HomeDigital EditionSys-Con RadioSearch Java Cd
Advanced Java AWT Book Reviews/Excerpts Client Server Corba Editorials Embedded Java Enterprise Java IDE's Industry Watch Integration Interviews Java Applet Java & Databases Java & Web Services Java Fundamentals Java Native Interface Java Servlets Java Beans J2ME Libraries .NET Object Orientation Observations/IMHO Product Reviews Scalability & Performance Security Server Side Source Code Straight Talking Swing Threads Using Java with others Wireless XML

By the time you get this issue, JavaOne will be around the corner. Or you picked up this issue at the conference itself. This is JavaOne’s seventh year – and for J2EE, it seems that the middle-tier component wars are over, with J2EE clearly emerging as the winning platform for the enterprise.

J2EE has come a long way since the basis of Java’s distributed component model, Enterprise JavaBeans, was first established in 1997. The emergence of J2EE as a separate edition of the Java platform has definitely helped to promote it in enterprise applications. However, standard third-party components that can be applied across a variety of applications are still not commonly available.

It’s not that easy for someone to pick up a shopping cart component that will integrate with a variety of commerce applications. The J2EE component market is still limited to trees and charts and graphs. Application server vendors offer commerce components, but these are not usually coupled tightly with the app server’s environment. For example, leading app server vendors like BEA, IBM, and Sun offer a catalog component. However, despite appearances, I have yet to see one vendor’s catalog applied in another vendor’s runtime environment. In fact, Sun openly admits that its iPlanet SellerXpert catalog doesn’t run on other application servers.

Other vendors like ATG and Macromedia (Allaire) are no longer vying for a place in the J2EE application server race. A couple of years ago, these vendors were touting their own J2EE application servers and offering the complete e-business platform. They still offer J2EE app servers, but these are typically used as example implementations and are not meant for prime time. Now these vendors are content with an integration story that claims compatibility with the leading application servers. In theory, the commerce products offered by these vendors should be able to run on applications developed on J2EE app servers.

The J2EE component market is still developing on several fronts. The good news is that there’s enough traction behind J2EE to warrant this growth. App servers are moving toward commodity software; in some cases, they’ll end up as a package deal with hardware platforms. Commerce components are emerging as out-of-the-box components that can be used across app servers. We should see more growth in this market; I believe there’s enough opportunity in this market for new businesses. In the past couple of years J2EE has established the APIs and components for legacy integration through the Java Connector Architecture, JMS, and Web services components.

This brings me back to JavaOne. J2EE and Web services are the hot topics for the conference with the greatest number of sessions (48 and 63, respectively). The Web EJB 2.0 spec has been out for several months now, and you should see some feedback, good and bad, from folks who have applied it in real-world applications. Enterprise integration through JCA has been gaining momentum over the past year and there are examples of new solution architectures that cover this technology. There will also be several sessions on J2EE 1.3 and the application server market. Web services is closely tied to J2EE in the Java universe. Sessions under this topic will cover Java’s XML Pack and the Java XML APIs, as well as building Web services.

With the downturn in the economy, I think we can all expect to see serious real-world application examples, as the industry can no longer afford to experiment on unproven business models. It’s gratifying to see that the J2EE platform has withstood the effects of the economy and is forging ahead to pave the way for next-generation enterprise applications.

Author Bio
Ajit Sagar is the J2EE editor of JDJ and the founding editor and editor-in-chief of XML-Journal. A lead architect with Metavonni, LC, based in Dallas, he’s well versed in Java, Web, and XML technologies.

[email protected]

All Rights Reserved
Copyright ©  2004 SYS-CON Media, Inc.
  E-mail: [email protected]

Java and Java-based marks are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries. SYS-CON Publications, Inc. is independent of Sun Microsystems, Inc.