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What differntiates JBoss 5 from the rest of the pack?

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Hi Javid & Peter,

I want to know what is it about Jboss that sets it apart from other
Java app servers out there like Glassfish, Weblogic 10, Websphere etc?
Anything special about it that one feels, one should give it more preference
while choosing an app server to use?

Does it provide the GUI features for deploying apps as found in Websphere and weblogic?
Also, like the eclipse based jboss IDE/plugin is there a corresponding plugin for netbeans 6.x?

Also, can you guys explain what technologies like Jboss seam, portal, Microcontainer etc are really meant to be used for?
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Yes, exactly the main question I want to ask; thanks, Anup, for the excellent details. These are the considerations I would add, which all boil down to cost-effectiveness over the life of the developed Application, which for us is the main factor determining which platform and approach should be used. How does JBoss compare in:

Maintainability of code (including generating documentation)?

Stability of code (built on standards that are not likely to be superseded, so apps don't have to be updated/rewritten)?

Transportability of code (e.g. runs on various OSs, in various VM managers)?

Flexibility of apps, e.g. easy to interface via API, use in SOA, etc.?

Thanks for your thoughts.

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Hmm, this might be better answered by someone who has used all of those app servers. It has been 4 or 5 years since I used WebLogic Server, and I have not used any of the others to any extent. So I could show my bias and say that JBossAS beats them all hands down, but that would not be what you are looking for.
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Its really hard to say because each application server seems to excel in different areas. Like Peter, I haven't had the opportunity to use any of the other application servers in a few years.

The one thing I can say is that JBoss tries to stay ahead of the curve as far as the spec-compliant features go. For example, they had EJB3 support available before any of the other major contenders.
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