Sun Releases Java EE 6

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2009-12-10 Print this article Print

Sun Microsystems has announced the release of the Java Platform Enterprise Edition 6 (Java EE 6) along with industry support from Java technology licensees including Caucho, IBM, Oracle and Red Hat.

Sun Microsystems has announced the release of the Java Platform Enterprise Edition 6 along with industry support from Java technology licensees including Caucho, IBM, Oracle and Red Hat.

Java EE is a leading platform for web and enterprise application development and deployment. The Java EE SDK has been downloaded more than 18 million times and the specification is supported by 28 licensees that market Java EE compatible-products. Developers can download and begin deploying Java EE applications today using the Java EE SDK available here.

The Java Community Process (JCP) approved Java EE 6 under Java Specification Request (JSR) 316 at the end of November. The JCP is a collaborative community effort, which includes a large group of industry leading companies and organizations -- including Apache, Caucho, Eclipse, Fujitsu, Google, HP, IBM, Oracle, Red Hat and SAP AG -- along with independent community members.

Among the new features introduced in Java EE 6 is Profiles, which target the platform at specific application scenarios. Profiles provides more flexibility for customers, ISVs and platform vendors and allows them to better address new and existing markets.

For instance, the lightweight Web Profile is designed to specifically address Web application deployment scenarios that may not require the full enterprise functionality of the broader Java EE platform, Sun said. Coupled with significant improvements to the existing specifications, and the introduction of Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB) 3.1 Lite technology, the Web Profile enables Web developers to quickly and easily build applications without the need to build and manage a "custom stack." In addition, developers requiring the power of the full platform can easily move from the Web Profile to the complete Java EE 6 platform, Sun officials said. Additional profiles are expected to be defined in the future through the Java Community Process to address different application scenarios.

"Over the years the Java EE platform has grown and matured to cover a wide range of enterprise and Web application needs," said Karen Tegan Padir, vice president of MySQL and Software Infrastructure at Sun, in a statement. "Java EE 6 is designed to be more lightweight and modular to help simplify development, serve more applications and address various deployment scenarios. The innovative features and productivity improvements now available in Java EE 6 are the result of an extensive, collaborative development effort between Sun, the JCP and open source community members. The introduction of Java EE 6 Profiles brings new flexibility to the platform and helps to address the needs of the various communities by adding new functionality and ease of use capabilities. We expect Profiles to usher in a new era of innovation and the possibility of many exciting new products for the Java EE platform."

Java EE 6 also defines extensibility features as a means to embrace and support external communities and innovations and allow them to cleanly "plug in" to the platform, Sun said. In addition, Java EE 6 specifies a process and a set of technologies that may be "pruned" from future releases of the platform, allowing vendors and application providers to plan their migration to newer technologies that will be offered in upcoming versions of the platform.

Kevin Schmidt, director of product management and marketing for Sun's Application Platform organization, said the new version of Java EE provides a more extensible, more flexible platform through profiles and pruning. He said the release of Java EE 6 comes nearly 10 years to the day since the release of Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EE) 1.2, which shipped on Dec. 12, 1999.

Tom Kincaid, executive director of Sun's Application Platform organization, said Java EE 6 was designed to deliver developer productivity, ease of application development, flexibility and extensibility. The goal was "to make common development tasks work more easily and to shorten the time" it takes to build applications. For example, a task that might take 20 lines of code and multiple source files now takes two lines of code and one source file under Java EE 6, Kincaid said.

The latest Java EE SDK delivers enterprise and Web development technologies that leverage the first implementation of the Java EE 6 platform. Some of the enhancements include: the introduction of Context and Dependency Injection and EJB 3.1 Lite technologies, the simplification of adding EJBs to Web application war files without having to create additional packaging artifacts, the ability to drag and drop third-party frameworks through the Web-fragments.xml in servlets, the addition of numerous annotations across the platform to make it easier to build applications and the ability to embed EJBs into standalone applications to facilitate testing. A complete list of all the features of Java EE 6 is available at:

In addition to Java EE 6, Sun also announced the release of the GlassFish v3 application server and the NetBeans 6.8 integrated development environment (IDE). The Java EE 6 Reference Implementation, Technology Compatibility Kit (TCK) and SDK are available now. It is available as a free download at:  

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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