils calls to create the DefaultCLassLoader in Dozer and the problems were more or less solved.

I also ended up bundling everything up into a single JAR so that the, dozerBeanMapping.xml and the required XSD schema was on the classpath of the application… BTW, prior to this I tried all sorts of things (building a Geronimo adapter, deploying to the repository, placing the Dozer JAR file in the /lib/endorsed etc… all to no avail.

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Permalink 01:15:15 am, by david Email , 266 words, 9077 views   English (US)
Categories: SOA Solutions in South East Asia

PWS Pathway Asynchronous A2A Integration

A few months back I mentioned that we were developing an A2A integration framework that acts as a low cost replacement for JCA that provides a far simpler architecture for integration whilst decoupling enterprise applications from each other. Anyway I just though I would attach the data sheet to my blog. The product is very well tested and pretty much ready for mainstream now.

The framework is Web Services based and supports many features guaranteed message delivery and can be deployed to pretty much any JEE application server with pretty much any JMS stack. The current build is targeted at Geronimo Application Server (which we think is a very cool AS by the way) but we will provide builds for WebLogic, WebSphere and jBoss upon request and probably default builds longer term. We are still not sure how we are going to license the product. We may go for an open source or a full source commercial license. We really have not decided. It would be great if anyone has feedback about the product feature set and where we are going with it. The itch we had to scratch was the overall complexity and expense of large commercial enterprise integration solutions and their general lack of leadership in the SOA space with asynchronous A2A. We think we are on a winner.

Anyway here is a link to the data sheet in PDF format. It is about 1.6Mb so not large at all:Pathway Data Sheet

So if anyone is interested then drop us a line via our contacts page at


Permalink 12:23:59 am, by david Email , 247 words, 3672 views   English (US)
Categories: SOA Solutions in South East Asia

Mega-Vendor Cloud Computing... thanks but no thanks

The massive vendor drive toward cloud computing had me wondering for a while but I guess it is here to stay. SAAS, PAAS… pick your flavor. Whilst there are some potential benefits for users of cloud locally there is a large hanging question in my mind about the tangible benefits. These days it is bad enough when vendors serve up some of the most archaic and outdated software as the next big thing. Whilst this is going on the industry innovators happily capitulate and sell out to the nearest rich mega vendor (whom like all mega-vendors is struggling to modernize and maintain their existing software portfolios, let alone a whole lot of brand new stuff that they don’t have the capability to manage). This is especially so after they annihilate anyone from the acquired company that has more than quarter of a brain. We live in interesting times for IT. To top it all off now they want us to trust them with all of our data and systems. Maybe we should think long and hard about how earnest and reliable they really are along with the last sensible conversation you ever managed to get out of an enterprise sales person (when he wasn’t reading off the slides). Having been in this industry for nearly 30 years I think I can say I have seen most of it (up close and brutal many times).

Anyway just a quick opinion… mega-vendor cloud computing… thanks but no thanks for me.


Permalink 12:11:12 am, by david Email , 502 words, 2931 views   English (US)
Categories: SOA Solutions in South East Asia

J2EE Application Servers... a brief perspective from plenty of experience

I remember the very first time I used WebLogic. It was back in around 1998 not long after BEA first acquired it. At the time I was doing a whole lot of work using Tuxedo and C on a Dynix (dinosaur Unix :roll::roll:) in a large government department. During that year BEA set up operations in Australia and the country managing director of the time (Mr. David Moles) offered myself and my team free training on the first WebLogic training course to be run in Queensland Australia. Back in those days I was somewhat of a Linux nut and decided to run the training on Linux so within an our or so I managed to get WebLogic running on Caldera Open Linux 1.3 with the Linux Blackdown JDK (quite an achievement in those days).

Here we are 14 years later with a lot more choice of J2EE application servers at our disposal, the most interesting of these being the open source J2EE containers. Having significant experience with J2EE over many years as a programmer and analyst it is interesting to reflect on the salient characteristics of all these servers. My own experience includes WebLogic, OC4J, Apache JServ, WebSphere, SilverStream, Geronimo and JBoss. Other servers such as Glassfish have built a very credible reputation for themselves also. Not having used Glassfish in anger it is hard for me to include it in my list so I will omit it to be fair. Also since SilverStream has been acquired (by Novell) some years back and may have changed significantly I shall omit it also. The dead products have also been omitted (i.e. JServ and OC4J)… OC4J is somewhat dead even though it is still on Oracle’s price list. Just goes to show what Larry thinks I guess.

Anyway… without going into a horrific amount of detail (actually extremely brief) it is my belief that these servers generally stack up as follows in order of best to worst from a pure usage and deployment standpoint:

1) Developer Productivity: 1:WebLogic, 2:Geronimo, 3:WebSphere, 4:JBoss
2) Implementation of Key J2EE Standards: 1:Geronimo, 2:WebSphere, 3:JBoss, 4:WebLogic
3) Management and Monitoring Features: 1:WebLogic, 2:WebSphere, 3:Geronimo, 4:JBoss
4) Performance and Stability: 1:WebLogic, 2:Geronimo, 3:WebSphere, 4:JBoss
5) Installation and QuickStart: 1:Geronimo, 2:JBoss, 3:WebLogic, 4:WebSphere
6) Tooling and 3rd Party Support: 1:WebLogic, 2:WebSphere, 3:Geronimo, 4:JBoss
7) Overall Happiness 1:WebLogic 2:Geronimo, 3:WebSphere, 4:JBoss

It should be noted that the open source containers (generally) have far less features for management and monitoring etc. than the commercial platforms. Many of these features are also commonly flawed in design or broken in implementation in open source servers. For example the console in the latest production builds of JBoss will not even add data sources properly without problems and developers/admins are forced to resort to the XML configs etc.. These types of features generally work better and are more complete in the commercial products. Anyway, evaluate yourselves and form your own opinion. Feel free to post it here and you are bound to get a response from me.


Permalink 10:16:36 am, by david Email , 41 words, 9420 views   English (US)
Categories: SOA Solutions in South East Asia

MySQL Support Costs Doubled

Just quickly in reference to my last blog entry… apparently Oracle doubled the support costs for MySQL a couple of weeks back and is now trying to explain and justify it:

Rock on PostgreSQL!

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The South East Asia SOA Weblog

The intention of this blog is to collect thoughts on the issues, paradigms, process, vendors, solutions, project and any other item related service oriented architecture in South East Asia.

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