Oracle Corp will this week announce the release of the next versions of its middleware platform and development tools. More importantly, the new releases mark the base platform on which Oracle’s Fusion applications will be based.
The releases include the 10g Release 3 versions of Oracle Application Server, JDeveloper, and the latest version of Oracle’s Java Application Development Framework (ADF).
Among the new features in the release, the appserver adds support for EJB (Enterprise Java Beans) 3, the version that simplified many of the most forbidding aspects of the J2EE framework, and support for Ajax.
That includes features such as Java Server Faces (JSF), which simplifies the generation of web pages by decoupling the presentation from the logic to a greater degree than the existing Java Server Pages (JSP) technology.
JSF doesn’t replace JSP, but encapsulates it so you can work at a less technical level. And it also allows you to render with alternate technologies like Ajax, which Oracle claims to have simplified with 10g r3.
Additionally, the middleware and tool supports many of the latest web services security and management standards, including WS-Security; WS-Reliability; and WS-Management.
Oracle Appserver 10g r3 also adds support of WSIF (Web Services Invocation framework), an extension to the BPEL web services orchestration standard that lets you invoke services using Java or other native calls instead of SOAP, such as JCA (Java Connector Architecture) or JDBC (Java database connectivity).
The rationale behind using WSIF is that in many cases, the performance of an orchestrated service may improve if you don’t have to limit yourself to using chatty, XML-based SOAP requests.
Significantly, on the development tools side, Oracle continues to signal its commitment to JDeveloper, which it claims is a more mature, functional, and complete offering compared to Eclipse.
Meanwhile, it is keeping its feet wet in Eclipse by participating or leading four of its projects. Its lead of the EJB 3.0 tooling project for Eclipse is a good example of its strategy: adapt some of its core technology so Eclipse developers can still target Oracle platforms, while still promoting JDeveloper as the mainstream IDE.
Eclipse is much earlier in its lifespan, said Farrell. They made good progress with the core Java developer tool, he said, noting by comparison that J2EE and SOA support are still at version 1.
Another feature of JDeveloper is the Application Developer Framework, a set of libraries to simplify development that comprise Oracle’s answer to BEA’s WebLogic Workshop or Microsoft’s Visual Studio Layers.
These frameworks make development simpler by eliminating significant coding. The drawback, of course, is that the libraries are vendor-specific, although BEA (with Project Beehive) has open sourced some of its libraries to Apache.
In another development, Oracle has added a new integration partners for its middleware platforms. HP’s Application Services consulting group is adding the full Oracle Fusion middleware stack to their list of supported platforms, which also includes BEA, JBoss, Microsoft, and SAP.