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Wily 5 supports JBoss

By the time Lewis Cirne founded Wily Technology in 1998, it was already clear that there were too many Java application servers on the market. What was less clear was that these servers were beginning to spread in corporations, and none of them came with much onboard manageability.

Developers that experienced that era may agree that in going from development to deployment, Java apps might have lost a few beats in terms of performance. But -- after some blame games between programmers and system administrators -- best practices took hold, and some Java performance analyzers came to the fore as well.

For his part, Cirne started Wily Technology to focus on performance analysis based on core Java Agent technology that he invented. Today, Wily tools support a range of app servers, and the JBoss open-source server has just been added to the mix.

In conversation recently, Cirne said a growing area of concern for Java performance is the Java application. He refers here to the business logic that remains the main interest of corporate developers, now that more of the middleware infrastructure is provided by way of commercial or open-source J2EE servers. This business logic is residing on more and more machines, as the pool of Java engines increase in size. Moreover, J2EE servers increasingly talk to mainframe legacy systems.

"What we saw was that the Java language plus the runtime enabled the development community to take full advantage of object-oriented programming. You could build a component in one place, and it could be used in another place," said Cirne.

But this creates unique trouble. "With many components coming from many places, it is hard to know where problems [reside]. You have many potential points of failure at the code level and in the back-end systems that those components talk to," said Cirne.

Java today is a mix of off-the-shelf components and custom components. As performance bottlenecks are solved in communications layers, and as the business logic layer gets added too, custom code can be a performance problem area. "The application server makes it easier for you to concentrate on building business logic," said Cirne. "That is where the real complexity is."

He noted that Wily's software uncovers many of the potential bottlenecks in Java apps. "It auto-discovers much of your application, whether it is standard or custom. There are standard ways to talk to a database or do a user interface. We can pick up on that and describe it," said Cirne, adding that the software can also probe custom UI APIs. Wily's software can guide developers or sys admins on how to configure their software with agents.

The company recently released Wily 5 for enterprise application management. Based on the company's Introscope agent technology, Wily 5 features improvements for users that need to manage the apps that developers create. With Wily 5, the company adds support for the JBoss open-source application server to its existing support for BEA, IBM, Oracle, Sun and other app servers. The company also announced an Introscope PowerPack dedicated to handling IBM WebSphere Business Integration adapters.

An assortment of console enhancements in Wily 5 are said to better position it for use by users even beyond the ranks of developers and administrators. Today, as Java spreads in use, a wider group of people in corporations are looking at Java performance data, and they need easier-to-use views, said the firm's Cirne.

About the Author

Jack Vaughan is former Editor-at-Large at Application Development Trends magazine.

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