Java EE App Servers – are they still relevant in a world of Docker containers?

This year at JavaOne 2015 there was a recurring theme across many of the Cloud and DevOp tech sessions that was promoting self-contained deployable Jars (not EARs or WARs) as a more efficient approach for deploying lightweight Java based services. This approach also plays well for a microservices type architecture and can also easily make use of containers, like Docker, PaaS offerings like CloudFoundry or Heroku, or even Oracle’s new Java SE Cloud Services offering.

Being able to deploy small, self-contained services (compared to large, monolithic EARs) brings a whole range of benefits, like being able to deploy more often, and deploy individual services individually without touching or impacting any of the other deployed services.

If you go a step further to consider a deployable unit as a disposable Docker container, then you have to start asking questions about whether a traditional Java EE App Server is still required, or even fits at all this this kind of deployment approach.

Oracle has a supported project on GitHub for Dockerfiles to build images running Weblogic 12c… if you try to do this you also wonder just just how practical it is to even attempt to run Docker containers that are 2GB+ in size… yes, you can do it, but are you really getting the benefits of the lightweight and lean, disposable containers at this point?

I came across this article by James Strachan, “The decline of Java application servers when using docker containers“, which is an interesting read on this topic. The more you look into Docker, containers and lightweight services, you have to question whether Java EE App Servers are losing their relevance. Or at least whether they are relevant for this approach of containerized deployments.

Matt Chat: Interview with producers of From Bedrooms to Billions (Anthony and Nicola Caulfield)

If you have any interest in the early history of the computer games industry in the UK (8bit to 16bit), then you have to (if you haven’t already) watch From Bedrooms to Billions, a kickstarter funded documentary by Anthony and Nicola Caulfield. If you’ve ever wondered what happened to those developers that we used to read about in C&VG and the companies behind the games, these guys managed to track down and interview pretty much anyone who was anyone back during those days, capturing amazing stories on film. The documentary also includes an interview with the legendary Matthew Smith who disappeared off the face of the earth for decades. It’s incredibly fascinating and brings back memories from those 8bit days.

Anthony and Nicola also have another documentary currently in production focusing on the Commodore Amiga, also recently successfully funded on Kickstarter and will be released soon, The Amiga Years.

I also stumbled across this video podcast series on YouTube with an interview with the Caulfields, in which they discuss the behind the scenes work involved in production of the first documentary and The Amiga Years – this in itself is also a fascinating insight into the early days of the UK games industry and how the documentary was developed. You can check it out here in part 1part 2, and part 3.

Microsoft offers to buy your old PC and Mac gear to encourage upgrades to Windows 10

Microsoft really want you to upgrade. Not content with ‘accidentally‘ forcing upgrades on some Windows 7 and 8 users that hadn’t upgraded yet, apparently they have an old equipment trade in program if you buy a new PC running Windows 10. You can get upto $200 for an old laptop, but for a MacBook you can get $300. Really? Microsoft values old Macs more than old PCs. You’d have to give me far more than $300 to trade in even an older MacBook. How about buy me a new MacBook Pro, throw in the Windows Sourface for free, and then when I’m convinced I really don’t like Windows then I still have a new MBP. That sounds like an awesome deal.