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GlassFish vs Jetty: What are the differences?

Introduction In web development, GlassFish and Jetty are two popular Java-based application servers that are used for deploying and running web applications. Although they serve a similar purpose, there are several key differences between GlassFish and Jetty that developers should consider when choosing one for their projects.

1. Deployment Model: GlassFish is a full Java EE (Enterprise Edition) application server that provides a complete Java EE runtime environment, including all the APIs and services defined in the Java EE specification. On the other hand, Jetty is primarily a lightweight web server and Servlet container that focuses on providing a minimalistic and efficient environment for web application deployments. Unlike GlassFish, Jetty does not provide all the Java EE features and relies on integration with other technologies to achieve a full Java EE runtime.

2. Community and Support: GlassFish is an open-source project that is developed and supported by Oracle, which means it has a large community of contributors and users. This allows for regular updates, bug fixes, and a robust support system. Jetty, on the other hand, is also an open-source project, but with a smaller community compared to GlassFish. While it has active developers and a responsive support team, the level of community participation might be slightly lower than that of GlassFish.

3. Performance and Scalability: Jetty is known for its lightweight architecture and low memory footprint, which enables it to handle a high number of concurrent requests with minimal resource consumption. GlassFish, on the other hand, due to its full Java EE stack, tends to be more resource-intensive and may require more memory and processing power to handle the same amount of traffic. In scenarios where high performance and scalability are critical, Jetty might be a preferred choice.

4. Documentation and Configuration: When it comes to documentation and configuration, GlassFish provides comprehensive and detailed documentation, including step-by-step guides, tutorials, and examples. It also offers a graphical administration console that simplifies the configuration and management of server resources. Jetty, on the other hand, offers a more lightweight documentation set, with a focus on providing essential information for configuration and deployment. It also provides a simple XML-based configuration file that allows developers to fine-tune the server behavior.

5. Embeddability and Customization: Jetty is highly embeddable and can be easily integrated into other applications, which makes it a suitable choice for developers who need to embed a web server into their software stack. It allows for customizations and extensions at various levels and provides a flexible programming model. GlassFish, although it can be embedded to some extent, is primarily designed to be a standalone application server and might not offer the same level of embeddability and customization options as Jetty.

6. Technology Compatibility and Ecosystem: GlassFish is known for its strong compatibility with the Java EE specification and offers support for a wide range of Java EE technologies, such as JMS (Java Message Service) and JNDI (Java Naming and Directory Interface). It also has a larger ecosystem of third-party libraries and frameworks that are compatible with it. Jetty, while not offering the same level of out-of-the-box compatibility with Java EE, has its own set of technologies and integrations, which make it suitable for specific use cases and environments.

In Summary, GlassFish is a full Java EE application server, while Jetty is a lightweight web server and Servlet container. GlassFish offers a complete Java EE runtime environment, has a larger community and support system, but is more resource-intensive. Jetty is known for its scalability and performance, provides lightweight documentation, is highly embeddable, and has a smaller community.

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      What is GlassFish?

      An Application Server means, It can manage Java EE applications You should use GlassFish for Java EE enterprise applications. The need for a seperate Web server is mostly needed in a production environment.

      What is Jetty?

      Jetty is used in a wide variety of projects and products, both in development and production. Jetty can be easily embedded in devices, tools, frameworks, application servers, and clusters. See the Jetty Powered page for more uses of Jetty.

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      What tools integrate with GlassFish?
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      What are some alternatives to GlassFish and Jetty?
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      It is a flexible, lightweight, managed application runtime that helps you build amazing applications. It supports the latest standards for web development.
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      It Server is a drop in replacement for GlassFish Server Open Source Edition with quarterly releases containing enhancements, bug fixes and patches.
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