We're thinking of using Orion. Rumor has it that it is the highest quality and the fastest. It's free for development and the license is just $1500 per server (strictly on the honor system). I've heard that support is poor. It seems that the documentation used to be awful and is now pretty okay. Anybody have experience with it? Anything I should use instead of it?
Yeah - if you happen to use IRC ever, alot of the actual Orion developers hang out on the EFNET #java channel. Overall, Orion is pretty impressive. It has a web server bundled in it - these developers claim it is faster than apache. It also has a very small footprint both in terms of disk and memory. Another plus is that they stay on the cutting edge of J2EE, and in terms of EJB version are ahead of most others. It is very easy to use - I just downloaded, unzipped and ran java -jar orion.jar and app server, web server both were up and running. On the downside, you are correct - support is almost non-existant. There are some 3rd party entities providing some - one I believe is called Teknos. Also, documentation is in the same boat. The best thing I would recommend if you are developing with Orion is to jump on the IRC channel and ask questions there. Finally, I wanted to get my company to use Orion especially since we needed a lightweight app server. So I tried to contact their sales. I heard nothing for 2 weeks and when I finally did, their sales rep was some college student in Europe doing an internship. So, that's some of the ins and outs of Orion - I suspect it will grow and some of these problems will be resolved.