Enterprise Java

WildFly 8.2.0.Final release – Quick overview of the changes

It’s been a while since I last wrote on this blog. Although I have had some topics that I wanted to blog about, I just haven’t found enough time to do it. I finally decided to write this up today after I saw a mail from one of the JBoss community members, checking up on why there haven’t been any updates here lately (thanks for checking, Bhaskar!).

Before I move on to some technical things, a quick personal update – It’s now been more than a year now since I changed jobs. I no longer work at Red Hat, JBoss. My (almost) 5 years at JBoss have been very fruitful and I enjoyed being part of the (JBoss AS/WildFly) application server development team. Last year, I decided to move on to something different and the right opportunity came along and I decided to take it up. Some of you know that I’ve been involved with the JBoss community for longer than the 5 years that I had been employed at Red Hat. I have been a JBoss community member since around 2004/2005, so even though I have moved on from Red Hat, I am still active in the JBoss forums.

Now that you all know what I’ve been upto, let’s move on to some technical things.

WildFly 8.2.0.Final released!

The WildFly team just released the 8.2.0.Final version of WildFly some days back. As usual, it’s available for download on the project’s download page http://wildfly.org/downloads/. This is mainly a bug fix (plus some features) release in the 8.x series. I for one, was pleased to see this release happen because it allows the community to receive bug fixes on top of 8.1.0.Final release, which has been tested/used in the community for quite some time now. The WildFly team has indicated that this will be the last release in the 8.x series which sounds reasonable, given that the development team has already moved on to work on the 9.x series. It’s never easy to work/maintain more than one major version of the code, especially in the context of bug fixes and backward compatibility.

What does WildFly 8.2.0.Final contain?

The complete overview of changes in available in this announcement on Jason’s blog http://wildfly.org/news/2014/11/20/WildFly82-Final-Released/. CDI spec upgrade and improved WebSocket support are the main items in terms of feature set. There’s also this note in the release notes:

– EJBs in WARs now inherit the WAR security domain

There was a recent forum thread, where one of the users asked what that really means. Here’s some background to that change https://issues.jboss.org/browse/WFLY-3102. As noted in that JIRA, this was feature request that was raised in the context of EJBs packaged in .war deployments. Most of you, I guess, will be aware that Java EE spec allows EJBs to be deployed as part of the .war deployment. What this means is that you can place your EJB classes within the .war/WEB-INF/classes or within a jar in .war/WEB-INF/lib. Although, this sounds straightforward for the end users, there are some technical implications to this (given the way Java EE “components” and “modules” are defined and configured within the server ecosystem). One such detail, is the way one configures the EJBs that are part of the .war deployment. Remember that if this EJB was part of a separate EJB module (within a .jar packaging outside of the .war) then one would use the ejb-jar.xml (and the WildFly specific jboss-ejb3.xml) as the deployment descriptors to configure it. This applies to EJBs deployed in a .war deployment too. i.e. one can use those same files for configuring EJBs. Now since these EJBs are part of a .war, the .war itself can/will have a deployment descriptor if its own (the web.xml and jboss-web.xml).

With that context, consider a case where the you have EJBs within the .war deployment and your .war deployment descriptor (the jboss-web.xml) configures a specific security domain for that deployment. Now remember that the EJBs too can configure a security domain (in jboss-ejb3.xml) and if none is configured and security is enabled on some EJBs, then the default “other” security domain gets used. So let’s say your .war deployment, in which the EJBs reside, states that it wants to use “foo-bar” security domain and the EJBs, within that deployment, don’t specify any specific security domain. So what should one expect in such scenario? Should the EJBs use the security domain configured at the .war level or should they default to the “other” security domain (since the EJB deployment descriptors don’t specify any specific security domain configuration). The previous versions of WildFly had decided to use the default “other” security domain for the EJBs in such a case. Of course, the EJBs could use a jboss-ejb3.xml to set a different security domain, one which matches the jboss-web.xml. So that JIRA which I linked to earlier requested for a better, smarter and a more logical default in such cases. So starting this 8.2.0.Final version of WildFly, if you have a .war containing the EJBs and the EJBs don’t define a security domain, then the security domain for any secured EJBs in that deployment *defaults* to the one that’s defined at the .war deployment level. If the .war deployment doesn’t set any specific security domain, then it ultimately, defaults to the “other” security domain. A good and logical change IMO. This will reduce some of the “surprises” that users have reported with previous version of WildFly, when it came to the security domain usage of EJBs in .war deployments.

For more about this, you can read the discussion here https://developer.jboss.org/thread/250375 and ask any questions you have around this, in that thread.

What are the other notable things in WildFly 8.2.0.Final?

Although, not specific to 8.2.0.Final, the WildFly release contain a “patch” distribution which you can use if you already are using WildFly 8.1.0.Final and just want to “upgrade” to this new release. WildFly 8 has patch management built in and one can apply this patch on top of an existing 8.1.0.Final version.

What’s next for WildFly?

As noted earlier, the WildFly development team has moved on to the next version of the project. Work is now continuing on 9.x version which already has a Alpha version released. So going forward, from what I have read, the releases will happen in the 9.x series.

Jaikiran Pai

Jaikiran works for Red Hat and is a developer in the JBoss application server development team. He's one of the authors of "JBoss AS Getting Started" DZone RefCard. When he's not doing anything JBoss related, you can usually find him at JavaRanch, in his role as a Sheriff(Moderator). He blogs at jaitechwriteups
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