Apache Software Foundation Announces TomEE, a Lightweight Apache Tomcat Server

The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) has some of the world’s most popular open source projects residing under its roof. The Apache Tomcat server for J2EE applications is one of them. It is the world’s most popular application server for J2EE applications and dominates small-scale Java EE application deployments.

The Apache Software Foundation has recently announced the release of the first version of a new application server based on Apache Tomcat 7.0.27. The new server is called TomEE (pronounced “Tommy”) and it is a sub-project of Apache OpenEJB. TomEE is much more robust than Apache Tomcat and boasts of a 300% performance improvement over it. This makes it suitable for cloud applications.

Apache TomEE is the Java Enterprise Edition 6 Web Profile-Certified edition of Apache Tomcat, the world’s most popular Java application server software, with more than 70% market penetration within the enterprise.

David Blevins, the Vice President of the OpenEJB project said,

TomEE is the closest and shortest jump for anyone with a Tomcat stack using any number of Java EE technologies to finally move to a Java EE 6 Web Profile certified platform that offers great freedom in the Cloud.

TomEE has support for Apache OpenEJB, Apache OpenWebBeans, Apache OpenJPA, Apache MyFaces and many other frameworks. The Apache TomEE project has been brewing for a long time and it obtained its Java EE 6 Web Profile certification on the Amazon EC2 in October last year. This is going to be the first choice for startups that want to overcome the initial deployment costs.

Apache HTTP Server 2.4.1 Released

Apache Software Foundation announced the release of 2.4.1 version of the Apache HTTP server. This release brings in several new enhancements, features and bug fixes. Apache is known to be the most popular web server, powering about 58% of the web’s active sites. Some of the new features in 2.4 release include:

  • Loadable Multi-Processing Modules(MPM) allows for modules to be configured as loadable modules at compile time
  • Event MPM is no longer an experimental module
  • Better async support
  • Per-module and per-directory LogLevel configuration allows for more in-depth log capture and analysis
  • KeepAlive timeouts can now be configured in milliseconds
  • Reduced memory footprint

The 2.4 release also comes with some new modules, including

  • mod_proxy_fcgi which is a FastCGI Protocol backend for mod_proxy
  • mod_proxy_scgi which is a SCGI Protocol backend for mod_proxy
  • mod_proxy_html which supports fixing of HTML links in a reverse proxy situation
  • mod_auth_form allows for form-based authentication
  • mod_lua allows for embedding Lua into httpd

Some of the existing modules have been enhanced, including mod_ssl, mod_proxy, mod_rewrite amongst others. For developers, a full listing of API changes in 2.4 is available over here. A summary of vulnerabilities that have been fixed is available over here. While Apache Software Foundation encourages users of prior versions to upgrade, they do mention that modules written for Apache 2.2 may require recompilation and/or minimal source code changes. The announcement has an advisory mentioning that Apache 2.4.1 might not be suitable for all Windows servers, due to interoperability issues with mod_ssl and the server’s AcceptFilter feature. As of now, there is no binary package of Apache available and it should be made available as soon as the dependent components graduate out of their current beta state. For the rest, the release can be downloaded from here.

Adobe Plans to Offer Flex to Apache Software Foundation

After a long battle with HTML5, Adobe has finally given it up. The company has planned to “donate” the code for its Flash-based Flex framework along with BlazeDS to the Apache Software Foundation (ASF).

We are actively working on the proposal for incubating Flex SDK and BlazeDS at the Apache Software Foundation. Once the proposals have been accepted, both Adobe and community contributors can begin committing contributions. We will share an update when the incubator proposal has been posted we expect this to happen over the course of the next few weeks.

According to Adobe, this move to ASF is not intended to abandon Flex SDK, or let it die. The company says that they will continue to provide significant improvements for many years to come. It also plans to steadily contribute to the projects which are currently working under the Flex community. It is also said that that Adobe is finalizing the development on Flex 4.6 SDK and it will be released on November 29th 2011.Adobe Flex

The Flex SDK includes a compiler and a number of library files which are used to build cross-platform Rich Internet Applications (RIA) that run on Adobe Flash. Earlier in 2008, the company announced and place the SDK under an open source license.

Adobe’s announcement of their plans to donate:

  • Flex SDK – a framework used to create Flash applications
  • BlazeDS, – a component used to push data in real-time to Flex and AIR applications
  • Several more minor development components like Falcon, an ActionScript and MXML compiler

Falcon is currently under development, which is supposedly the “next-generation” MXML and ActionScript compiler, and will be contributing it to the ASF when completed in 2012.

Along with these tools, Adobe will also have a team of Flex SDK developers contributing to those new Apache projects as their full-time responsibility.

Also Read:  Chief Engineer, Mike Chambers Explains Why Adobe Had to Kill Flash for Mobile

The ASF now will gather votes on whether to accept Adobe Flex or not. ASF has not provided any statement as of now, but we can expect a quick response from them very shortly.  Last year, Apache announced that the foundation adopted Google’s online real-time collaborative editing tool, Google Wave, which is now called as Apache Wave.

Is this an “End of Flex”?

Well, sort of. Adobe states that “HTML5 will be the best technology for enterprise application development.” This clearly indicates that Adobe has not just been forced to concentrate on HTML5, but also shows signs that they are now very much interested in the latest web standards.

Although the company has made it clear that it believes in HTML5 as the future, it still is being very diplomatic about Flex. In a blog post, the company mentions that even though HTML5 is widely accepted, Flex has some advantages over HTML5 for enterprise application development –

  • Flex offers complete feature-level consistency across multiple platforms
  • The Flex component set and programming model makes it extremely productive when building complex application user interfaces
  • ActionScript is a mature language, suitable for large application development
  • Supporting tools (both Adobe’s and third-party) offer a productive environment with respect to code editing, debugging and profiling

Earlier this month, the company had to oust 750 full-time employees in North America and Europe as a part of its efforts to focus more on Digital Media and Marketing. Adobe’s President and CEO, Shantanu Narayen stated –

“Our mission is to produce the world’s content and maximize the impact of that content. Adobe is doubling down in the Digital Media and Digital Marketing categories, markets rich with opportunities for innovation and growth.

IIS Web Server Share at an All-time Low, Nginx Rises, Apache Rules

Apache has been the predominant web-server since the early days of the internet. It has remained so for years and there is no doubt that it will remain so for years to come. The second most popular web-server no doubt is  Microsoft’s IIS. It is quite popular and is a necessity if you are using Microsoft technologies to develop web-applications.

Around three years back, IIS was catching up and for a moment, it looked like Apache was losing ground. However, since 2007, Apache has been on a constant rise and has captured 65% of the web-server market today. This comes as a surprise, since Microsoft has worked extensively towards pushing its web technologies. ASP.NET and Silverlight are impressive enough. In spite of this, the current market share of IIS stands at 16%. This is a deva-vu from 1997 when IIS had exactly this much of share in the web-server market.


The dip can be attributed to the fact that the IIS web-server runs only on a Windows environment. Moreover, a huge array of open-source software like Linux, BIND, and FreeBSD are popular on the web-server. On the contrary, IIS has no such supporting technology.  A holistic view of the current situation shows a dark future for Microsoft web-technologies.

Other than the obvious dip in IIS share and the dominant rise in Apache share, some other interesting results appear in the above graph. We see a period from June 2009 to December 2009 when both Apache and IIS registered a dip and there was a remarkable rise in unconventional web-servers.

Interestingly, the second most popular open-source web-server, Nginx has registered a continuous rise in market share since 2008. It is indeed sad to see how the once dominant Sun server disappears in this graph.

(Via: Pingdom, Source: Netcraft)

Apache Traffic Server Announces v3.0.0 with Vast Performance Improvements

Apache Traffic Server is one of the most admired services to have come under the Apache Server Foundation project. Traffic Server is essentially a caching and load balancing server that manages your traffic in an effective manner. It has been used for a variety of caching purposes and serves as an effective CDN.


Traffic Server project is a long running project and after nearly a year of development, it reached the status of an Apache Top Level Project or TLP on April last year. Just a few days afterwards in May, it reached version 2.0 and this transition to version 3.0.0 has taken merely a year.

The ASF page on Traffic Server says this.

Apache Traffic Serverâ„¢ is fast, scalable and extensible HTTP/1.1 compliant caching proxy server. Formerly a commercial product, Yahoo! donated it to the Apache Foundation, and it is now an Apache TLP.

At Yahoo, Traffic Server claims to have handled 400TB of data per day and this ensures that it has a very high tolerance.

The Wikipedia page on Traffic Server further says,

In the context of cloud computing, TS would sit conceptually at the edge of the cloud, routing requests as they come in. It could be described as a highway into and out of the cloud. In Yahoo!, it is used for the edge services shown in thegraphic distributed at the 2009 Cloud Computing Expo depicting Yahoo!’s private cloud architecture. In practical terms, a typical server configuration might use TS to serve static content, such as images and JavaScript, CSS, and HTML files, and route requests for dynamic content to a web server such as Apache HTTP Server.

However, some lesser-known facts about the capabilities of the new release are that it can withstand 200,000 requests per second, which is a 277% improvement on the earlier v2.0. Visit their FAQ page to learn more about Apache Traffic Server.

The Document Foundation Responds To OpenOffice.org Going To The Apache Foundation

Just a while ago, we reported that Oracle has decided to give OpenOffice.org to the Apache Foundation instead of The Document Foundation. Well, Italo Vignoli, who is one of the co-founders and a member of the steering committee of The Document Foundation, has responded to Oracle’s decision to ignore them and go to the Apache Foundation instead.

In an email, Italo Vignoli wrote that The Document Foundation welcomes Oracle’s decision to release previously proprietary codes as open source to the Apache Foundation. He also mentioned that open-sourcing the codes makes it possible for them to take up “key user features” and include them in LibreOffice.

The Document Foundation is not however, pleased at Oracle’s move which has resulted in the possibility of reuniting LibreOffice and OpenOffice.org being ruled out – something which The Document Foundation has wanted right from the beginning. This is what Vignoli wrote:

The Document Foundation would welcome the reuniting of the OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice projects into a single community of equals in the wake of the departure of Oracle. The step Oracle has taken today was no doubt taken in good faith, but does not appear to directly achieve this goal. The Apache community, which we respect enormously, has very different expectations and norms – licensing, membership and more – to the existing OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice projects. We regret the missed opportunity but are committed to working with all active community members to devise the best possible future for LibreOffice and OpenOffice.org.

Because The Document Foundation is not involved directly in Oracle’s announcement today, Vigoli described the event as “neutral” for The Document Foundation. He, however, expressed desire to work with the Apache Foundation to co-develop with them to provide better office applications.

There has never been a better time to get involved and advance the state of the art in free software office suites.
TDF is therefore willing to start talking with Apache Software Foundation, following the email from ASF President Jim Jagielski, who is anticipating frequent contacts between the Apache Software Foundation and The Document Foundation over the next few months.

The reality is that almost all of the previous OpenOffice.org contributors are with The Document Foundation now. So, the best possible place for Oracle to donate OpenOffice.org should have been The Document Foundation. Now that it is with the Apache Foundation, a completely new development team will have to take up the OpenOffice.org project – something which is not very easy to do, as Oracle found out. The best possible course of action for Apache Foundation will be to co-develop with The Document Foundation, as they have suggested. Even if they do not get access to the OpenOffice.org development, it will not affect The Document Foundation very much as they already have a very active community with great experience to keep working on LibreOffice.

Oracle “Donates” OpenOffice.org To The Apache Foundation

In a surprising announcement, Oracle has said that they are donating OpenOffice.org to the Apache Foundation. Luke Kowalski, Vice- President, Oracle Corporate Architecture Group, said that their decision to give away the OpenOffice.org code to The Apache Foundation is a part of their commitment to the open source communities.

OpenOffice.org and The Apache Foundation

While it is a good thing that the OpenOffice.org assets are in the hands of the open source community, questions will be asked as to why Oracle choose the Apache Foundation. Regarding that decision, Luke Kowalski had this to say:

Donating OpenOffice.org to Apache gives this popular consumer software a mature, open, and well established infrastructure to continue well into the future. The Apache Software Foundation’s model makes it possible for commercial and individual volunteer contributors to collaborate on open source product development.

Jim Jagielski, president, The Apache Software Foundation, has welcomed Oracle’s move to donate OpenOffice.org to the Apache Foundation:

We welcome highly-focused, emerging projects from individual contributors, as well as those with robust developer communities, global user bases, and strong corporate backing.

Jagielski also added that OpenOffice will be initially an Apache incubator project. Upon maturing into a Top Level Project, a committee will be formed to guide the project on its day-to-day working.

Why Apache Foundation and not The Document Foundation?

If you recall, after Oracle acquired OpenOffice.org, many of the leading OpenOffice.org contributors formed The Document Foundation. The Document Foundation requested Oracle to join them and donate the name “OpenOffice.org” to the community. Oracle snubbed them and asked them to leave OpenOffice.org instead.

They left OpenOffice.org, along with most of the other contributors, and went on to fork OpenOffice.org to form another office suite LibreOffice. LibreOffice has been very successful and most of the major Linux distributions have switched over to LibreOffice as the default office application suite.

So, considering the history between The Document Foundation and Oracle, it is not surprising that Oracle decided to ignore The Document Foundation and gave OpenOffice.org to the Apache Foundation.

Licensing Issues

A problem with OpenOffice.org becoming an Apache project will be the licensing issue. Apache projects uses the Apache Public License while OpenOffice.org uses the GNU Lesser Public License (LGPL) version 3. The LGPL and Apache Public License are not compatible with each other in matters regarding distribution with software under other license and distribution of derivatives.

The GNU Lesser Public License version 3 allows for the distribution of the software under LGPL with software under other license with certain restrictions. The distributor has to provide the source code of the software under LGPL along with the modifications made to it. The Apache Public License allows the distribution of the software without any such restrictions.

Regarding the derivative works, the LGPL allows their distribution only if the derivative is also under LGPL or GPL. Under the Apache Public License, the derivatives are free to choose any license as long as ‘Apache’ is not included in its name.

It will be interesting to see how this gets sorted out.


Apache Roller A Java Based Blogging Software

I will keep this short and sweet. While answering a question on Quora (find me here), I came across something which I wasn’t aware of for a while. That something is Apache Roller. Roller is basically a full featured, multi blog and group blog based on Java.

However, it’s usage is not reported as highly as say WordPress, because most webhosts provide users with LAMP (Linux-Apache-MySQL-PHP) installs. We internally use a LNMP install (Linux-Nginx-MySQL-PHP-CGI). However, for Apache Roller you will have to use a Java based server like Apache’s own Tomcat.

Though this project is not widely used, it is definitely recommended for people who are not blogging because they use Java based servers. At this point of time I am downloading this software and will review it. Being a Java guy myself, I am pretty much excited that a blogging solution exists for this purpose.

Aha, the hidden gems you get when you are on Quora. If you don’t know what Quora is, may I oblige you with this reading where I tried to explain What is Quora?

Have you ever heard of Apache Roller? Used It? Do give me some scoops on your thoughts about it then.

255 Million Websites in 2010; Apache Serves 152 Million Of Them

Back in November 2009, I had written a post about the Internet having 187 million domains. Looks like that DYK is obsolete, since new stats suggest that there are now 255 million websites on the Internet.

Web Server Market Share 2010

Royal Pingdon, the internet website tracker has a new post which says that in 2010 there were around 255 million websites, this was 9% more than 2009.

In addition to that, Apache server gained market share and now powers around 152 million or 59.4% websites. Microsoft IIS is second with 57 million websites, which shows growth for the Microsoft .Net platform. Sadly, our favorite webserver; Nginx; which powers Techie Buzz did not see much growth and grew about 700,000 to 19.9 million websites.

Google’s web server which powers the Blogger platform grew from 14.1 million to 14.9 million websites in 2010, this suggests that only 800,000 new blogs were added to Blogger in 2010, however, thanks to the Blogspot spam this number might be higher because Google might be removing thousands of blogs every day.

Overall, this is good news for Apache, but my experience has not been that good with it. I prefer using Nginx because it is lightweight and does the job pretty well. Hopefully, we should see more Linux distros bundling Nginx setups (LNMP) which should increase it’s market share in future.

Apache Software Foundation Adopts Google Wave

Google Wave

Remember ? The futuristic communication tool from Google which never took off? Well, it looks like it is going to get a second chance thanks to the Apache Software Foundation (ASF).

According to a new submission to the ASF by Novell and few other contributors the new project will be called Wave In a Box (WIAB). The project is in an incubator phase right now and is open to evaluation by the Apache Board.

The initial goals of the WIAB project state that the contributors want to first move the code over from it’s Google hosting repository at code.google.com to Apache’s build systems and then continue development of it.

Apache Wave is the project where wave technology is developed at Apache. Wave in a Box (WIAB) is the name of the main product at the moment, which is a server that hosts and federates waves, supports extensive APIs, and provides a rich web client. This project also includes an implementation of the Wave Federation protocol, to enable federated collaboration systems (such as multiple interoperable Wave In a Box instances).

If you are not sure what Google Wave is, you can read up a hands-on review of Google Wave. The Google Wave project was closed down for good in early August due to lack of user interest. Prior to it, Google Wave received rave reviews from early adopters and geeks alike, however, for a common user it was way ahead of time which is why their user-base quickly diminished.

If everything goes well Google Wave will be rechristened as Apache Wave and will be a hosted, live, concurrent data structure for rich communication which can be used like email, chat or a document.

You can read the entire proposal for Apache Wave here. Source: The Register.