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ActiveGrid Lights Up LAMP Stack With Some Java

The LAMP stack, which consists of Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP/Perl/Python, is a standard application stack for open source Web 2.0 developers. It's not so standard, apparently, when it comes to enterprise deployments where J2EE (now Java EE) lives.

That may be on the verge of changing, if Peter Yared, a former CTO at Sun and now the CEO of ActiveGrid has anything to do with it.

ActiveGrid released its enterprise LAMP application server and Application Builder products last year, and has since upgraded both to version 2.0. ActiveGrid Studio 2.0 is a developer tool for enterprise Web 2.0 application development that brings AJAX and mashup capabilities to enterprise deployment. ActiveGrid Server 2.0 is the application server part of the equation and provides a platform for LAMP deployment.

As opposed to the 1.0 versions, the ActiveGrid 2.0 versions will also run on top of a Java infrastructure as well, for a LAMP on Java (J2EE/Java EE) deployment.

"What we've done with our 2.0 product line is capture the best of LAMP and let you deploy it on your Java infrastructure," Yared told internetnews.com.

In fact, ActiveGrid users can build their application in scripting languages such as PHP, Perl, Python or Java and then deploy to either an Apache HTTP server or to a J2EE server such as BEA WebLogic, IBM Websphere or JBoss.

The inclusion of Java as a deployment technology is a necessary support for ActiveGrid's LAMP products. Yared explained that since the 1.0 releases, ActiveGrid engaged on a number of a accounts and built applications successfully, but kept on running into the same obstacle.

"Where we started to run into a lot of hurdles was on the deployment side where a lot of these places didn't have the LAMP servers approved yet in their deployment architectures," Yared said. "The ability to deploy within their existing Java infrastructure is definitely a big plus."

Another big plus according to Yared would be if Sun actually did open source Java. Yared is an active proponent of the open sourcing of Java and sent an open letter to Sun's Jonathan Schwartz earlier this year requesting that Sun do so.

"We think it would be great if all the primary scripting languages PHP, Python, Perl, and Ruby even could run on top of the JVM (Java virtual machine)," Yared said. "People have tried to get the scripting languages to run on top of the JVM. The communities themselves build their own virtual machines. Mainly because they are open source technologies and people don't want to run them on top of a proprietary code base."

At JavaOne this year Sun actually did indicate that the JVM would be open sourced, though it hasn't actually happened yet. Sun also improved the license under which Java Platform, Standard Edition (Java SE) 5.0 is distributed so that Linux distributions could more easily include it.

Running LAMP on Java, though, isn't quite the same as running LAMP natively on its own. Yared admitted that it is in fact slower.

"The main reason is that the JVM is not as good or efficient at dealing with dynamic languages," Yared explained. "That is supposed to be fixed in the upcoming Java 6 release, called Mustang.