Thursday, March 22, 2007

Java OpenSource Components

Components I am currently using:

Lucene - indexer & search engine. There is a couple of commercial indexers that will work a bit faster, but Lucene does the trick very well. I would give it 8 out of 10.

HSQLDB - (aka Hypersonic) Java RDBMS, really easy to embed. If you want to provide zero admin configuration, check it out. There are some newer projects, even provided by Apache Foundation, but I am too lazy to try. Don't expect it to work very well with huge amount of tables (over 500) and in volatile environment (if indexes and columns are created on the fly, while there is a number of transactions running). For usual CRUD, even with heavy load, it works nicely.

Rhino - very useful, if you need to provide high level scripting for your application (e.g. you want field engineers to customize your solution). It will give you JavaScript access to all your server calls - just don't think of this JavaScript in terms of browsers and their DOM model.

Suigeneris DIFF - text comparison tool (diff, in short). Just works.

iBATIS - if Hibernate is overkill, not mentioning EJBs , iBATIS is your way to implement efficient DAO. Transactions, lazy loading, SQL code separaion from your Java sources.

ActiveMQ - durable messaging. Durable in terms that if your server goes down and up, the message queus will keep their data and order.

Tomcat - no comments. I guess it is harder to get around it than to try it out.

In evaluation

Apache Solr - indexer/searcher for structured data (i.e. XML).
Lius - indexer/searcher for most standard data formats: Office, PDF, XML etc. Just released as 1.0
Both of them are Lucene-based.
JackRabbit - JCR API ref implementation (content repository).

So far not in use:
- good concept, very useful, but overkill for many smaller projects (by small I mean number and level of interdependency of separate components)
AXIS2 - lots of good ideas, but difficult to embed and a bit of a monster (own substructure of class loaders, complicated packaging). AXIS 1.4 works for me quite well, for simple embedded web services. JAX-WS 2.0 didn't work out at all, again because of embeddability into own web applications. However, if you have a full J2EE server, it is the way to go, of course.


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