Mark Stephens Mark has been working with Java and PDF since 1999 and is a big NetBeans fan. He enjoys speaking at conferences. He has an MA in Medieval History and a passion for reading.

What does GlassFish actually do?

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GlassFish has a ‘bit of a sales’ problem. It is a multi-purpose utility that is very flexible. So it is not really very easy to sum it up in a simple ‘It does X’ statement. It is defined as an Application Server, but what does that actually mean?

We have a lot of sympathy for this (as we hit a similar problem when trying to explain exactly what our Java PDF library does). Sometimes even we are surprised at what our customers use it for.

So the best way to explain what it does is to give some examples. So what do we use GlassFish for? GlassFish is a really easy way to add an interactive web front end onto some Java programs (among other things). You can see it in action on our online PDF to HTML5 converter. It has made it really easy for us to give people access via the Internet and it does all the heavy lifting and the hard work for us.

If you want a better description of what GlassFish actually does, come along to the free GlassFish Event just before JavaOne San Francisco starts where you will see lots of examples of its usage and meet the GlassFish team. I will be there and looking forward to finding out what an Application Server actually does…

This post is part of our “GlassFish Articles Index” series. In these articles, we aim to explore GlassFish in different ways, from useful tutorials to JavaOne and general.



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Mark Stephens Mark has been working with Java and PDF since 1999 and is a big NetBeans fan. He enjoys speaking at conferences. He has an MA in Medieval History and a passion for reading.

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