What's new in Payara Server 163?

Photo of Mike Croft by Mike Croft

As we enter the third quarter of the year, that can only mean one thing: Payara Server 163 is here! With this release, we’ve managed to cram in 44 bug fixes, 34 enhancements, 6 new features and 6 component upgrades. One of these new features is the tech preview of our new Request Tracing service, which I’ll explain in more detail below.



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Major Features

Request Tracing (Tech Preview)

Payara Server 163 introduces a technical preview of our new Request Tracing service. We are calling this new feature a tech preview because we don't feel that it is ready for use in production environments in its current state.


This new service, as the name suggests, allows you to trace requests through the server. In its first iteration, you can trace requests through EJB methods, EJB timers, outbound REST and web service calls, and WebSockets.


Request Tracing releases with full asadmin and administration console integration, so you shouldn’t have to go hacking around in the domain.xml!


Notification Service

Payara Server 163 also introduces a general notification service. Our intention is for this service to be integrated into the majority of new and existing services, and, in tandem with the HealthCheck service, act as the foundation for a self-monitoring Payara Server.


Although not in this release, in the future we’re looking at extending this service with the ability to send notifications via email, HipChat, Slack, JMS, and SNMP.


Hazelcast EJB Persistent Timer Store for Payara Micro

We’ve been looking to add this to Payara Micro for a while, and we’re pleased to finally release it! Using Hazelcast, it is now possible to have a persistent EJB Timer store across your Payara Micro instances. This does not mean persistent timers will be coordinated across the Payara Micro cluster, just that there is now no more dependency on the embedded Derby database which should mean more resilience in production!


JMX Monitoring Agent

The final notable new feature that I’m going to cover in this blog is the new JMX Monitoring Agent. This new service can be used to log a selection of the metrics available via JMX to a file. We envisage this service being used to output the JMX metrics to a monitoring tool such as Splunk or ELK Stack.




Bug Fixes

We have a large number of bug fixes in this release, the key ones being 4 security fixes:

  • CVE-2016-3607
  • CVE-2016-3092
  • CVE-2012-2098
  • CVE-2007-6726

There is a much longer list of fixes in the release notes across Payara Server and Micro ( see below).


We hope you find these new features exciting and useful! Let us know if you have any suggested improvements, or if you just find a bug, by raising an issue by raising an issue on GitHub.


The full list of enhancements and fixes is available on the Release Notes page  here.