Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Lightstreamer 4.0 Released!

We are very proud to announce that the new version of Lightstreamer, codename Duomo, is now generally available.

New Lightstreamer contains many exciting improvements, making it the perfect solution whenever you need to deliver real-time messages through the Internet.

Performance has been improved, making Lightstreamer Server even more scalable and faster than before. It is now easier to manage the system, via the new logging facility and new JMX interface. Many stability and reliability improvements have been introduced across all the code.

Support for mobile apps is now extremely extensive and mature, covering all the mobile platforms and operating systems: Android, iOS (iPhone and iPad), BlackBerry, Windows Phone, and Java ME.

See the "Changes and New Features" section below to find out more details.

New Lightstreamer is quite completely backward compatible with previous custom code you developed, for both Adapters and Clients, but please see the "How to Upgrade" section below to know more.

From a sales perspective, we are finalizing a new price schema for the paid editions of Lightstreamer, aimed at being much more flexible. In particular, it will be possible to purchase individual features in-between the editions. Furthermore, a brand new rental model will be available along with the current perpetual model. This way, you will be able to pay for Lightstreamer licenses year after year, rather than upfront. Finally, we will provide a 24x7 support option for the most demanding customers. To know more, please send your questions to info@lightstreamer.com.

Why and When to Upgrade

We recommend you to upgrade from any previous version of Lightstreamer at your earliest convenience, to take benefit of the many improvements that Duomo brings, in terms of improved robustness, better performance, and new features. It is important that you upgrade not only the Server components, but also any Client API you are using, even if the new Server is fully backward compatible with older Client APIs. In any case, if you signed a standard Support and Maintenance agreement, please remember that you should upgrade within six months from the new release date, that is, by December 7th 2011. After that date, support and maintenance on earlier versions might be discontinued. If you have a custom Support and Maintenance agreement, the terms may be different. Please contact our sales representatives at info@lightstreamer.com if you need to check your upgrade terms.

How to Upgrade

First, download the new Lightstreamer distribution package from our web site. Choose the correct link based on the Lightstreamer edition you are using (free Moderato on one side, paid Allegro, Presto, and Vivace on the other side).

Secondly, you need the new license keys. If you are using Lightstreamer Allegro, Presto, or Vivace, please contact us at support@lightstreamer.com to get your new keys (in the past few months, we started to roll out the new keys to some customers in advance; check with us to know if you need newer keys). If you are using Lightstreamer Moderato, you can get get your new key online.

Then, you can begin the upgrade process. Typically, on the server side you might want to start from a fresh installation of the new Lightstreamer package and deploy your existing Adapters there, after reapplying your changes to lightstreamer_conf.xml and lightstreamer_log_conf.xml onto the new version of such files. On the client side, you should incorporate the new provided libraries into your client code. For both the server side and the client side, it is highly recommended that you read through the official changelog very carefully, to know every difference between the version of each component that you are currently using and the new version (identify the entry pertaining to your current version of each component and read upwards until the latest version). This will take a few minutes, but will give you a full understanding of what changes you are going to apply. Please dedicate particular attention to the red sections of the changelog marked as COMPATIBILITY NOTE.

When the upgrade is complete, you should obviously test the new build of the system in a test environment, before rolling it out to production. Feel free to get back to us at support@lightstreamer.com in case of any doubts, questions, or issues you may have.

Changes and New Features

Below is a short overview of what's new.

  • Massive performance improvements. Compared to Lightstreamer Server 3.6, version 4.0 has shown to use half CPU for the same message throughput, with reduced latencies.
  • Improved reliability and performance for asynchronous I/O and for advanced thread pooling on newer multicore architectures.
  • New logging system. Logback is used instead of log4j, for improved reliability, flexibility, and performance. Many logging messages have been improved and made clearer.
  • New service wrapper for Windows platforms. A brand new wrapper is provided to run Lightstreamer as a service under Windows, with full support for 64-bit platforms.
  • Support for HTTP 1.1 compression. In addition to Lightstreamer's unique mechanisms for compressing the data structures at the application level, now real-time network-level compression in full streaming mode is supported too.
  • Improved HTTPS. Support for client-side TLS/SSL certificates is now provided.
  • Renewed Monitor Console. More indicators are now reported, including an extensive summary of the inbound and outbound activity.
  • Revised parameters for configuring streaming and polling connections. The new parameters in lightstreamer_conf.xml are much clearer and easier to understand and tune.
  • Improved JMX support. All the MBeans are now fully implemented, with several new methods for inspecting the server's state. The connector configuration is much more flexible. Support for secure encrypted JMX connections has been added.
  • New audit log. The auditing of concurrent users (when this contractually applies) is now more reliable, robust, and clear. You can consult the audit log yourself, to know exactly what data you are sending us when you deliver the files.
  • Java 1.4 has been discontinued. Java 6 is recommended, but Java 5 is still supported.
  • Several bug fixes for excellent stability (see the changelog).
  • New Stream-Sense algorithm. Automatic choice of best message delivery option is now faster and lighter.
  • Full support for all newer browser versions (including many mobile browsers, such as Skyfire, Dolphin, etc.).
  • Support for streaming in Android browser. As far as we know, Lightstreamer is currently the only solution that is able to bypass the buffering mechanisms of Android browser and deliver a true streaming experience. This was achieved via sophisticated compression mechanisms implemented for this purpose.
  • Support for HTML5 offline web applications.
  • Improved JavaScript functions (see the changelog).
  • Several bug fixes (see the changelog).
  • Too many news to bother you here... Please check out the changelog!

For a detailed list of all changes, please refer to the full changelog.

Also, check out the new Online Demo Page to see Lightstreamer Duomo live in action!

About Milan Cathedral: Called Duomo di Milano in Italian and Domm de Milan in Milanese, it is a stunning Gothic cathedral located in the center of Milan, Italy. It took nearly six centuries to complete, from 1386 to 1965. The plan consists of a nave with four side-aisles, crossed by a transept and then followed by choir and apse. The height of the nave is about 45 meters, the highest Gothic vaults of a complete church (less than the 48 meters of Beauvais Cathedral, which was never completed). The roof, which is open to tourists, is renowned for the forest of openwork pinnacles and spires, set upon delicate flying buttresses.

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