Sun billed EE 5 as the enterprise Java platform’s most significant update in six years. It includes major changes to the programming model, improved service-oriented architecture (SOA) support and simplified creation of Web applications.
Bola Rotibi, senior analyst for application lifecycle, at research firm Ovum in London, says the launch is significant because of improved Web services capabilities, enhancements to the JavaServer Faces framework and inclusion of Enterprise Java Beans 3.0, which Rotibi says “has been greatly simplified.”
Java works with Microsoft .Net
Also at JavaOne, Sun and Microsoft demonstrated improved interoperability between Java and Microsoft’s .Net development framework. Web services built with Java will now interoperate with those created using .Net, according to David Bryant, director of marketing for application platform products at Sun. He described this as a response to customers’ belief that they will need Web services to work across platforms.
The interoperability moves are the latest in a softening of the long-term rivalry between Sun and Microsoft, and Sun has also announced more Java components are being turned over to the open source community as part of Project Glassfish.
Rotibi forecasts more of this, but stops short of projecting a complete opening of the code. “I suspect we’ll go along this road for quite a while,” she says. “I don’t think they’re going to open-source the whole lot.”
Another feature of EE 5 is an updated version of Sun’s JavaServer Faces interface technology, which supports AJAX. AJAX — a set of development techniques for creating Web-based applications with the interactivity of desktop software — was “definitely a dominant if not the dominant theme at JavaOne,” Sun’s Bryant says.
TIBCO Software Inc. of Palo Alto, Calif., announced added support for third-party and open-source AJAX components in its TIBCO General Interface visual AJAX development environment.
Developers prefer java
“JRex is basically the ability to have an independent client and connect to any environment,” says Chris Heidelberger, Nexaweb’s chief executive.
Rotibi says AJAX will be a pivotal technology, but there is currently “a lot of hype” around it. Developers need to understand that AJAX is not the answer to every problem and that an improved interface is not the only factor in an application’s success, she says. Better tools AJAX development tools are also needed, she adds, and announcements at JavaOne were steps in the right direction.