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Application Server Architecture Provider Roles

Given the basic enterprise application server architecture elements defined in the previous section, we can better understand who plays what role in providing such an architecture within an enterprise system. Figure 3 depicts the primary role players in providing the enterprise application server architecture elements defined in Figure 2.

Figure 3 Application server element providers.

Some of the roles indicated in this diagram actually might be provided by software tools as opposed to actual people, or this might perhaps be a combination of both people and tools. Furthermore, one or more roles might actually be implemented by one person or tool, or one or more people or tools might implement one or more of the roles. However, defining such roles provides a more natural encapsulation of what person or tool contains what engineering knowledge and how these components provide that knowledge to an enterprise application server architecture. These primary application server architecture provider roles are listed here:

  • Enterprise application server provider—The enterprise application server provider is the provider of systems infrastructure functionality contained within an application server implementation.

  • Enterprise application container provider—The enterprise application container provider supplies the enterprise application runtime environment, service interfaces and glue logic, deployment and configuration services, and management services. The roles of container and application service provider are often the same.

  • Enterprise application component developer—The enterprise application component developer primarily represents a domain expert skilled in understanding the business logic and data needs of an enterprise application.

  • Enterprise application assembler—The enterprise application assembler is comprised of one or more enterprise application modules in a cohesive enterprise application. The application assembler also defines any application assembly deployment descriptor properties, as well as perhaps adding or altering the module-level deployment descriptors to provide assembly configuration information.

  • Enterprise application deployer—The enterprise application deployer deploys an assembled enterprise application to the enterprise application container/server environment.

  • Enterprise application system administrator—The enterprise application system administrator monitors and manages the runtime communications, database, security, and computing resources of an enterprise application operating within the enterprise application container/server environment.

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