In Java application servers, the Bossie was hotly contested. This year has seen important updates to Apache Geronimo, Apache Tomcat, JBoss Seam, and GlassFish. Although all of these releases provided significant new value, none came close to delivering the amount of new functionality in JBoss Seam. Seam is a Java EE-based framework that reduces the chore of enterprise programming by combining EJB (Enterprise Java Beans) 3.0 and JSF (Java Server Faces), giving developers resources they would otherwise have to code for themselves. These new benefits include handling the thorny problem of stateful page flows, simple construction of CRUD applications, AJAX and Web 2.0 interfaces on server-based applications, reporting enhancements, and an extensive business-rules capability.
Although many pundits believe that simplification of enterprise Java via the heralded release of EJB 3.0 might lead the way to greater adoption, we think that lightweight, high-functionality frameworks such as JBoss Seam are an even more compelling driver. For this combination of functionality and elegant design, Seam gets our nod for the Bossie.
In the open source Web server space, one project reigns supreme: There’s Apache, and everyone else. Apache is the golden child of open source, besting every open source and commercial Web server available in deployments, security, and speed. And just imagine what the Internet might be like if everyone had to pay for Web server software. Apache has been the catalyst for true information freedom, which is a terribly good thing, even if that information includes enormous volumes of painful dreck like your bus driver’s blog.
The Bossie for databases was a tough call, but MySQL won the popular vote. A number of us swear by PostgreSQL, especially for serious database work that requires clustering, high performance, and some features you would otherwise need a commercial database to get. But MySQL takes our prize. It has panache, compatibility, speed, the features most of us need for most duties, and gosh darn it, people just like it. MySQL is almost the Apache of databases. There are many cases in which ubiquity isn't a sign of quality, but that’s not the case with MySQL. It’s everywhere for a reason.
Rising up against the dark commercial overlords of SOA, a number of open source vendors are reducing data services and event-driven messaging to a standards-based common denominator. MuleSource leads this pack in overall features, administration, and manageability, taking our Bossie for enterprise service bus.
Easy to install and deploy, the Mule ESB provides a broad range of connectivity options (JMS, MQ/AQ, JBI, SOAP, REST, AS400 Data Queues, and more), and it's strong on data transformation, routing, authentication, and authorization. The monitoring and management components (via the MuleHQ module) are also pretty good. Mule supports BPEL, .NET services, and the J2EE Spring framework. The company offers 24x7 support services and boasts a good portfolio of corporate and government users, which could help ensure MuleSource's long-term success.