Software engineer explains: JBoss


Each month we pull one colleague's sleeve to explain one particular aspect of their job. This edition: Bart Mistiaen - application engineer - explains JBoss.

What is JBoss?

JBoss is a Middleware software made by Redhat. Sofico uses it to run Miles RIA, Miles Core, and Miles Web. The Middleware software functions as a layer between the application and the server. This server can be Linux or Windows. JBoss makes sure that Miles doesn’t have to worry about database connections, queue, and HTTP(s) handling.

Other examples of Middleware are WebSphere (IBM) or Web Logic (Oracle). The customer determines with which one Miles will be working.

    “Every Middleware has its supporters and criticasters, but the most important question is what you will do with it.”

    Bart Mistiaen

    What makes JBoss different from the other?

    Of the three supported by Miles, JBoss is lighter and smaller but has fewer functionalities and, therefore, is less expensive than WebSphere or Weblogic.

    For the normal usage of Miles, the extra functionalities in Middleware aren’t required. But if functionality isn’t supported but required, Sofico is always willing to find a solution. An example of this is RDW communication in the Netherlands. For this example, certificates must be exchanged (mTLS), typically done by the application server. 

    JBoss has limited support, and Sofico has provided a solution (workaround) using a standalone service.

    Sofico started with WebSphere, but because JBoss is cheaper in usage, it got the questions from customers to also support JBoss. It also has seen the trend of customers migrating from WebSphere or Weblogic to JBoss. 

    We even made the switch within Sofico. Now the Miles Reference Implementation (MRI) will more be done on JBoss as well as the hosting (if Sofico does this)


    With the trend of moving towards the cloud, where you pay per CPU and Megabyte, keeping the containers as small as possible is essential. This is why Miles core and Miles RIA are based on JBoss. It makes it uncomplicated to integrate them into the cloud. From a scripting point of view, it allows for a quick and easy setup. 

    Changes within JBoss, like security fixes, will be rolled out by Sofico. "This will be, of course, after extensive testing to ensure Miles is still working correctly."

    If an issue is found, MTT and/or the developers will look to see what is causing it, and if needed, a support ticket will be logged with Redhat ultimately can lead to a fix in JBoss. 

    Within Sofico, new developers already have JBoss as a standard software program on their computers. Consultants are not expected to know a lot of detail regarding JBoss, but if someone wants to know more, MTT (Miles TechnicalTeam, e.d.) is the right place to get more information. 

    What do you need to know before installing Miles on JBoss?

    1. The database to connect to. Miles has one database, data source MilesCurrentDB for which JBoss ensures connections are available.
    2. Queuing system set up. Miles uses the queuing system provided by JBoss.
    3. JBoss ensures that external communication is done via the proper protocols (HTTP/HTTPS/remoting). 


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