Sun GlassFish Enterprise Server v3 Prelude – A first glance

I’m a big fan of Tomcat. It’s sweet. It’s pretty quick. A little lightweight on administration, but fairly simple to install (extract the zip), and Bob’s your father’s brother.

So Sun’s been working on application servers for quite some time now, and the latest incarnation is Glassfish. This article reviews GlassFish Enterprise Server v3 Prelude.

One of the great things about Sun’s software model is that the software is a free download. This is understandable because you really won’t get that far without Sun support in a production-like environment. First point of call is to download Glassfish.

It’s a pretty light download, 27Mb for the English Windows version.

Installing is a snap, just double click on the installer. You’ll need a Java JDK. If you’re doing any enterprise stuff with Sun products you’ll probably need a Java JDK.

The installer lets you pick the ports for the admin interface (4848 by default) and the http port (8080 by default). The interface neatly checks to see if those ports are free, and warns you if they’re not. You can choose to pick a username and password for the admin interface, or leave it as anonymous.

The rest of the installation went smoothly. After installation you have the option to fire up the server. Next port of call is heading to the admin interface (http://localhost:4848). There’s a bit of a delay while Glassfish installs the admin application on the server, but then you’re at the GUI admin screen.

There’s no way to restart the server from the GUI screen. You’ll need to head to the command line and type:

asadmin stop-domain

asadmin start-domain

I’m sure there are other methods of restarting the application server, but that’s what I’ve been doing. If you leave the domain off the command, it’ll default to domain1.

If you’re used to the Tomcat’s admin interface (which is sparse), then you’ll be in for a treat with Glassfish. It’s deep. There’s a lot to look at.

At only 27Mb, it’s a quick download. Give it a go and see how you feel.