One and a half year after JBoss AS 5.1 and five milestone releases later and the final release of JBoss AS 6.0 is a reality!
Jason Green led the project for most of the time and produced the first four milestones, then Shelly McGowan took over with the goal to complete the release and achieve Java EE 6 Web Profile certification in order to deliver the goods to you. JBoss AS 6 was a great team effort and I certainly feel privileged to be working with such a great group of talented people.
You may read Shelly's announcement about the release here. Any time soon, the JBoss logo should appear in the Java EE compatible implementations page.
So what's included in JBoss AS 6.0, especially compared to AS 5.1?
To begin with, JBoss AS 6.0 is a Java EE 6 Web Profile implementation. Does this mean AS 6.0 implements only the Web Profile? Not really. JBoss AS 6.0 bundles almost all the technologies required by the full Java EE 6 spec, including the legacy stuff, like EJB2 and RMI/IIOP, however, we chose to certify only for the Web Profile at this stage due to resource constraints. (This is also a very good way to gather input and see how many people actually do care about EE6 full profile compliance, just scream in the forums!).
So naturally, JBoss AS 6.0 includes all the EE6 goodies like CDI/Weld 1.1, EJB 3.1 Lite&Embeddable, JPA 2/Hibernate 3.6, Bean Validation, Servlet 3, JSF 2.0, etc.), but also things like JAX-RS/RESTEasy 2.1, JMS 1.1/HornetQ 2.1.2, JAX-WS 2.2/JBossWS 3.4.1.
(For a definitive list of component versions, the source component-matrix/pom.xml is your friend).
Notable differences between 6.0 and AS 5.1 include the bundling of the Apache CXF stack as the default backend for JBossWS (compared to JBossWS Native) and the replacement of JBoss Messaging with the ultra-fast-next-generation HornetQ. The latter distributes also a native library, used as a bridge between HornetQ and linux libaio, for fast journal writes.
On the clustering front, the AS6 replication needs are now covered by the much promising Infinispan project replacing JBossCache, while mod_cluster support is included out-of-the-box, thus JBoss AS6 servers can dynamically discover and register to front-end apache httpd servers.
JBoss AS6 includes the latest in term of JBoss Microcontainer technologies and care has been taken to reduce the server footprint and the boot time. The consoles are lazily started upon first usage and overall the server should feel somewhat lighter than it's 5.1 counterpart (Hint: just wait to see how much lighter AS7 will feel like!).
For those 580,562 past downloaders and users of AS 5.1, JBoss AS 6.0 should provide an appealing upgrade path. I would also like to thank the community for been supportive all along with more than a quarter of a million downloads of AS6 while it was developed and many useful contributions, as Jaikiran pointed out in his post.
So give it a try and do let us know on the forums what do you think, we take your input quite seriously.
Enjoy the brand new JBoss AS 6!