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Is 7 going to be your lucky number? At Open Source Architect we have been anxiously anticipating the release of JBoss EAP 7 and all the compelling benefits that come with it! These 7 innovative new features will allow our customers to play their best hand possible without a gamble.

Place Your Bets On: JSON, WebSockets, Concurrency, and Batch specifications

Winning Hand #1: JBoss continues its' history of excellence with the rapid implementation of the Java EE 7 specification found in EAP 7. Namely the new JSON, WebSockets, Concurrency, and Batch specifications. These features provide stability and standardization for our customers.

Our customers are awaiting to place their bets for the introduction of the Managed Thread Factory and JSR 236. This brings a stable and reliable solution in JBoss EAP for the difficult task of managing multiple threads in a Java EE application. When coupled with the ManagedExecutorService and ManagedScheduledExecutorService, these allow for domain specific code to simply submit work for concurrent processing to be managed in a unified execution context. Concurrency such as this helps developers because they no longer have to write their own thread management code, thus saving both time and effort. This brings the power of concurrency to developers that might be just starting out!

Here is a great thread racing application that demonstrates this capability on JBoss EAP 7.

We also have customers who are still writing Batch processes without any frameworks whatsoever, the old school way. With no framework in place, a winning hand can turn into a total bust! Customers use these mission critical batch jobs for important tasks such as payroll, payment processing, claims processing, inventory management, credit card processing, credit risk analysis, report generation, and more. Record-oriented processing can occur with the expectation for results to finish within a determined, ‘non-immediate’ timeframe. JSR-352 establishes a standard batch programming model. Scheduling a Batch job for the reading and writing of data is a painful and an unmaintainable chore,  but with JEE Batch integration, our JBoss EAP 7 customers have seamless integration and the ability to write scalable and maintainable, JSR-352 Batch processes.

JBoss EAP 7 includes a fully compliant JSR-352 batch container. In order to bring JSR-352 into the world of JEE, some key operational capabilities such as security, resiliency, and high availability are required. JBoss EAP 7 provides a complete enterprise batch solution that includes a host of key operational features around the JSR-352 standard to enhance the operational integration of our customers batch processes.

In addition to making JEE 7 technologies available for Enterprise Batch capabilities, JBoss EAP 7 provides additional qualities of service along with operational and management tools. All of this is provided without any need for further integration, all in a lightweight environment.

These Batch processes can be executed and deployed on their JBoss EAP 7 servers. Here is a great quickstart on how to develop and deploy a JEE Batch process on JBoss EAP 7.

Place Your Bets On: Enhanced Management and Security

Winning Hand #2: JBoss EAP 7’s enhancements include great management features that our customers have been asking for. In addition, the CLI also provides elegant control of any size domain. One of these management features includes the ability to access server log files directly from the web based admin console. By providing access to server log files, and deeper control of installed subsystems, administrators will have the unified control interface they have been anxiously waiting for! And with the new streamlined console interface combined with the smaller memory footprint and shorter start times it's easier than ever to manage small cluster, all the way up to globe-spanning cloud hosted clusters.

Want more? The domain mode now also supports the “cloning” of profiles with a single command via the JBoss EAP 7 CLI. No more manual copy and paste of configurations or files! And “huge” savings in time and effort.

Place Your Bets On: A Consistent and Easy to Manage Load Balancer

Winning Hand #3: Open Source Architect’s JBoss EAP 7 customers are going to love these new unified management capabilities for their web proxies! The introduction of the new Undertow subsystem as a load balancer, no longer will their essential web proxies, like Apache Web Server, and Nginx have to reside outside usual management solutions. Undertow is fully implemented as a JBoss EAP 7 service and integrates with a JBoss Domain Controller to finally give us complete, end to end management. And because Undertow has been completely implemented in Java, customers now have the option of embedding Undertow in deployments as needed as well.

Now, if unified management, and implementations of the latest protocol standards, we also have a complete implementation of mod_cluster to integrate with our backend architecture as usual. No need to learn a new cluster module along with all the new features available from EAP 7. You can rely on the still reliable cluster management module that we are all familiar with. Bringing our load balancer, which has always been an exception to our unified cluster management into JBoss' unified control console. Allowing for graceful shutdown of proxies and application servers as they complete business transactions.

Place Your Bets On: Reducing the number of Ports!

Winning Hand #4: That alone might be reason enough for our customers to adopt Undertow, but we also have the introduction of the new features from HTTP 2.0 such as HTTP Upgrade.

No longer do we have to configure redirects or forwards to a different port for TLS security. Now clients will be able to initiate their connection over a single connection, still 8080 by default; and upgrade that connection to whatever TLS version, and parameters the server and client can negotiate. This completely removes a whole area of configuration and management complexity that administrators don’t like to spend time on!

However, other ports or all of the previously configured ports from older JBoss EAP versions can still be enabled if desired.

Place Your Bets On: Rolling Upgrades To Minimize Downtime

Winning Hand #5: Our customers hate downtime and want to eliminate it! JBoss EAP 7 now supports a graceful shutdown of the server process all through the great CLI. When suspended, no new requests are accepted. When the suspension process completes, the server can be stopped without aborting any active requests or transactions. Downtime eliminated!


Place Your Bets On: An Offline CLI for Security and Initial Setup

Winning Hand #6: Open Source Architect’s JBoss EAP customers often want to configure their server while avoiding port conflicts on default ports or editing any xml files immediately after installation. Since a server has not been set up or started yet, the JBoss EAP Admin Console is not available.

There are also situations where a JBoss EAP server is down due to an issue or an outage. In these situations when JBoss cannot start, access to the CLI or any Admin Console is limited.

This is where direct local administration for a JBoss EAP 7 server can now be performed via an Offline CLI! Since this doesn’t require a socket-based connection from a remote CLI, now our customers don’t have to launch a JBoss EAP 7 server or a Host Controller process and potentially have it visible on the network.

As an added bonus the new offline CLI is also embeddable! This opens up the possibility of embedding the CLI inside other processes (say a test class, a provisioning tool or a jar with a main) and then launching the embedded server and using the embedded CLI as a convenient management tool.

Place Your Bets On: Enhanced Modularity

Winning Hand #7: Customers have no need to fear that the introduction of all this new “change” will greatly increase our administration concerns and resource footprint. JBoss' modular subsystem solution is still in place, and providing us the option to load and configure only the functionality and features we need. The base architecture for JBoss EAP 7 has been split up into a more modular structure with a separated core.

Don't need the newly unified messaging subsystem? No problem, you don’t have to load it. Only using AJP to connect with to proxies? No problem, you don't need to load the HTTP subsystem. Transaction management, persistence, messaging, and much more are all available on demand, if needed! But, also neatly kept out of the way so you can focus on what your application needs.
With our lucky 7 new features on the table... the introduction of EAP 7 gives us 7 winning hands and the features the community has been working hard to implement in Wildfly 10. With backwards compatibility with JBoss EAP 6 and some interoperability with JBoss EAP 5 in mind, and the security, support, and reliability we've come to expect from JBoss Middleware, these really are some of the best hands we’ve seen from the JBoss team in a while!

About the author

Deon Ballard is a product marketing manager focusing on customer experience, adoption, and renewals for Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Red Hat Enterprise Linux is the foundation for open hybrid cloud. In previous roles at Red Hat, Ballard has been a technical writer, doc lead, and content strategist for technical documentation, specializing in security technologies such as NSS, LDAP, certificate management, and authentication / authorization, as well as cloud and management.

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