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Getting Started on Java EE 5

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Well, you guessed it right. The first change in J2EE 5 is there is no 2 anymore. It is now simply, Java Enterprise Edition (Java EE).

The first thought that comes to mind is "What is new and different in Java EE 5 from J2EE 4". To answer that, here are some features that were introduced in the new version:

  • The biggest change has been introduction of EJB3 which, in short, is now annotation based POJO beans. This eliminates the need for implementing Remote interfaces, creating XML configurations and makes them much easier to unit test.
  • JPA (Java Persistence API) for EJB persistence has changed significantly as well. It has been heavily influenced by technologies like Hibernate, Toplink which are one of the commonly used ORM frameworks these days. Again annotations are used to map objects (beans) to relational DB rather than XML configurations to help simplify the maintenance of the code base.
  • JSF has been introduced in the web tier which is a Java standard (JSR 127). And as claimed, it provides clean separation of presentation and behaviour, better than any other frameworks. Also, being a Java standard it provides the benefit of standardisation of tools and solutions provided on top of it.
  • JAX-WS - A new web services programming model has been introduced. Some of the features are simpler programming model, integration with JAXB, and support for REST-Style services
  • and finally, there is less XML configuration needed. Here is a quote from Sun's website
    • "Additionally, application packaging has been simplified in ways that go beyond what annotations allow. For instance, a Java EE 5 platform application is no longer required to contain an application.xml descriptor. If the descriptor is missing, the server automatically determines the type of each contained module through inspection and use of sensible defaults based on the file extension and contents."

Will it make development faster and easier?
An interesting comparison was done by Oracle by implementing well-known applications from Java Blueprints to show the simplification made by Java EE5 as compared to J2EE 1.4. Here are the results

More details ...
Here are some of the links which cover more details on the changes made in Java EE 5 and some tutorials:

Java EE 5 Compliant Application servers
There are quite a few Application Servers available already which are Java EE 5 certified. Some of the well known are:

  1. Glassfish (Open source), and few based on it like Sun Application Server Edition 9.0
  2. Apache Geronimo (Open source), and few based on it like IBM Application server Community Edition
  3. Weblogic 10
  4. JEUS 6, from TmaxSoft
  5. SAP NetWeaver Application Server, from SAP
Published at DZone with permission of its author, Aditya Bhardwaj.

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