At the Red Hat Summit developer conference, two particularly well-attended technical sessions were a demonstration of WildFly Swarm, essentially a method for containerizing Java applications, and OpenShift Pipeline, a delivery methodology. In this video interview, we asked two Red Hat executives, Senior Application Development Evangelist James Falkner and JBoss Technology Evangelist Thomas Qvarnström, to explain the benefits of each for cloud application developers.
WildFly Swarm is a deployment approach that packages a Java EE application with a fragment of server runtime into a self-contained, executable, bootable Java Archive (JAR) file. Among the technology's many benefits is the ability to seal packages as a mechanism for enforcing version consistency.
"A bootable JAR can be part of a container application, but it doesn't end there," Qvarnström says. The technology offers the ability to configure container-based environments. "It takes the best of the Java EE application servers from WildFly or open source and makes it into more of a suitable way to run containers."
"The OpenShift container platform, from a middleware perspective, represents a layer of abstraction from infrastructure. We can stop caring about how the underlying infrastructure manages state or disk access," Qvarnström says. "We can focus on what we are best at, coding and developing our applications."
Delivery through OpenShift pipeline
Pipelines support the creation of automated workflows to aid with continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) of applications. CI/CD continues to grow in importance as the frequency of application changes and releases continues to rise.
"Pipelines form an integral part of any integration project," says Falkner. "The primary benefit of pipelines is that it's a controlled way to get your apps and your changes from a developer's desktop all the way out to production with consistency and repeatability." The primary business value, he says, is that the business can evolve quickly and respond to changing business conditions as needed -- even several times a day, if necessary. "The work that your developers are doing has zero value until it gets to production."