Fosdem O'Reilly
2004 Edition Free and Open Source Software Developer's European Meeting


2004-01-12 - Florent Benoit


An interview conducted by Alain Buret
FOSDEM - First and traditional question : Please present yourself ...

Florent BENOIT - Florent BENOIT, I'm 24 years old and I live in Grenoble, France. I received a master in Computer Science from the University of Grenoble. I am working on an open source J2EE server of ObjectWeb, JOnAS, as developer. I'm a J2EE expert, and have developed critical JOnAS components such as the Web container, the security service, the deployment features, ...

FOSDEM - How and why did you start working on JOnAS ?

Florent BENOIT - I started working on JOnAS at the end of my studies, during six month, as a trainee. At this time JOnAS was only an EJB server, and my goal was to integrate a web container and to define some services in order to make JOnAS a true J2EE server. After my trainee period, I was hired to continue development on J2EE aspects on JOnAS.

FOSDEM - Do you share code or interact with Geronimo, which is the same project, but initiated by the Apache Software Foundation ?

Florent BENOIT - Yes, collaboration between JOnAS and more generally ObjectWeb and Geronimo has been initiated. ObjectWeb is the international consortium hosting JOnAS, which provides, beside JOnAS, a lot of open source middleware components. ObjectWeb and Apache/Geronimo people have met in Las Vegas at the last Apache Conference (ApacheCon, November 2003) and have decided to collaborate on some common components that will be used by both JOnAS and Geronimo. The first identified ObjectWeb components are the transactional monitor JOTM, the byte code enhancer ASM and the High-speed ObjectWeb Logger HOWL. More collaboration will be considered, for example around the Web Services support.

FOSDEM - What's the major keypoints of JOnAS compared to proprieritary solutions offered by big companies ?

Florent BENOIT - Strictly speaking from the J2EE support, JOnAS is at the same level as proprietary offers. JOnAS will also be "certified". It also provides comparable performances. Currently only the set of tools provided with proprietary solutions may be more complete than what you can find with open source products such as JOnAS.

So the major keypoints are :
  • all the advantages of the open source, with the same functionality / performance /scalability / availability / reliability / "portability of applications" as with proprietary offers
  • very responsive support through the jonas mailing list, and possibility to buy support
  • very modular design which allows to interchange components of the application server such as the JMS provider, the Servlet/JSP engine,...
  • JOnAS is already adopted by major actors of the system & middleware area: RedHat, SuSe, Mandrake, Librados, ...

    FOSDEM - What would you say to a developer to convince him to use JOnAS instead of something else ?

    Florent BENOIT - JOnAS gives you the opportunity to develop and run standard J2EE applications for free. Then you may deploy these applications on any J2EE compliant application server, although if generally it will not perform better ...

    A lot of open source tools and development environments are available with JOnAS (see the JOnAS tools web page), they will provide you with an easy way to start your projects. JOnAS is provided with a free and complete documentation. A now consequent JOnAS users community is ready to help you for any problem encountered with JOnAS and J2EE.

    FOSDEM - Can JOnAS "talk" to other middleware software ?

    Florent BENOIT - Yes for sure, JOnAS is interoperable with other application servers, either through rmi/iiop or web services, this is documented for Weblogic and JBOSS. JOnAS is also interoperable with CORBA servers and clients, this also is documented.

    FOSDEM - Introduce in few words what you're going to talk about during your presentation ...

    Florent BENOIT - After a short introduction to the ObjectWeb consortium, I will present the JOnAS platform in detail both from the architectural point of view as from the features point of view; this includes the list of all open source components from ObjectWeb or Apache that are embedded within JOnAS. I will also present some examples of JOnAS operational uses,and a set of development tools currently available with JOnAS. Of course I will give a status of the current developments.

    FOSDEM - What are you expecting from your talk at FOSDEM and from the interactions with other developers present at the event ?

    Florent BENOIT - The main goal is to make people aware of the ObjectWeb open-source initiative, and in particular of the JOnAS open-source application server. The idea is to encourage people to join the ObjectWeb and JOnAS users community by presenting ObjectWeb and JOnAS, but also to potentially increase the ObjectWeb and JOnAS developer community by presenting the JOnAS technical architecture. There are a lot of very exciting technical area of investigation around the JOnAS application server development.


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