I was pleased to noticed the near release status of the JBoss Profiler. It runs as an MBean plugged into the MBean Server and uses the JVM Profiler Interface and JVM Tool Interface spec to do some pretty powerful profiling on the JBoss Environment. It’s in CR4 stage now, and I will be testing it while doing some work for a client. I will document any interesting experiences here. Im the meantime there is decent documentation and the JBoss World slides available for download, so nothing to stop you from trying it yourself.
I am not one who takes that much pleasure in selling. I like working with good technology though. The good thing about being forced to prepare a technical demo is that you become re-familiarised with technology, and sometimes even exposed to new things.
What I am amazed about these days is that whenever I need to prepare a technical demo on one of the open source products or frameworks that I make my business with, I am more impressed. So this is good, because then I walk into that room of prospective clients actually impressed by what I am going to show them. So far this has worked without fail.
Once apon a time I used to prepare similar things for proprietary software. It is much easier with open source. I think this is because the provider is making no assumptions about who you are, and thus they want to make it as easy as possible for you to install and work with the product, and then to experience its features. The documentation is great, the installation hassle-free. You could be a developer, and end-user, a corporate decision maker, or someone like me. Nobody is paying me to do that demo. There is (usually) no big funded sales team who wine and dine potential customers. The product must speak for itself.
A potential client asked me to list the disadvantages of using JBoss over Websphere. I told them that you won't get taken to play golf.
We have been doing more and more work with the Business Inteligence platform Pentaho. Pentaho is a beautiful integration of existing free and open source software frameworks and libraries. For example, look under the hood and you find Jasper, Mondian, Birt and a long list of others. Pentaho can run in any J2EE application server, but when the best of these is free as in beer and freedom, the choice is easy.
The end result of the successful integration is an enterprise-ready business intelligence engine which will do anything from scheduled PDF report mailings to allowing analysts to interrogate multi-dimentional live data (also known as cubes) to support complex data imports via the latest member of the Pentaho stable, Kettle.
What I like about Pentaho is the ability to drop down into the dirty bits if you need to, and as an enterprise Java developer I am comfortable with the environment that the various components are housed in. Most users of Pentaho will not need to look further then their browser or the Birt Eclipse Report Designer though.
I will be posting more on this tool as we become familiar with aspects such as Kettle. I am interested to know if data can ever be elegant, esspecially on the way in.