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The Sun Java EE Also Rises

As we wait with baited breath for Oracle to finally get the green light on the Sun acquisition, those of us that speculated whether we would see an increased push into the Java EE enriched enterprise space in the new world of Sun have had our suspicions confirmed.
Written by Adrian Bridgwater, Contributor on

As we wait with baited breath for Oracle to finally get the green light on the Sun acquisition, those of us that speculated whether we would see an increased push into the Java EE enriched enterprise space in the new world of Sun have had our suspicions confirmed.

Not to suggest that this wouldn’t have happened anyway, but Sun Microsystems senior staff engineer Roberto Chinnici blogged last week on the Java Community Process (JCP) exec committee’s decision for a go ahead on the release of the Java EE 6 platform specification.

Sun uses the JCP as the mechanism for developing standard technical specifications for Java technology and Chinnici is actually the Java EE 6 specification lead, so this is all part of the logical announcement process. Sun is expected to announce availability of the products on Dec 10th.

I was alerted to this forthcoming news with an invite to a teleconference, which will encompass not only Java EE 6, but also GlassFish v3 and NetBeans 6.8. GlassFish Enterprise Server is Sun’s open source application server “project”, which has an accompanying commercial version known as Sun GlassFish Enterprise Server. Whether Thursday’s announcement will centre of the commercial end remains to be seen.

Chinnici explains the new upcoming components in some detail. He also highlights new APIs in key areas including: JAX-RS, Dependency Injection, CDI and Bean Validation.

“I see a bright future for these APIs and fully expect them to become key components of Java EE applications in the coming years. I also happen to think that the level of integration that we achieved between these new APIs and some of the existing ones represents a valuable principle that can guide the evolution of Java EE going forward,” said Chinnici.

At the time of Sun’s last major release of Java EE (version 5) Gartner commented on Sun’s free use-at-your-own-risk open-source technology and its separate supported subscription-priced distribution.

Gartner’s Yefim V. Natis and Mark Driver reported that. “IBM WebSphere Community Edition and Apache Geronimo have a similar relationship. This approach has emerged as the workable commercial model for open-source software, meeting both the business needs of the vendors and the cultural needs of the communities.”

With the extra Oracle firepower that Sun will now be packing, it will be interesting to see the reverberating effects of these enterprise level open source offerings as they come to market. Will the free options be left out in the cold with little online documentation as Oracle forces a push towards the profitable end of the spectrum? I’m sure it won’t be all bad, but only time will tell.

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