September 19, 2000's three-tier plan for success

Author: JT Smith

By Tony Granata
News Editor

Enhydra, armed with an ever evolving software, an army of community support, and numerous Open Source partners, is hoping it has the formula to compete with all application servers, open and closed source.

Enhydra is an an Open Source application server that allows development of Java- and XML-based applications for business-to-business, business-to-consumer, e-commerce, intranet, wireless, and other uses. Enhydra integrates with the Web server of your choice and runs on all operating systems with a compliant 1.1.8 or later Java VM.'s Web site says, "We believe through the efforts of the Enhydra community, the many partnerships to enhance Enhydra functionality, and free access to Enhydra source code, it will evolve to become a product superior to any closed source software in both features and reliability." Here is a closer look at the three ingredients that the community is hoping form a successful recipe.

The software

Designed by consultants to balance the need for flexibility and rapid development, a few of its run-time modules and tools include:

Enhydra Application Framework: Super-servlet run-time environment of common services (session, presentation, database connectivity) for supporting N-tier Enhydra applications;
Enhydra XMLC: XML Compiler designed to support vastly improved designer/developer co-development and create true separation between the presentation and business layers;
Enhydra JDDI: A structured approach to using embedded Java for dynamic HTML;
Enhydra Director: A new module that extends Web servers with functionality that support clustering and failover of multiple Enhydra servers. Session affinity is supported at the software level.

Enhydra is a low-cost solution, its backers say. Because it is Open Source, there is no royalty or cost for using Enhydra, and you also get access to the source code. Enhydra conforms to many industry standards, which backers say, allows you to feel comfortable that what you are producing with Enhydra is portable.

The Enhydra application server serves applications through standard Web servers, such as Apache or Netscape and is also capable of acting as a Web server, handling HTTP requests directly from browsers.

The community

The Enhydra community consists of numerous entities including community sponsors, technology
providers, users, and, of course, developers. is dedicated to supporting the Enhydra community, according to the Web site. "Open Source projects like Enhydra are successful because of people like you," the site says. "We invite you to participate as much or as little as you choose. Everyoneâs input matters, and we encourage you to participate in any way that you can. Come and help steer Enhydraâs destiny."

Community resources include, downloads, online demos, a community library, bug/feature reports, wireless information, a bookshop, reference links, mailing lists, a monthly newsletter, and community resources and events.

The partners

The Enhydra team is partnering with Open Source advocates Evidian (formerly Bullsoft) and France Telecom to deliver an enterprise-class application server. By combining Evidian's JOnAS EJB server, France Telecom's Jonathan ORB, and Enhydra, these Open Source sponsors say they are delivering a highly customizable Open Source application server that will scale the entire range of Internet applications -- from embedded handheld devices to enterprise applications. The integration of an EJB engine in Enhydra is the first step toward a full Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) platform.

Enhydra is also partnering with Plugged In Software, which specializes in the development of business-to-business e-commerce systems on the
Java/Enhydra platform. Plugged In also provides commercial support for Enhydra installations for
customers in the Australia and New Zealand region. In addition, Plugged In Software is the developer of Platypus, an Open Source Rapid Application Development tool set for building Enhydra applications.

Another partner is DigitalSesame (formerly Topware Technology), which has contributed to Enhydra with both multibyte character output and WML support. Currently Digitalsesame is working on the Open Source IBM project Bean Scripting Framework integration to provide JavaScript and TCL scripting support for Enhydra.

Finally, Enhydra is partnering with Lutris Technologies, the original contributor of Enhydra to the Open Source community. This
commercial-grade Open Source Java application server, including Enhydra source code, demo applications, run-time server and development tools, is available for free download and virtually unrestricted use.


In April, Enhydra 3.0 was released, featuring support for Servlet 2.2 and JSP 1.1, load balancing, cookie-less sessions, enhanced multiserver admin, enhanced JBuilder support, and a new "Getting Started Guide." Earlier this month, Enhydra Enterprise Alpha 3 became available, and just last week partner Lutris announced free online seminars
titled "Going Wireless with Java, XML and Open Source" scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 21, 2000, from
10 to 11 a.m. Pacific time. To get involved or find out more email Enhydra or check out's Web site.


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