Mastering Java EE Development with WildFly

3.7 (3 reviews total)
By Luca Stancapiano
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  1. Introducing Java EE and Configuring the Development Environment

About this book

Packed with rich assets and APIs, Wildfly 10 allows you to create state-of-the-art Java applications. This book will help you take your understanding of Java EE to the next level by creating distributed Java applications using Wildfly.

The book begins by showing how to get started with a native installation of WildFly and it ends with a cloud installation. After setting up the development environment, you will implement and work with different WildFly features, such as implementing JavaServer Pages. You will also learn how you can use clustering so that your apps can handle a high volume of data traffic. You will also work with enterprise JavaBeans, solve issues related to failover, and implement Java Message Service integration. Moving ahead, you will be working with Java Naming and Directory Interface, Java Transaction API, and use ActiveMQ for message relay and message querying. This book will also show you how you can use your existing backend JavaScript code in your application.

By the end of the book, you’ll have gained the knowledge to implement the latest Wildfly features in your Java applications.

Publication date:
June 2017


Introducing Java EE and Configuring the Development Environment

WildFly 10 is an open source application server compliant with Java EE 7. Once called EJB-OSS and then JBoss, it was always one of the most used in the world. Redhat acquired JBoss and all of the community committed to it in 2005, with effect from version 5. Thanks to an internal Redhat policy, JBoss become WildFly in 2012; since version 8, WildFly is the first implementation of EE 7 by Redhat.

This application server is built with different architectures. Luckily WildFly maintains the same core architecture of the previous JBoss 7, adding some innovation from EE 7, a new set of competitive open source products and a very modular core, which simplify sharing libraries through applications.

So WildFly can be thought of as a set of sub-products all tied together by the same system.

Each of these products has its configuration in an XML file only, so we avoid redundant configurations. There is a web page for each module of these products. Moreover we can use all independent instruments provided if we want a detailed configuration.

The application server is made to maintain applications. A Java application server must be able to manage all classes from the applications; for example, it must deal with duplication classes, managing a more sophisticated class loading system. It must able to cache more frequently used objects to guarantee the fast loading of classes. Since the last enterprise specification, an application server simplifies the developing of real time services providing a wide set of instruments so the developer does not have to write voluminous code to manage asynchronous messages, concurrency, or multi-thread requests.

WildFly remains the best solution as a repository of web applications. These applications become more advanced year after year thanks to a continuous upgrade of the Java enterprise specifications.

This chapter will cover the following points:

  • Introduction to the new stuff of Java EE included in WildFly 10, showing the major details in the next chapters.
  • The Java EE specification certified by WildFly 10 is Java EE 7. We will cover the main features of EE 7 and the starting points for the next chapters.
  • A step by step guide to install the examples.

In WildFly, across configurations, it is very important to be able to develop applications. Many books explain the patterns and strategies of programming, and the user must be able to choose the right developing strategy according the need of the client. Each chapter will get its downloadable examples of web apps and enterprise components, and step by step we will strive to use them.



Good news from EE 7! JSON is included in the specification. HTTP always becomes more default, not only for writing web applications but also for services! REST through JSON confirms the HTML 5 approach and becomes the guideline for not only the frontend but also the service tier.

Undertow is the new substitute for Tomcat, becoming not only a servlet container but the infrastructure that manages all Java EE 7 web technologies as JSON, REST, and WebSockets.



Finally the asynchronous messaging system available through a browser becomes the standard. It's the WebSocket. Each site has its own chat available. For example, banking applications have online support through chat, with an operator ready to help. All this can be used without boring authentications and waits. We will dedicate Chapter 7, Implementing WebSockets to it.


Simplified JMS 2.0 API

JMS APIs provide an interface to send, receive, and authenticate asynchronous messages through Java. They let you develop a client connecting to a message engine. The message engine used in WildFly is Active MQ Artemis, a substitute for the deprecated JBoss Messaging. The difference between this specification and the older one is simplicity of use and development thanks to the new annotations. These annotations will be covered in detail in Chapter 8, Working with Messaging.


Groundwork for Cloud environments

Every new feature and update is done here to get free access to the Cloud. By guaranteeing much simplicity to an interface, the interface becomes a candidate to be used in a Cloud system.

Standard paths or the simplest JNDI names too help to implement this. Infinispan is a distributed cache product and contributes to configuring a cluster better in a Cloud system. Clustering will be analyzed in Chapter 15, Sharing the Web Sessions and Chapter 16, Wildly in Cloud.


Batch applications

A very important contribution in these years is from workflows. With a workflow, you can develop complex systems in very little time.

An air reservation application is a workflow, for example. There are steps such as the choice of a flight, booking, and confirming the flight that can be configured and then executed without developing much code. Java EE 7 gets a new role for the Java enterprise, giving the opportunity to work with XML files to configure steps to add in web applications.

Schedulers too are part of it and they are finally standard. Frontend technologies now include flows with a strategy very similar to the workflows. Schedulers and flows will be discussed in Chapter 12, Batches and Workflows.


Updated web profiles

JBoss 5 introduced the web profile. A web profile is a configuration including only the technology base representing the Web. Java EE 7 included WebSockets and JSON together with old technologies as servlets, JSF, and CDI. Web profiles are a good mode to simply configure an application server in a Cloud machine.


Concurrency utilities

Java EE always gives an alternative to the developer instead of working with threads. Threads are always denied in Java EE because they are dangerous. They risk compromising the correct execution of a Java enterprise component, especially concurrent components. With these utilities, we can use threads with more simplicity, minus the dangers concerning stability of our applications.


Context dependency injection

Many new features are provided by interfaces and annotations in our context dependency injection container. New scopes and new Service Provider Interface (SPI) were added to guarantee much stability to our injected objects. Chapter 2, Working with Dependency Injection will analyze the new features provided by Weld.


Java API for RESTful web services (JAX-RS) 2.0

As for JMS, REST APIs are very flexible and simple to use. Get and post calls become more simple using the annotations. REST is now asynchronous too! RESTEasy is the product candidate to implement these APIs. REST will be seen in detail in Chapter 6, Creating REST Services as synchronous services and in Chapter 10, Asynchronous REST as asynchronous ones.


Servlet 3.1

Java servlet technologies were made for the web developers as an extension to the functionalities of the web server functionality using Java and as access to business systems. There are new good features that we will show, for example the non-blocking I/O, an HTTP protocol upgrade mechanism, and new updates to security. Servlets and how WildFly implements them will explored seen in Chapter 13, Working with Servlets and JSP.



JNDI is the protocol for resolving names in WildFly. This is a standard specification ready since the birth of Java. All enterprise components can be called through JNDI. Here is the syntax to call an EJB:


The java:global JNDI reference is used for the shared name. A name inside this path is accessible by all components inside the same application server.

Other paths include java: app to specify the path for a web or backend application and java: module to specify the path for a module. A module is a simple JAR file that has no lifecycle of its own, so it needs to be used by a third component.


Asynchronous invocation

The increase in asynchronous features is very high in Java EE 7. Each component can now be invoked in an asynchronous manner. With it, EJB and servlets add some major power, which will be seen in Part 3 - Asynchronous and real time of this book.



Now we can use our annotations to schedule events and processes. In any part of our component, we can create a timer and configure its time execution, configure the date and time to start it, and implement a set of operations. We will cover these in detail in Chapter 11, Asynchronous EJB.


EJB Lite

EJB's are very complex architectures, including different EE technologies such as transactions, persistence, remote interfaces, security, and CORBA. Never in a web application do we need all of the stack that an EJB takes with itself.

To make the business logic less bulky, EJB Lite is introduced and can be used in lighter applications. It excludes the following technologies:

  • Message-driven beans
  • 2.x remote home components
  • 2.x local home components
  • 3.x remote home components
  • Timers

We will explore globally these components in detail in Chapter 4, Implementing Business Logic.


Development in WildFly

In this section, we will look at the mandatory inventory used to start development with WildFly 10.

Operating system

WildFly is open source. Open source is a vast world of applications and ideas. So an open source operating globally system will get a regard point by us. In this book, we will work with Linux, a very important open source operating system. So we will guide you through bash console samples. Bash is the most used command line tool for managing an operative system, mainly Linux. Of course, any OS can work.


Usually Java EE and Java Standard globally follow the same path. For example Java EE 7 specifications recommend Java standard 7 as the JDK but none denies to use a major version of Java. A JDK version greater than 7 respect the EE never gave problems, even WildFly recommends using the last version of Java 8 and WildFly 10 denies to use Java 7. So we assume in our exercises that Java standard 8 is installed in your machine.

Application server

Of course, we will use the latest version of WildFly to work with enterprise components and web applications. WildFly, as an application server, provides a deploy system that you can install inside your application and use. It can be done through a filesystem, adding a package in the deploy directory, or through the console. The deployment system will be seen in detail in Chapter 18, Deployment.

The new version is 10.1.0. It can be downloaded from . The installation is very simple. Just extract the downloaded ZIP and put it in your preferred folder.

Before we start the application server, we need to create a default admin user so that we can use the management web console. Through the command line, go to the WildFly root folder under the bin directory and execute this command:


After you will get the following output:

What type of user do you wish to add?
a) Management User (
b) Application User (
(a): a
Enter the details of the new user to add.
Using realm 'ManagementRealm' as discovered from the existing property files.
Username : admin
The username 'admin' is easy to guess
Are you sure you want to add user 'admin' yes/no? yes
Password recommendations are listed below. To modify these restrictions edit the configuration file.
- The password should be different from the username
- The password should not be one of the following restricted values {root, admin, administrator}
- The password should contain at least 8 characters, 1 alphabetic character(s), 1 digit(s), 1 non-alphanumeric symbol(s)
Password : admin
WFLYDM0098: The password should be different from the username
Are you sure you want to use the password entered yes/no? yes
Re-enter Password : admin
What groups do you want this user to belong to? (Please enter a comma separated list, or leave blank for none)[ ]:
About to add user 'admin' for realm 'ManagementRealm'
Is this correct yes/no? yes
Added user 'admin' to file '/Users/lucastancapiano/wildfly-10.1.0.Final/standalone/configuration/'
Added user 'admin' to file '/Users/lucastancapiano/wildfly-10.1.0.Final/domain/configuration/'
Added user 'admin' with groups to file '/Users/lucastancapiano/wildfly-10.1.0.Final/standalone/configuration/'
Added user 'admin' with groups to file '/Users/lucastancapiano/wildfly-10.1.0.Final/domain/configuration/'
Is this new user going to be used for one AS process to connect to another AS process?
e.g. for a slave host controller connecting to the master or for a Remoting connection for server to server EJB calls.
yes/no? yes
To represent the user add the following to the server-identities definition <secret value="YWRtaW4=" />

Now you have an admin user with credentials--,user: admin and password: admin

Once you have created the user you can start WildFly with the following command inside the bin directory of the root of WildFly:


When you log in, the console will show the row:

INFO  [] (Controller Boot Thread) WFLYSRV0025: WildFly Full 10.1.0.Final (WildFly Core 2.2.0.Final) started in 20718ms - Started 580 of 816 services (405 services are lazy, passive or on-demand)

This means that the WildFly application server has started.

The web management console can be used by connecting from http://localhost:9990/console.

In the next chapter, we will see how to work with it.

Build system

Many tools can be used in Java to build applications. Open source products are Ant, Ivy, Maven, and the more recent Gradle. For convenience, as Maven the most popular in this book we will use it to build our examples.

Apache Maven is a software project management and comprehension tool. Based on the concept of project object model (POM), Maven can manage a project's build, reporting, and documentation from a central piece of information.

We will use Maven to manage our projects. With Maven we will get a simple starting point to build, execute, and test our projects. Maven 3.3.9 is downloadable from

Since we have installed JDK 8 in our machine, we can extract the downloaded Maven ZIP and put it in any folder that we prefer. After that, we will need a system variable, MAVEN_HOME, for our system. In Linux, you can set MAVEN_HOME by editing the .bash_profile file in your home directory:

vi $USER_HOME/.bash_profile
export MAVEN_HOME=/$your_home_path/apache-maven-3.3.9
export path:$MAVEN_HOME/bin

The second row lets you use Maven in any folder path. So, for example, in /etc, you can run the Maven command mvn. A Maven guide is not given in this book, but for those who don’t know Maven, we will use only three commands:

  • mvn clean: Used to clean the project
  • mvn install: Used to build, install, and test the project and create the packages to deploy in WildFly
  • mvn test: Used only to execute test cases

All the commands can be used together. For example:

The mvn clean install command will execute both the commands, first cleaning the project and then installing it. If you avoid tests it's enough add the property:

mvn clean install -DskipTests

Maven can be used only in the folder for Maven projects. A Maven project is recognized by a file contained in the root of the folder, pom.xml. It is the key descriptor of the Maven projects. For example in this POM file you put the dependency libraries of the projects. When you install a project, it automatically downloads the mandatory dependencies if they are not present and it compiles with them.

Structure of the exercises

This book provides different examples structured by projects divided by part and chapter. Each chapter excluding the introduction has its own project Maven sample. The exercises can be downloaded from the link provided in the Preface of this book.

Once you have downloaded the project, you will notice a tree similar to this:





If you are interested only in testing the examples inside the Chapter 3, Persistence, you need only to go in the persistence folder and start the Maven commands seen before.


All our examples are testable inside WildFly containers. A good test framework to execute the tests inside components is Arquillian. Arquillian is the official test framework of WildFly. With Arquillian, by starting simple JUnit integration tests by command line or an IDE, we can see the execution inside a container. So in a hide mode, Arquillian starts the WildFly containers, deploys the components, and in the end executes the tests inside the containers. It's a very important product for the integration tests.

Arquillian is configured through Maven in the pom.xml files. Now, we see the details of the wildfly-book root pom.xml and see the dependencies introduced before in the build system paragraph:


There are three important dependencies to work with Arquillian and integration tests:

  • JUnit is one of the most important frameworks used to write repeatable tests. It is the first Java framework that introduces test-driven development. It uses assertion concepts and Java annotations as configuration. Here's a basic test case:
public class MyTestCase {
public void shouldSumMyNumbers() {
Assert.assertEquals(10, Numbers.sum(8,2));

This class can be executed directly through Maven or the IDE using its instruments:

  • The Arquillian JUnit container provides the components to hook to JUnit. It provides the Arquillian class configuration. Simply add this configuration to your JUnit test case and it will work inside a container:
public class MyTestCase {

  • The Arquillian WildFly container manager tells Arquillian what container to start when the unit test is launched. Through system or Maven properties, it automatically starts a WildFly instance if the deployment is configured. Here a sample deploy configuration in our test:
public static WebArchive createWebDeployment() {
final WebArchive war = ShrinkWrap.create(WebArchive.class, "resource-injection-test.war");
war.addAsWebInfResource(MyTestCase.class.getPackage(), "web.xml", "web.xml");
return war;

Through the @Deployment annotation, we ask Arquillian to create an empty enterprise package to deploy. Once the JUnit test is launched, Arquillian automatically deploys the enterprise package and puts it inside the test class so that it can be executed inside the WildFly container exposed in the type of package, in this case, a WAR (web archive).

Although the idea of a framework test working inside a container can be applied to any application server, Arquillian limits its scope to inside WildFly. So it never works in an application server different from JBoss or WildFly.


Three IDEs are recommended.

Netbeans IDE

You can quickly and easily develop desktop, mobile, and web applications with Java, JavaScript, HTML5, PHP, C/C++, and very importantly Java EE 7 support.

NetBeans IDE is free, open source, and has a worldwide community of users and developers.

IntelliJ IDEA

Each aspect of IntelliJ IDEA is exclusively organized to enhance the productivity of the developer. It provides a complete support for Java EE 7.
Moreover, the analysis and the design of the code make development a comfortable experience and very productive.

Eclipse IDE

Eclipse is a moduleable open source IDE written in Java to work in Java and other languages thanks to a good plugin management. It was started by IBM and later donated to the community. It manages all the Java EE components with good graphics tools. In this book, we will use Eclipse, the Neon.2a Release (4.6.2) version. It can be downloaded from

Importing exercises

Now, see how to import the exercises inside Eclipse. Eclipse works with a workspace and working sets. The workspace is a physical directory where we put our projects.

Working sets are logical folders used inside Eclipse as collectors of projects usually organized by argument.

For example, a set of projects that describe a forum can all be put together in a working set and we can call it forum. Another set of projects can be used for an air reservation application, so we can put them in another working set called air-reservation.

The exercises projects, as we mentioned before, are written as a modular tree structure with parents and children. The parent folders are used as collectors of chapters, so they are not important in our system environment. We now create two Eclipse working sets, one for the children (book) and one for the parents (book-parent).

So, when we start Eclipse for the first time, we should set the workspace by choosing the directory we want to use:

Okay, the workspace is ready. Now configure the view with the working sets. Click on the little down arrow near the Project Explorer title and choose Working Sets:

A new window will be opened. In this window, choose the following dialog so we can start to create the working sets:

After that click on the New... button and choose the working set type:

Java is the better type for us. After you have done this, click on the Next > button and create the new book working set:

Repeat the same operations for the second working set: book-parent:

Now select all the created working sets and click on OK to end the configuration of the working sets:

Now we have to import the exercises. Click on File | Import:

We are importing a Maven project so select Maven | Existing Maven Projects:

Click on Next; you should select the root directory for the exercises that you have downloaded. Once you have selected it, you will see a list of all sub- projects. By default the first working set you have created is selected, so choose child projects to add to it and click on Next >:

The same operation must be done with the parent projects. So now select the book-parent working set and click on Next >:

Once done, go to the Select Working Set screen again and click on OK to refresh:

Now we will see a list of working sets:

If we open the working set we can see all ordered parent and child projects:

Debug exercises

With this environment, we can debug our components too. It would be very useful to see how our components work inside the WildFly container. To start the debug process, simply enter the sub-project you want to test and enter, for example, the following command:

mvn test -Djboss.options="-Xdebug -Xrunjdwp:transport=dt_socket,address=8001,server=y,suspend=y"

Jboss.options is a property used by the Arquillian container managed subproject to add external properties to the start of WildFly startup process. So you can pass Java properties to set the debug environment.

In our case, we force WildFly to use the following parameters:

  • debug: This activates debug mode. If set to false, the next parameters will not be considered.
  • runjdwp: transport JDWP is the common communication protocol used to start the debug. The transport can be of type DT_SOCKET used in Linux or DT_SHMEM used in Windows.

Other parameters to add in the transport are:

  • Address: The client/server connection URL. It can be valorized as 8001. Adding only the port we presume the transport running on localhost, the same machine we will start the debug. When WildFly starts, after setting these properties, a JDWP server automatically starts on the specified port:
  • Server: It must be set to y or else no server can be started:
  • Suspend: If set to y, WildFly will wait for one connection by a JDWP client; otherwise it will be waiting. If set to n, WildFly will start anyway, leaving the connections free to start at another time.

Here is the complete command you need to start the debug:

-Xdebug -Xrunjdwp:transport=dt_socket,address=8001,server=y,suspend=n

Once the test starts, thanks to the suspend property. WildFly will be suspended till we start the JPDA client. This client is ready to work in Eclipse. Here's how to configure and start it.

Click on the row near the debug figure and select Debug Configurations...:

On, the item remote Java debugger right-click and select New:

You will see a new window. Fill in the fields like this:

The field port must be the same as the one used in jboss.options so that the client can connect to the JPDA server that was started in the test. The Project field can be one of the subprojects inside our exercises.

Now close the window. We need to put in a breakpoint, so we show the debugger at work. Simply, take a code class of the project you would like to test and click twice on a row, for example:

Again launch Debug Configurations and start the debugger:

Your breakpoint is now active!

Now we have all of the environment ready to work. In the next chapter, we will see tests and how to start them depending on the argument.

In other samples, you will find that Arquillian uses an annotation called @RunAsClient that lets you start test cases outside the container as remote clients. In that case, you cannot use jboss.options to start the debug because it starts the debug only inside the container.

To debug remote clients annotated with the @RunAsClient annotation, use this script:

mvn test -Dmaven.surefire.debug

And configure your JPDA client with the default port, 5005.



We have finished the configuration of our examples. We now know all the focal points of WildFly that we will explore in subsequent chapters. We are ready to start the examples while working through this book. In the next chapter we will start the first focal point in WildFly 10: injection. Read it well and practice!

About the Author

  • Luca Stancapiano

    Luca Stancapiano has been working in the IT industry since 2000. He specializes in Java EE and JBoss, and has collaborated with Apache, Alfresco, Atliassian, EXo, and JBoss communities on several open source products for many years. He lives in Italy and collaborates with leading consulting companies for design and implementation of applications for both government and private companies dealing with information, finance, and transport. Abroad, he is known for his interventions at the Daily Telegraph in portals. He brings projects such as Wildfly, Alfresco ECM, Activiti, JGroups, Arquillian, Exo Portal, Solr, Infinispan, JBoss Portal ,Gatein, Jira, and Confluence, and manages Vige, an open source community specializing in open government and smart cities. He is one of the authors of the Gatein Cookbook, showing Gatein's portal and how to develop portlets with it, published in 2012 by Packt.

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Latest Reviews

(3 reviews total)
Books take long time to write. I understand that its hard to write for newest versions. So when You buy this book its a little bit tricky to make all exercises to work even when downloading the code. But otherwise its a good book to get the concept of how it should work.
I tryed only two positions. The first Dividing into JavaServer Faces API. The author is the best for JavaServer Faces. He explains very deep and understadable. The examples (from other his books too) are excelent. But .. he speak english bad. Understandable, slowly, but with too many pronausietions errors. Mayby it will be better when the text will read computer? I don't now. The second position - Complete Java SE8 Developer Bootcamp. I lisen that with another reasons. But is very good prepared too. Fluently english, understadable. I like to listen that video as an english lessons. Appart latest shopping, I have a lot of ather books and videos. My favorite autor is: Anghel Leonard. The worst is David R. Heffelfinger
I'm a bit disappointed. The book from Michał Ćmil, Francesco Marchioni and Michał Matłoka "Java EE 7 Development with WildFly" is in my opinion a lot better.
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