The Java Community Process (JCP) has formally approved the next version of the Java Enterprise Edition Spec. Java EE 6 focuses on what it erms ‘extensibility,’ which is providing more service provider interfaces that can plug into Java EE servers.
It also includes a new set of profiles that are intended to reduce coding by exposing only the relevant portions of the spec for the particular task. For instance, the Java EE Web Profile includes only the relevant Java EE interfaces that are needed by web developers. According to Rod Johnson, founder of Interface21 and inventor of the Spring framework, the new Profiles offer a more gentle introduction for novices to the Java EE platform.
Also, the new spec approves the pruning of older, in many cases obsolete aspects of the specification form its J2EE days. That means that you don’t have to use older, more complex specifications such as the dreaded EJB (Enterprise Java Bean) container-managed persistence (CMP) spec which has pretty much been ignored by developers. Another likely candidate for pruning from the spec is JAX-RPC, the remote procedure API, which was Java’s way of calling web services. In Java EE 5 and later, it’s been superseded by JAX-WS.
The Java EE 6 spec will in turn include several recent JSRs (Java Specification Requests) including JSR-196 (authentication API); JSR-236 (timer for application servers); JSR-237 (work manager for applications); JSR-299 (web beans); and JSR-311 (the API for REST-style web services).
Java EE 6 follows in the tradition of its predecessor, which is to make up for past sins by simplifying and paring down the spec. Obviously, as the addition of new extensions dealing with recent SOA and emerging Web 2.0 technologies, keeping the spec compact and understandable remains a challenge.
Nonetheless, some former rebels, such as Interface21’s Rod Johnson, are now heartily embracing what they previously attempted to bypass.
What’s interesting is what didn’t make the final cut. The bets known include JSR-168, the Java Portlet specification, which has been embraced by several major portal players; and JSR-208, Java Business Integration (JBI), a specification for service mediation that has been endorsed by everyone except Java’s two biggest players: BEA and IBM.
Not surprisingly, brand new specs, such as JSR-235, which would support the Service Data Object (SDO) now before Oasis, was not included as it is still in development stage at Oasis.