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Red Hat’s OpenShift PaaS Supports JEE6

The widgetry should simplify how application developers build and deploy Java in the cloud

Red Hat said Wednesday that its three-month-old OpenShift Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), currently a free developer preview that runs on Amazon EC2, now supports Java Enterprise Edition 6, because it's been integrated with Red Hat's open source JBoss Application Server 7.

That makes OpenShift, akin to Google App Engine, Microsoft Azure and VMware Cloud Foundry, the first PaaS to deliver JEE 6, a particular Red Hat pet it touts as one of the biggest advances in Java in over 10 years.

The widgetry should simplify how application developers build and deploy Java in the cloud. While they code, OpenShift is supposed to fuss with the stack setup, maintenance and operational concerns.

Besides Java EE, OpenShift supports Ruby, Python, Perl, PHP, Spring, MySQL, SQLite, MongoDB, MemBase and Memcache, all open source mojo promising developers they won't get locked in to a particular technology or platform.

Of course lock-in comes in different degrees.

The JBoss Application Server is the basis of Red Hat's JBoss Enterprise Application Platform 6, the next major release of its application platform, scheduled for release early next year.

Red Hat says combining OpenShift with JBoss Application Server lets Java EE be scaled, managed and monitored in the cloud more easily.

Java EE 6 includes Context and Dependency Injection (CDI), a k a JSR-299, a standards-based programming framework that Red Hat says "makes it easier for developers to build dynamic applications and picks up where some proprietary frameworks left off."

It's like an express elevator to the cloud.

Red Hat says CDI, which it dreamed up, makes Java "less restrictive and much more extensible compared to Spring," which has stuck in Red Hat's craw since it was acquired by VMware. CDI is supposed to pick up "where Spring started getting a little crusty."

RedMonk principal analyst Stephen O'Grady figures integrating the JBoss application server technology with OpenShift should let enterprises "transition their existing Java EE applications and skills to the cloud with zero friction." Heady talk.

Red Hat is still trying to figure out if there are any proprietary gotchas in OpenShift, acquired when it bought Markara, before it releases the stuff as open source.

There are two versions of OpenShift, Express and Flex.

Express is free and multi-tenant. It supports Perl, PHP, Python and Ruby applications delivered in a shared hosting model.

Flex is a dedicated hosting environment for Java EE and PHP. Applications can be deployed on middleware components such as JBoss and Tomcat. It offers greater control and choice over middleware components with features like versioning, monitoring and auto-scaling. Pricing hasn't been established yet but will apparently hinge on scaling.

Red Hat suggested that OpenShift will eventually run on OpenStack.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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