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EJB Frustrations

This is by far not the first time I had worked on a project with EJBs (Enterprise Java Beans, see http://java.sun.com/javaee/), so why am I still amazed at the time wasted in the development of them, relating to configuration issues, compiling time (double compilation due to RMI requirements), slowing down of development environments due to the vast resource requirements of application servers, and obscure error messages? That last point deserves expansion - on Websphere, not only do you sometimes get strange CORBA related error messages on the client which have absolutely nothing to do with the problem, but you also get orb trace files secretly dumped with no warning! And similar on the server with the ffdc traces that get dumped, with a very simple warning message printed in the logs...

I recently reviewed our current system to ensure that errors in logs were extremely concise and at the same time provide the exact details that second and third level support needs to resolve problems. Unique error codes, showing the customer the timestamp to report, User messages as well as technical messages in the logs for support staff, and so on.

Shame application server vendors couldn't do a little more to make developing on their systems somewhat more efficient...

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