Application Server Technologies _ A Comparion of Major Application Servers

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					                        APPLICATION SERVER TECHNOLOGIES AND
                                HAN Yu-min          LI-Zhimin         DU-Xianfeng
    (Dept. of Computer Sciences & Technology, Zhongyuan Institute of Technology, Zhengzhou 450007, China)

     Abstract: Application server serves as middleware, are essential components for developing distribution
enterprise applications such as E-commerce in the Internet distribute environment. Three-tier architecture makes it
easy to develop and maintain the application system. This paper discusses the three tier architecture of E-commerce
system and the technologies of application servers, and presents a comparison of current major application servers.
     Key words: Application Server; Middleware; E-commerce; Three Tier Architecture
1 Introduction                                                 a multi-layered infrastructure for the support of
     With the rapid development of E-Commerce,                 Internet applications and services.
the application servers market has been identified             The J2EE model uses a multi-tier distributed
as one of the hottest growing areas in internet                model. This model generally includes a Client Tier,
technology currently. Many medium sized                        a Middle Tier, and an EIS Tier.
IT-companies have entered into the market. The
performance of application server is becoming
greater and greater, and been applied broadly in
the enterprise application & E-commerce system.
Application servers are software that helps
enterprises develop, deploy and manage large
numbers of applications that are mostly distributed
     Application server is a software package that
handles all application operations between users
and an enterprise's backend business applications
or databases. Application servers are typically
used for complex transaction-based applications.               Figure 1 3-Tier E-Commerce System Architecture
To support high-end needs, an application server
                                                                     The presentation tier is responsible for
has to have built-in redundancy, monitors for
                                                               managing the user interfaces of applications,
high-availability, high-performance distributed
                                                               including desktop applications, Web browsers,
application services and support for complex
                                                               wireless devices, and pervasive devices
database access.
                                                                     The Business tier contains the application’s
You should consider an application server when
                                                               business logic independent of the user interface,
you have a need for:
                                                               including distributed components, running in the
     Integration with existing systems and
                                                               application server environment. Within the J2EE
                                                               framework these components are usually
     Web site support
                                                               represented by Enterprise JavaBeans.
     E-Commerce
                                                                     The back-end data layer provides
     Web-integrated collaboration
                                                               connectivity to other enterprise systems, such as
     Component re-use
                                                               databases, ERP, CRM, mainframe or other
2 Three Tier Architecture and Advantages
                                                               existing applications. The back-end layer also
  of Application Server
                                                               serves as an integration layer, using messaging,
     From a developer's point of view, the central
                                                               e-mail, Web Services, and other technologies to
difference with the C/S 2-tier architecture is the
                                                               connect and communicate with enterprise systems.
separation of business logic from the presentation
                                                                    Developing a server involves dealing with
logic and the database logic. Essentially,
                                                               many complicated issues like concurrency,
application servers help us build true 3-tier
                                                               providing access to all possible production
applications where the database is logically
                                                               databases, network connection management,
separated (sometimes physically separated too)
                                                               database connection pooling, legacy database
from the business logic. Figure 1 shows
                                                               support, designing a management console,
application servers have become a cornerstone of
                                                               clustering support, load balancing, failover,
                 Application Server Technologies and A Comparison of Major Application Servers

extensibility of your development frame work and                     Ability to deploy on the web and serve users
performance.                                                   over the Internet, Intranet and Extranet.
      From logic point of view, an application                       Transaction processing monitors. These are
server is a component-based product that resides               available in the high end systems that are available
in the middle-tier of a server centric architecture.           from vendors like BEA Systems and IBM.
It provides middleware services for security and                     Transaction processing and performance
state maintenance, along with data access and                  oriented features.
persistence.                                                         Support for working with other application
      The three-tier architecture has the following            servers.
advantages:                                                          Integration with development tools and
Three tier architecture: is very suitable for Internet         features       oriented      towards     accelerating
distribute environment, with the architecture the              development.
application system would archive high scalability                    Integration with Enterprise resource planning
and manageability. The advantage of application                packages like SAP/R3 and Peoplesoft.
server mainly includes:                                             For some application server, many domain
Distribute environment: provide assurance system               specific features can be expected, such as
stability and high performance.                                CRM,Content Management,Business Intelligence
Object oriented components model: speed up                     etc.
development with lower cost.                                        The features mentioned above shows that
Support Java technology: meet the current need of              application server create competitive advantage
full platforms-cross Internet application need, and            and optimize price/performance while meeting the
with most vendor technical support.                            changing demands of dynamic e-business with a
3 Features of Application Servers                              virtualized environment featuring industry leading
     The common features of a typical application              reliability, scalability, performance, and security.
server should include:                                         4 Major Application Servers
     Support for business and application logic                     Quite a few application servers exist in the
Typically this is achieved through component                   marketplace. The major vendors are IBM,
technologies like COM, CORBA and the                           Microsoft, Sun, Oracle, SAP, Netscape, BEA and
Java-specific RMI - applied in a framework like                SilverStream. Table 1 lists the current major
Microsoft Windows DNA or Enterprise                            application servers and their performance.
JavaBeans.                                                             Table 1 Major Application Servers
     Creation of COM and/or CORBA objects
This is probably a feature you should insist on,                Vendor &
                                                                                    Version         JDK     EJB    JSP   JMS     J2EE
unless your organization has already made a
decision on standardizing development around a                              Express 8.1 Basic       1.4.1          1.2
single component model.
     Multithreaded     access    and     Database                           Express 8.1 Premium     1.4.1          1.2

connection pooling                                              BEA         Workgroup 8.1           1.4.1   2.0    1.2   1.0.2   1.3

There are two major design issues that developers               WebLogic    Server 8.1 Advantage    1.4.1   2.0    1.2   1.0.2   1.3
have to deal with in developing applications from                           Server 8.1 Premium      1.4.1   2.0    1.2   1.0.2   1.3
the ground-up. Make sure that the application                               Server 8.1 Technology
                                                                                                    1.4.1   2.0    1.2   1.0.2
server lets you forget about designing for                                  Preview for 64 bit
     Clustering support, load balancing and                                 Express 5.0

failover features.
     Transaction Integrity.                                     IBM
                                                                                                    IBM                  1.0.2
     Connectivity to legacy systems, such as                                Enterprise 5.0
                                                                                                            2.0    1.2
mainframes and older transaction and database
                                                                                                    IBM                  1.0.2
systems.                                                                    Websphere v5
                                                                                                            2.0    1.2

     Secure transactions and support for                                    Websphere     Network   IBM
                                                                                                            .2.0   1.2
                                                                            Deployment v5           1.3.1                +XA

                              Application Server Technologies and A Comparison of Major Application Servers

  Table 1 (continued)                                                                    of the enterprise.
   Vendor &
                           Version            JDK      EJB   JSP   JMS      J2EE         References:
                                                                                         [1] Qi Li et al. Introduction to E-Commerce [M].
IBM                 Websphere Application     IBM                  1.0.2                   People’s Telecommunication Press,2002.4
                                                       2.0   1.2            1.3
Websphere           Server v5 for z/OS        1.3.1                +XA                   [2] Jun Liu et al. Planning & Designing of
                                                                                           E-Commerce          System      [M].  People’s
                    v6.1                      1.3.1    2.0   1.2   1.0.2    1.3            Telecommunication Press,2001.4
                                                                                         [3] Hong Li, Jin Liang. E-Commerce
                                              1.4.1                                        Technologies [M]. People’s Telecommunication
                    Java Edition v9.0.4
                                                       2.0   1.2   1.0.2b   1.3            Press, 2001.10
                                              (Linux                                     [4]
Oracle                                                                                   [5]
Application         Standard       Edition
                                                       2.0   1.2   1.0.2b   1.3          [6]
Server 10g                                                                               [7]
                    Enterprise     Edition
                                                       2.0   1.2   1.0.2b   1.3          [8]
                    OC4J        Standalone
                    v10.0.3      Developer
                                                       2.1   2.0    1.1
                    Preview Release with
                    J2EE 1.4 Support
                    Web         Application
SAP AG                                        1.3.1    2.0   1.2   1.0.2    1.3
                    Server v6.3
Sun             Platform Edition 7.0           1.4     2.0   1.2   1.0.2    1.3
Microsystems    Standard Edition 7.0           1.4     2.0   1.2   1.0.2    1.3
Sun Java System
Application     Enterprise Edition 7.0         1.4     2.0   1.2   1.0.2    1.3
                    Developer v4.1.2                   2.0   1.2   1.0.2    1.3
Sybase              Small Bus. v4.1.2                  2.0   1.2   1.0.2    1.3
EAServer                                      1.2.2
                    Advanced v4.1.2                    2.0   1.2   1.0.2    1.3
                    Enterprise v4.1.2                  2.0   1.2   1.0.2    1.3
                    v6.1                      1.3.1    2.0   1.2   1.0.2    1.3
                    Appserver Edition v5.2             2.0   1.2   1.0.2    1.3
Borland                                       1.4.1
Enterprise Server                              1.3
                    Web Server v5.2                          1.2
                    J2EE Technology v6.0               2.0   1.2   1.0.2    1.3
                    Standard v6.0                      2.0   1.2   1.0.2    1.3
Orbix ASP 6.0
                    Enterprise v6.0                    2.0   1.2   1.0.2    1.3

  5 Conclusion
        One way to look at application servers is that
  they are a formalization of a solution to a problem
  that has been around for a long time. That problem
  can characterize as a need to create an integrated
  presentation and processing environment for
  existing systems and databases.
        This paper introduces the application server
  technology, 3-tier application architecture, and
  current major application server products, the
  paper attempted to guide the reader towards
  attaining technological perspectives necessary for
  developing applications for an application server
  and product choosing. Due to the features and
  emphases of different application server products
  are different, which application server is most
  suitable is depend on the major business and size


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