Java EE: where's the Ajax?

The corporate suit meets the cool, laid-back dude. (No, this is not the latest Apple commercial.

The corporate suit meets the cool, laid-back dude. (No, this is not the latest Apple commercial.) In the emerging SOA-Web 2.0 paradigm, Web 2.0ers with their mashups, rich client applications, and community-based development approaches may be able to take advantage of loosely coupled services that can call corporate data and applications.

But, alas, such a perfect union does not exist yet. Stephen Maryka, CTO and co-founder of ICEsoft Technologies, doesn't believe Java Enterprise Edition -- the SOA platform of choice for many enterprises -- is equipped to handle the emergence of Web 2.0.  In a new commentary posted at SearchWebServices, he points out that "approaches are emerging to support Web 2.0 capabilities, most of which rely heavily on JavaScript implementations that leverage Ajax techniques." 

However, while Web 2.0 has increasingly become mostly about Ajax, Java EE was designed before Ajax really hit in a big way. As Maryka puts it:

"In the Java EE specification, JavaServer Faces provides the presentation layer, but its current revision pre-dates the popular emergence of Ajax techniques and Web 2.0 concepts. The extensible component architecture in JSF has proven to be well-suited to incorporation of Ajax techniques at the component level, but the problem with component-level Ajax techniques is that they exist within little silos of interactivity that circumvent the JSF lifecycle. What is needed is a more holistic approach to incorporating Ajax interactions within the JSF lifecycle."

Maryka advises that improvements need to be made in Java EE's User Interaction Model, and in the Incremental Presentation Update. "The current user interaction model in JSF is form based, which is too crude to deliver rich Web 2.0 features," he argues.