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Newbie: Should I run Glassfish when Tomcat is enough?

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ngterry
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Joined: 2008-12-15

Hi,

Should I run Glassfish when Tomcat is enough (just Servlet and JSP)?

If I have two applications running in one box (SUN X2100, Solaris 10 10/08, Postgresql):
a) Adempiere ERP (http://www.adempiere.org, has EJB)
b) a small Facebook application using JSP and servlet

Should I run these two applications separately using Glassfish and Tomcat?

Should I run these two applications separately using two instances of Glassfish?

Regards,
Terence

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tjquinn
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Joined: 2005-03-30

Actually, I just received a request (well, the request came on 23 Dec but I just now [i]read[/i] it thanks to the year-end break) from the groovy folks to retest the scenario described in GlassFish issue 6082 using groovy 1.6 rc1 -- it is described as fixing the one problem we discovered. It's simply a matter of finding some time to work through it in the midst of many other things going on.

As greeneyed mentioned, those of us working on GlassFish itself don't have direct control over the TopLink Essentials one.

As for issue 6857, no one has had a chance to dig into that one yet. I've just been designated as the owner, so it seems it'll fall to me to investigate this one as well. With luck it'll be something simple but even so it can sometimes take a while to really nail down the cause... Stay tuned.

- Tim

greeneyed
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Joined: 2003-06-10

I have to say also that I'm with Gili on that one, and ,in my case, I'm not using GF because it does not suit my "development style". I have many medium-sized applications and I change between them quite often so:

.- I need to be able to "mount" an application very easily, and for me easy means editing one line in a config file. I don't want need a GUI for that. Moreover, I don't package my applications as war files, for the memory problems already mentioned, so I need to "mount" directories. This option is usually not very well documented.
.- I need to be able to start/stop the container very easily, and that usually means for me to click or double-click onto something. Command-line with parameters is fine for production where you don't do it so often. And no, I don't run containers inside IDEs because they are slow enough without the extra burden :).

And as Gili, I also have issues with "verbose" servers/libraries [b]by default[/b].

The times I tried GF, it did not seem to fullfill those requirements. It might be that I was not able to find how to do it in the documentation, but then it would be another issue ;).

S!

PD:I'm not trying to "complain" about anything, but trying to provide some feedback, in case it helps.

Jerome Dochez

On Jan 7, 2009, at 12:37 AM, glassfish@javadesktop.org wrote:

> I have to say also that I'm with Gili on that one, and ,in my case,
> I'm not using GF because it does not suit my "development style". I
> have many medium-sized applications and I change between them quite
> often so:
>
> .- I need to be able to "mount" an application very easily, and for
> me easy means editing one line in a config file. I don't want need a
> GUI for that. Moreover, I don't package my applications as war
> files, for the memory problems already mentioned, so I need to
> "mount" directories. This option is usually not very well documented.
in v2, there is a deploydir command where you deploy an exploded
directory. in v3 it's the usual deploy command where instead of
passing the war file, you just point to your exploded directory. Of
course deploydir is still supported for backward compatibility
>
> .- I need to be able to start/stop the container very easily, and
> that usually means for me to click or double-click onto something.
> Command-line with parameters is fine for production where you don't
> do it so often. And no, I don't run containers inside IDEs because
> they are slow enough without the extra burden :).
by container, you meant your applications right ? I support you could
use the admin gui if you like to click or you can use the CLI enable/
disable commands.

is this what you were looking for ?

jerome

>
>
> And as Gili, I also have issues with "verbose" servers/libraries
> [b]by default[/b].
>
> The times I tried GF, it did not seem to fullfill those
> requirements. It might be that I was not able to find how to do it
> in the documentation, but then it would be another issue ;).
>
> S!
>
> PD:I'm not trying to "complain" about anything, but trying to
> provide some feedback, in case it helps.
> [Message sent by forum member 'greeneyed' (greeneyed)]
>
> http://forums.java.net/jive/thread.jspa?messageID=324470
>
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greeneyed
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Joined: 2003-06-10

> On Jan 7, 2009, at 12:37 AM,
> glassfish@javadesktop.org wrote:
> in v2, there is a deploydir command where you deploy an exploded
> directory. in v3 it's the usual deploy command where instead of
> passing the war file, you just point to your exploded directory. Of
> course deploydir is still supported for backward compatibility

Does that imply that the server is already up and running? I mean, what I want to be able to do is configure a server instance so it starts with one application, the one I'm currently developing/maintaining, so when I start the server just that one is active.
Right now, I just have to open the main server config file, set
...

..
and that's it. If I start working with another application, I stop the server, change that line to point to the proper place and there I go again. If I need more that one application working together, I just add another line and that's about it.

> by container, you meant your applications right ? I support you could
> use the admin gui if you like to click or you can use the CLI enable/
> disable commands.

I meant the whole servlet container. When developing, I just want one or two applications loaded in the server, as starting the others also takes time, they consume memory, they "pollute" the logs.. I have currently about 30 applications in production, so I find it unnecessary to have them all configured. I might have them all configured and disabled but then in order to work with some I would have to go to the admin console, check in the list which ones are configured, disable one, enable another... Currently, I just have to do the step I mentioned in the previous point and start the server. That's it.

> is this what you were looking for ?
> jerome

I think that not exactly. It might be that I'm looking for a too easy way for special case, but I that's how I develop.
Thanks for your answers.

Message was edited by: greeneyed

Jerome Dochez

On Jan 7, 2009, at 3:09 PM, glassfish@javadesktop.org wrote:

>> On Jan 7, 2009, at 12:37 AM,
>> glassfish@javadesktop.org wrote:
>> in v2, there is a deploydir command where you deploy an exploded
>> directory. in v3 it's the usual deploy command where instead of
>> passing the war file, you just point to your exploded directory. Of
>> course deploydir is still supported for backward compatibility
>
> Does that imply that the server is already up and running? I mean,
> what I want to be able to do is configure a server instance so it
> starts with one application, the one I'm currently developing/
> maintaining, so when I start the server just that one is active.
> Right now, I just have to open the main server config file, set
> ...
>
ok but that's basically deploying them, you can do that with v3 too if
you start modifying the domain.xml which is our main server config file.
>
> ..
> and that's it. If I start working with another application, I stop
> the server, change that line to point to the proper place and there
> I go again. If I need more that one application working together, I
> just add another line and that's about it.

in v3, you can do java -jar glassfish/modules/glassfish.jar foo
where foo is your exploded directory. We cannot support running
several applications right now, you would need to deploy them. Feel
free to file an RFE.

>
>
>> by container, you meant your applications right ? I support you could
>> use the admin gui if you like to click or you can use the CLI enable/
>> disable commands.
>
> I meant the whole servlet container. When developing, I just want
> one or two applications loaded in the server, as starting the others
> also takes time, they consume memory, they "pollute" the logs.. I
> have currently about 30 applications in production, so I find it
> unnecessary to have them all configured. I might have them all
> configured and disabled but then in order to work with some I would
> have to go do the admin console, check in the list which ones are
> configured, disable one, enable another... Currently, I just have to
> do the step I mentioned in the previous point and start the server.
> That's it.
ok so the easy answer to this problem is to deploy all your 30
applications in disabled state and then enable the 2 or 3 you want to
test. This can be done either by mocking with the domain.xml directly
which I really do not recommend (but it's a free world) or through
administrative CLI commands like asadmin deploy/enable/disable/undeploy.

jerome

>
>
>> is this what you were looking for ?
>> jerome
>
> I think that not exactly. It might be that I'm looking for a too
> easy way for special case, but I that's how I develop.
> Thanks for your answers.
> [Message sent by forum member 'greeneyed' (greeneyed)]
>
> http://forums.java.net/jive/thread.jspa?messageID=324649
>
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greeneyed
Offline
Joined: 2003-06-10

>
> On Jan 7, 2009, at 3:09 PM, glassfish@javadesktop.org
> wrote:
...
> k but that's basically deploying them, you can do that with v3 too if
> you start modifying the domain.xml which is our main server config file.

I tried that and it seems it's not enough, as if you simply add the proper block to domain.xml, the application fails when starting. If you go to the console you can see a message along the lines of "java.lang.RuntimeException: java.lang.reflect.InvocationTargetException while attempting to process a 'beforeCreate' event for 'event118'." caused by a NullPointerException. If you go to the admin console, and deploy the expanded directory, you can then edit the domain.xml file to enable/disable them. BTW, is it a known issue that when deploying an application through the admin console, the context you provide is ignored and you end up with the name of the application as context? I had to change that each time.

> in v3, you can do java -jar glassfish/modules/glassfish.jar foo
> here foo is your exploded directory. We cannot support running
> several applications right now, you would need to deploy them. Feel
> free to file an RFE.

Editing domain.xml file should be enough for me. It's good to know there's that possibility to run just that one though, thx.

> ok so the easy answer to this problem is to deploy all your 30
> applications in disabled state and then enable the 2 or 3 you want to
> test. This can be done either by mocking with the domain.xml directly
> which I really do not recommend (but it's a free world) or through
> administrative CLI commands like asadmin deploy/enable/disable/undeploy.
> jerome

If I did not need to go to the admin console, playing with the domain.xml file would be fine with me.

My only concern would be that GF seems to be quite verbose regarding things that are started by default, but then it does not complain about being unable to deploy the application until I go explicitely to the admin console and try to check it there.

Anyway, I was finally able to startup a couple of applications with it and even though it's not as simple as what I currently use, at least I know now that I can get it to work. Setting up the HSQLDB datasource took me more than expected due to documentation issues, the first impression I got was that it was not supported and that's all hehehe, and I found out I had to change the Jython way to find the datasource, as GF does not specify the java.naming.initial property as a System property. No complains here, as I found out it is allowed to specify it thorugh other means. All the other containers I had checked used that system, so I had not thought about it until then :).

Thanks for your help,
D.

Peter Fabian

Michael Mellinger wrote:
> Is V3 production ready?
>
v3 prelude is production ready: its officially released, purchasing
support is possible for it.
it is prelude because it's a not (yet) a full JavaEE6 appserver (eg
ejb3.1 is preview)
P

--
Peter Fabian
Sun Software

AIM/skype/yahoo:fabianpetergabor
Sun corp IM:pf120168@sun.com

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Felipe Gaúcho

so, EJB 3.0 is fully supported by v3 ?

On Tue, Jan 6, 2009 at 2:09 PM, Peter Fabian wrote:
> Michael Mellinger wrote:
>>
>> Is V3 production ready?
>>
> v3 prelude is production ready: its officially released, purchasing support
> is possible for it.
> it is prelude because it's a not (yet) a full JavaEE6 appserver (eg ejb3.1
> is preview)
> P
>
>
>
> --
> Peter Fabian
> Sun Software
>
> AIM/skype/yahoo:fabianpetergabor
> Sun corp IM:pf120168@sun.com
>
>
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Peter Fabian

Felipe Gaúcho wrote:
> so, EJB 3.0 is fully supported by v3 ?
>
v3 final will support ejb3.1 and hence be compatible with 3.0.

> On Tue, Jan 6, 2009 at 2:09 PM, Peter Fabian wrote:
>
>> Michael Mellinger wrote:
>>
>>> Is V3 production ready?
>>>
>>>
>> v3 prelude is production ready: its officially released, purchasing support
>> is possible for it.
>> it is prelude because it's a not (yet) a full JavaEE6 appserver (eg ejb3.1
>> is preview)
>> P
>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> Peter Fabian
>> Sun Software
>>
>> AIM/skype/yahoo:fabianpetergabor
>> Sun corp IM:pf120168@sun.com
>>
>>
>> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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>>
>>
>>
>
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>

--
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Sun Software

AIM/skype/yahoo:fabianpetergabor
Sun corp IM:pf120168@sun.com

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Felipe Gaúcho

:) that I can deduct .. but: you told prelude is official supported
release, etc. .and my question is:

Prelude supports fully EJB 3.0 today ? or no EJB official support at all ?

I know there is a plugin, but I am not aware about its state...

On Tue, Jan 6, 2009 at 3:21 PM, Peter Fabian wrote:
> Felipe Gaúcho wrote:
>>
>> so, EJB 3.0 is fully supported by v3 ?
>>
>
> v3 final will support ejb3.1 and hence be compatible with 3.0.
>
>> On Tue, Jan 6, 2009 at 2:09 PM, Peter Fabian wrote:
>>
>>>
>>> Michael Mellinger wrote:
>>>
>>>>
>>>> Is V3 production ready?
>>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>> v3 prelude is production ready: its officially released, purchasing
>>> support
>>> is possible for it.
>>> it is prelude because it's a not (yet) a full JavaEE6 appserver (eg
>>> ejb3.1
>>> is preview)
>>> P
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> --
>>> Peter Fabian
>>> Sun Software
>>>
>>> AIM/skype/yahoo:fabianpetergabor
>>> Sun corp IM:pf120168@sun.com
>>>
>>>
>>> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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>>>
>>>
>>
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>>
>
>
> --
> Peter Fabian
> Sun Software
>
> AIM/skype/yahoo:fabianpetergabor
> Sun corp IM:pf120168@sun.com
>
>
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vbkraemer
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Joined: 2003-09-03

v3 Prelude is a server that supports the Java EE 5 web tier, in a manner similar to Tomcat.

There is no official support for EJB (and a host of other Java EE 5 technologies) in the Prelude release.

vbk

cowwoc
Offline
Joined: 2003-08-24

Hi Alexis,

> does ease-of-use equate to documentation or is there
> more to it?

There is more to it than that. Glassfish has a hand's up on Tomcat in that it supplies a GUI editor for configuration files whereas Tomcat does not (as far as I know). On the other hand, Tomcat has relatively few configuration files to begin with so it's easier to find what you're looking for. I actually got myself lost in the Glassfish GUI a few times :)

Here are some concrete suggestions:

- Review all exception messages for the points mentioned in the following blog (NOTE: I am not the author of this blog and I'm sorry that the post is quite rude but he brings up very good points!): http://spatula.net/blog/2006/11/attention-toplink-authors.html
1) Context
2) Clarity
3) Detail
4) Action-ability

- Simplify the administration GUI if at all possible. I don't have any concrete suggestions here exception to note that the GUI is quite large and it's possible to get lost in all that detail.

- Improve documentation to focus less on theory, more on practice. Very often I see theoretical discussions that are not followed up by concrete examples of what you mean. For example, "in order to write a custom realm you need to ..." is nice but you should provide the source-code for a sample custom realm.
- The Prelude v3 documentation contains some incorrect content that only makes sense for v2. For example, writing digest custom realms is no longer the same as it was in v2 but this isn't discussed at all in the documentation the last time I checked.

> re-footprint/startup-time, are you comparing v2 or v3 to Tomcat?

v3 is definitely better, but still falls short of Tomcat by an order of magnitude. Jetty is even better. Another thing that doesn't help is the huge amount of clutter in Glassfish's output on startup. I don't know understand half the stuff that it's talking about and that's a problem. It seems to me that end-users just want to see two things on startup:

1) progress bar (i.e. percentage done)
2) indication of whether their operation succeeded or failed (i.e. briefly list all loaded webapps and any error messages if a problem occurred)

Gili

Alexis Moussine-Pouchkine

GlassFish only has one config file: domain.xml.
On v3 vs. tomcat (vs. Jetty). Do you care more about startup time or
memory usage?
-Alexis

On Jan 6, 2009, at 16:33, glassfish@javadesktop.org wrote:

> Hi Alexis,
>
>> does ease-of-use equate to documentation or is there
>> more to it?
>
> There is more to it than that. Glassfish has a hand's up on Tomcat
> in that it supplies a GUI editor for configuration files whereas
> Tomcat does not (as far as I know). On the other hand, Tomcat has
> relatively few configuration files to begin with so it's easier to
> find what you're looking for. I actually got myself lost in the
> Glassfish GUI a few times :)
>
> Here are some concrete suggestions:
>
> - Review all exception messages for the points mentioned in the
> following blog (NOTE: I am not the author of this blog and I'm sorry
> that the post is quite rude but he brings up very good points!): http://spatula.net/blog/2006/11/attention-toplink-authors.html
> 1) Context
> 2) Clarity
> 3) Detail
> 4) Action-ability
>
> - Simplify the administration GUI if at all possible. I don't have
> any concrete suggestions here exception to note that the GUI is
> quite large and it's possible to get lost in all that detail.
>
> - Improve documentation to focus less on theory, more on practice.
> Very often I see theoretical discussions that are not followed up by
> concrete examples of what you mean. For example, "in order to write
> a custom realm you need to ..." is nice but you should provide the
> source-code for a sample custom realm.
> - The Prelude v3 documentation contains some incorrect content that
> only makes sense for v2. For example, writing digest custom realms
> is no longer the same as it was in v2 but this isn't discussed at
> all in the documentation the last time I checked.
>
>> re-footprint/startup-time, are you comparing v2 or v3 to Tomcat?
>
> v3 is definitely better, but still falls short of Tomcat by an order
> of magnitude. Jetty is even better. Another thing that doesn't help
> is the huge amount of clutter in Glassfish's output on startup. I
> don't know understand half the stuff that it's talking about and
> that's a problem. It seems to me that end-users just want to see two
> things on startup:
>
> 1) progress bar (i.e. percentage done)
> 2) indication of whether their operation succeeded or failed (i.e.
> briefly list all loaded webapps and any error messages if a problem
> occurred)
>
> Gili
> [Message sent by forum member 'cowwoc' (cowwoc)]
>
> http://forums.java.net/jive/thread.jspa?messageID=324284
>
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cowwoc
Offline
Joined: 2003-08-24

> On v3 vs. tomcat (vs. Jetty). Do you care more about
> startup time or
> memory usage?

I care about startup time during development and memory usage during production (since restarts should be rare). My goals are:

- Ability to restart webapp without restarting entire container. Right now this isn't possible to a whole host of memory leak problems, some in Glassfish v3, some in Google Guice.
- Baring that, ability to restart the container in under three seconds during development mode.
- As mentioned, memory usage is not really important. It's only important in-so-far as it reduces my ability to scale during production (but scalability is not a concern during development).

Gili

greeneyed
Offline
Joined: 2003-06-10

> - Ability to restart webapp without restarting entire
> container. Right now this isn't possible to a whole
> host of memory leak problems, some in Glassfish v3,
> some in Google Guice.

Barring a bug on the containter part, those problems are usually caused by a host of libraries that were not properly thought out to be used in a web environment. There are way too many popular libraries that produce memory retention problems, or leaks, when stored at the WEB-INF/lib level. Not saying it's never GlassFish's fault, but I've seen it happen with all the servlet containers that I've used.

As it is difficult to stop using all those libraries or get all the authors to fix them, I empahised the other direction and I focused on developing without restarting the context. It's not always possible but... it helps.

Having said that, I'm not a Glassfish user, so it might be all GF's fault ;), I don't think so though.
S!

cowwoc
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Joined: 2003-08-24
greeneyed
Offline
Joined: 2003-06-10

Yeah, as expected, most of them have to do with Threads, usually through ThreadLocal, storing references to classes that should be able to be GC'ed.
But
.- Issue 6082 caused a couple of fixes on GF but now is a Grails problem.
.- Issue 5104 seems to be caused by Toplink Essentials... bundled with GF.
The last one has yet no clearly defined cause.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it's never a container's fault. Just that the libraries have to do their part as well. And sometimes the cause seems to be the container because it bundles one library in the "wrong" place.

Anyway, I'm with you that it would be nice for this problem to be less frequent in all containers. This thing of having memory problems when restarting web contexts is far too common in the Java world. Something smells fishy.

S!

cowwoc
Offline
Joined: 2003-08-24

> Anyway, I'm with you that it would be nice for this
> problem to be less frequent in all containers. This
> thing of having memory problems when restarting web
> contexts is far too common in the Java world.
> Something smells fishy.

Yes, it sounds like an architectural problem to me. The Java Isolation API was supposed to fix all this, but no one ever released a reference implementation so interest died out.

Gili

cowwoc
Offline
Joined: 2003-08-24

In my opinion, Glassfish still has a lot more to spend on ease-of-use (this includes documentation) and footprint/startup time. Tomcat is way ahead on both counts. I prefer Glassfish' community but it needs to pick up on the two points I brought up.

Most of all I would recommend they focus on ease-of-use. The documentation looks like it was written by IBM. It is a huge tangled mess. It should be more obvious how to do things without referring to the documentation as well.

Alexis Moussine-Pouchkine

thanks for the feedback.
does ease-of-use equate to documentation or is there more to it?
re-footprint/startup-time, are you comparing v2 or v3 to Tomcat?
-Alexis

On Jan 6, 2009, at 24:27, glassfish@javadesktop.org wrote:

> In my opinion, Glassfish still has a lot more to spend on ease-of-
> use (this includes documentation) and footprint/startup time. Tomcat
> is way ahead on both counts. I prefer Glassfish' community but it
> needs to pick up on the two points I brought up.
>
> Most of all I would recommend they focus on ease-of-use. The
> documentation looks like it was written by IBM. It is a huge tangled
> mess. It should be more obvious how to do things without referring
> to the documentation as well.
> [Message sent by forum member 'cowwoc' (cowwoc)]
>
> http://forums.java.net/jive/thread.jspa?messageID=324186
>
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Michael Mellinger

Is V3 production ready?

-Mike
Sent from my iPhone

On Jan 6, 2009, at 3:54 AM, Alexis Moussine-Pouchkine
wrote:

> thanks for the feedback.
> does ease-of-use equate to documentation or is there more to it?
> re-footprint/startup-time, are you comparing v2 or v3 to Tomcat?
> -Alexis
>
> On Jan 6, 2009, at 24:27, glassfish@javadesktop.org wrote:
>
>> In my opinion, Glassfish still has a lot more to spend on ease-of-
>> use (this includes documentation) and footprint/startup time.
>> Tomcat is way ahead on both counts. I prefer Glassfish' community
>> but it needs to pick up on the two points I brought up.
>>
>> Most of all I would recommend they focus on ease-of-use. The
>> documentation looks like it was written by IBM. It is a huge
>> tangled mess. It should be more obvious how to do things without
>> referring to the documentation as well.
>> [Message sent by forum member 'cowwoc' (cowwoc)]
>>
>> http://forums.java.net/jive/thread.jspa?messageID=324186
>>
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Felipe Gaúcho

nope.. it is a prelude :)

On Tue, Jan 6, 2009 at 1:47 PM, Michael Mellinger
wrote:
> Is V3 production ready?
>
> -Mike
> Sent from my iPhone
>
> On Jan 6, 2009, at 3:54 AM, Alexis Moussine-Pouchkine
> wrote:
>
>> thanks for the feedback.
>> does ease-of-use equate to documentation or is there more to it?
>> re-footprint/startup-time, are you comparing v2 or v3 to Tomcat?
>> -Alexis
>>
>> On Jan 6, 2009, at 24:27, glassfish@javadesktop.org wrote:
>>
>>> In my opinion, Glassfish still has a lot more to spend on ease-of-use
>>> (this includes documentation) and footprint/startup time. Tomcat is way
>>> ahead on both counts. I prefer Glassfish' community but it needs to pick up
>>> on the two points I brought up.
>>>
>>> Most of all I would recommend they focus on ease-of-use. The
>>> documentation looks like it was written by IBM. It is a huge tangled mess.
>>> It should be more obvious how to do things without referring to the
>>> documentation as well.
>>> [Message sent by forum member 'cowwoc' (cowwoc)]
>>>
>>> http://forums.java.net/jive/thread.jspa?messageID=324186
>>>
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wabunoh
Offline
Joined: 2003-06-11

I would recommend using glassfish. This way you only have on managment tool and configurations to master and maintain.

You have a couple different ways of running Glassfish here:

1. add different HTTP listeners/servers to your existing Glassfish domain
2. create a new glassfish domain using.

The second option allows you to use different VM's. This way you would not need 2 full glassfish installs.

We use multiple domains with a single install. It allows us to keep all of our servers (domains) up to date.