ServersBorland AppServer: The Deployment Piece of the JBuilder Enterprise Puzzle

Borland AppServer: The Deployment Piece of the JBuilder Enterprise Puzzle

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Borland AppSever is Borland’s latest foray into the application server market. AppServer is the “deploy” component of Borland’s JBuilder Enterprise suite, a three-component Internet application system. The other two components are JBuilder (“Develop”) and AppCenter (“Manage”). Borland’s reason for the integration is that by making AppServer part of the JBuilder software in the Enterprise edition, it is able to offer a system that is 100 percent compatible for development.

Borland AppSever is Borland’s latest foray into the application server
market. The highly configurable and Java-compliant AppServer is the “deploy” component of Borland’s JBuilder Enterprise suite, a three-part Internet application system.

As AppServer is typically used from within JBuilder Enterprise, it carries the same price tag of $12,000 per server processor for a deployment license, which by any account could be considered a fairly heavy price tag.

The system requirements for AppServer are fairly typical by current standards. To run AppServer under Windows 2000, a Pentium II 233 MHz classed machine or higher, with 160 MB of recommended DRAM and 75 MB of disk space is required. However, we found it odd that only 75 MB of hard disk space is required for such a complex and robust system.
AppServer uses Sun’s Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) spec as its foundation. J2EE uses containers to manage most aspects of the system.

AppServer is also a “CORBA” server, which enables it to offer many open standards that enhance the product. Because of the CORBA integration, the languages used are upgraded from just Java to a wide variety including C++ and Delphi. Borland is also looking to offer integration with J3EE as soon as it comes out and has demonstrated this by already integrating the use of “connectors.”

Installation of AppServer was surprisingly easy, but the configuration of the software was one of the most complex we’ve seen. Although we did not fully configure AppServer, a well-trained and knowledgeable system administrator should encounter few problems configuring it to meet his or her needs. This high level of customization is unlike many of the other application servers we have seen that function only in one or two different ways.

One of AppServer’s best features is the way it uses what the company calls the “HotDeploy.” With HotDeploy, the system administrator can literally start up a certain application without restarting the server system. Another feature similar to HotDeploy is “HotUpgrading.” Just as the name implies, the system admin can upgrade features in AppServer without restarting any services or totally shutting down the AppServer, which can cost thousands of dollars for a large e-business company.

AppServer’s control panel is well-designed and logical. The best thing about it is its capability to remotely manage almost everything about the system, including components, containers, and individual services.

Surprisingly, AppServer is very secure. It supports SSL, secure communication through firewalls, and domain-based authorization. It also supports X.509, PKI certificates, and password-based security with the use of Borland Security Service.

In addition, AppServer comes with an optional feature called “GateKeeper.” GateKeeper helps AppServer work with proxy systems, from a simple software-based configuration, up to multiple router systems found in most e-business infrastructures

Pros: Great price/feature ratio, Secure, Scalable and adaptable.

Cons: Expensive, Extremely complicated setup for a not-so-advanced sys admin

Version Reviewed: 4.5

Reviewed by: M.A. Dockter
Last Updated: 2/22/01

Date of Original Review: 2/22/01

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