Java EE 6 Servers Are Too Small, Or Why Some Are Bloated

"Java EE 6 Servers are too small to be taken seriously..." One of my first server-side Java projects started in 1996-97 was deployed on JavaWebServer 1.0, later JavaWebServer 2.0. JavaWebServer was Servlet-compatible way before the advent of Tomcat and any other web containers. The project was a e-commerce portal, which was supposed to be shipped to customers and installed on their servers. Our marketing department insisted on packaging the application on a installation CD-ROM. CDs were new and appealing back then. Most of the software at that time was shipped on floppies.

Our entire code base was self-contained and so relatively small. It was about 600kB-1MB. Our marketing guys freaked out, they said: "It is impossible to build serious enterprise software with less than 100MB - no one will take us seriously". We saved the situation with some high-res splash-screens, PDF brochures and putting the PDF-Reader on disc. At the end our installation package looked very professional with about 120 MB and was absolutely enterprise-ready :-). Bundling JDK 1.1.X (~10 MB) and JavaWebServer (8.5 MB) wouldn't help a lot...
I guess we could take over the world with < 1MB portal these days (OMP - One Megabyte Portal) :-).

Most of the smoke-tested Java EE 6 servers so far: Resin, Siwpas, JBoss, Glassfish, TomTom are smaller than 50 MB. They would be in serious trouble back then as well - no one would consider them as "enterprise ready" and take them seriously...


Link to JBoss review is actually to the SIwpas review :)

Also, the JBoss 6 M5 bundle is 178MB, not less than 50MB. I guess that means its the most enterprise ready of all? :) :)

Posted by Eduardo Pelegri-Llopart on November 03, 2010 at 05:51 PM CET #


fixed the link -> thanks! The marketing department back then would love JBoss - that is true :-).
JBoss 6m5 takes on my disc ~250MB. I just reviewed the last smoke tested servers and forgot JBoss.

Seriously - the size on disc absolutely doesn't matter.

thanks for the hints!,


Posted by on November 03, 2010 at 06:15 PM CET #

re: size on disk does not matter - I agree. The download size still matters - more in some markets that in others.

In any case, go JavaEE 6!

Posted by Eduardo Pelegri-Llopart on November 03, 2010 at 09:36 PM CET #

take websphere - absolutely enterprise ready :-)

Posted by on November 04, 2010 at 12:54 AM CET #

Come prove there theories WRONG.
Come join FishCAT to test GlassFish 3.1 M6. (hard freeze 22 November 2010)

Test :
High availability,
JMS clustering
WebService clustering

Posted by Richard Kolb on November 04, 2010 at 11:49 AM CET #


thanks for the invitation. Bit overloaded - but will try to contribute something again.



Posted by on November 04, 2010 at 12:11 PM CET #


Thank you so much. Even if you just drop in a word. You inspire so much in the Java world :)


Posted by Richard Kolb on November 04, 2010 at 02:55 PM CET #

Wow, I never thought I would ever find someone who also used the JavaWebServer! I still feel the pain of using the HUGE 1MB admin applet - it started up really slowly even over the intranet.


Posted by Petr Jiřička on November 06, 2010 at 12:34 AM CET #


at that time I really liked it. The alternatives were ...not existent in Java land.
There was no official way to put JARs into the classpath, so I unzipped the JWS jars, put Oracle JDBC-drivers into it and zipped it again :-).

My clients expected me to deliver dynamic websites back then. ...I didn't like CGI, so I sticked with Java...



Posted by on November 06, 2010 at 12:45 AM CET #

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