Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Exploring Java EE 6

I have been using, learning and writing about Spring framework for last 5+ years now. It has done loads of good work to simplify life back in J2EE days. But off late I am seeing and participating in discussions where I see a transition back to the platform again. The reason being the Java EE 6 has adopted good ideas from frameworks like Spring, Hibernate etc and have come out with a lean and thin platform. This has not gone unnoticed in developer world.

Also in last couple of years Spring’s evolution has a framework has stalled to an extent. The core framework and extensions viz Spring MVC, Security etc being stable the guys at Spring Source have focused more on servers, OSGi, cloud and adding more products to Spring Source portfolio via acquisition route. The company itself was acquired by VMWare. So lots of things happening but nothing new or exciting enough in the core area to keep the developers attracted. This is really one bad thing that runs deep inside the Java developers’ veins. They are always in the lookout for something exciting new and better. This makes them restless to search for alternatives. The moribund around the core Spring and extensions stack and gradual evolution of Java EE 6 in the same time has acted as the new catalyst for excitement in the Java EE world.

I thought that this senior and experienced developers are showing interest for definite reason. I have been reviewing and reading about Java EE 6 for last few days and found it interesting, making things easier and I have a feeling that if you have half decent team Java EE 6 can cut down on development time significantly. So I thought of starting to explore this in greater detail. I have also got hold of the patterns book by Adam Bien and reading it. All in all things are looking good for the platform. I had a hard and reluctance to move to Spring from J2EE(I was a big fan of EJB in those days). But now I want to explore and make a quick transition back to Java EE 6.

I have decided to build some useful application to try and test all the different new features of Java EE 6. The application that I am trying to build is similar to OSCOMMERCE (http://www.oscommerce.com/), possibly a clone of this great application. I will try to build as many features as I can when I have time. Initially I thought of using Geronimo 3 for this, but I had to stumble upon some JSF issues possibly not compliant with JSF 2 and decided to switch to JBOSS 6M5 instead. Both these servers are very new in supporting the Java EE 6 specifications and catching up with documentation. Glassfish 3 seems to be there for sometime ready with Java EE 6. But since lot has already been written about Glassfish (including books from Apress), I thought its worthwhile exploring JBOSS (and later possibly Geronimo). Also I am a bit sceptical about the future of Glassfish. JONAS is still on Java EE 5. Before I end, here is the link to the JSF 2 and Geronimo 3 issue which I posted:

http://primefaces.prime.com.tr/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=5635&p=24048#p24048

In my next post I will set up the development environment for Java EE 6 with Eclipse Helios 3.6.1 and JBOSS. Stay tuned!. The road will be pure Java EE 6 and then possibly some other frameworks if needed.

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