Java News from Friday, March 3, 2006

Sun's posted the second proposed final draft of JSR-244, Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition 5.0 to the Java Community Process (JCP). Quoting from the draft:

First, as you’ve probably noticed, this release of the platform has a new name – Java Platform, Enterprise Edition, or Java EE for short. This new name gets rid of the confusing “2” while emphasizing even in the short name that this is a Java platform. Previous version are still referred to using the old name “J2EE”.

The focus of Java EE 5 is ease of development. To simplify the development process for programmers just starting with Java EE, or developing small to medium applications, we’ve made extensive use of Java language annotations that were introduced by J2SE 5.0. Annotations reduce or eliminate the need to deal with Java EE deployment descriptors in many cases. Even large applications can benefit from the simplifications provided by annotations.

One of the major uses of annotations is to specify injection of resources and other dependencies into Java EE components. Injection augments the existing JNDI lookup capability to provide a new simplified model for applications to gain access to the resources needed from the operational environment. Injection also works with deployment descriptors to allow the deployer to customize or override resource settings specified in the application’s source code.

The use of annotations is made even more effective by providing better defaults. Better default behavior and better default configuration allows most applications to get the behavior they want most of the time, without the use of either annotations or deployment descriptors in many cases. When the default is not what the application wants, a simple annotation can be used to specify the required behavior or configuration.

The combination of annotations and better defaults has greatly simplified the development of applications using Enterprise JavaBeans technology and applications defining or using web services. EJBs are now dramatically simpler to develop. Web services are much easier to develop using the annotations defined by the Web Services Metadata specification.

The area of web services continues to evolve at a rapid pace. To provide the latest web services support, the JAX-RPC technology has evolved into the JAX-WS technology, which makes heavy use of the JAXB technology to bind Java objects to XML data. Both JAX-WS and JAXB are new to this version of the platform.

Major additions to Java EE 5 include the JSTL and JSF technologies that simplify development of web applications, and the Java Persistence API being developed by the EJB 3.0 expert group that greatly simplifies mapping Java objects to databases. Minor additions include the StAX API for XML parsing. Most APIs from previous versions have been updated with small to medium improvements.