At the ApacheCon U.S. 2004 conference here, BEA Systems officials on Monday announced the availability of the Apache Beehive Milestone 1 Release (M1), which supports Java Controls, NetUI PageFlows and Java Web Services.
Beehive is BEAs effort to turn over its WebLogic Workshop development framework to the open-source community to enable the production of applications on open-source server platforms.
With the release of Milestone 1, applications developed with the Apache Beehive framework will support applications running on the Apache Geronimo and Tomcat application servers as well as on the ObjectWeb Consortiums JOnAS (Java Open Application Server), which is a pure-Java, open-source implementation of the Enterprise JavaBeans specification, according to Garrett Conaty, principal technologist at BEA Systems.
The M1 code release for the Apache Beehive project is available for use both in Beehive open-source development and by BEA WebLogic Workshop 8.1 users. It can be downloaded from the Apache Software Foundation Web site here.
The Beehive Milestone 1 lets developers use Beehive or BEAs WebLogic Workshop 8.1 to contribute additional applications and components to the community code base, Conaty said.
"We think that Beehive is the right application model for Java developers," Conaty said. "It lets them build J2EE [Java 2 Enterprise Edition] applications as well as build SOA applications without having to be experts in those technologies," he said.
"We think that Beehive as an open-source project can be a rallying point for the Java community because it leverages so many other Apache open-source projects that it really provides a central development model" for the Apache community, Conaty said.
It can achieve this goal because Beehive "capitalizes on the simplicity of JavaBeans," he said. "Beehive makes Java simple to develop with and fun to develop with," he said.
This kind of simplicity and transparency "is very much needed" in the Java development community, said Tobias Schoessler, a senior application developer working with the United Nations in Vienna, Austria.
Schoessler, who is part of a small Web development team working with the U.N., said he has not looked closely at Beehive to date. But he said he thinks Java developers need more open-source development tools because the existing tools are too closely tied to specific vendors integrated development environments.
Beehive has a lot of potential for the Java programming community because IT technology vendors and Java developers are headed in the direction of integrated Web services development, said Russ Witte, a Web engineer at Wells Fargo Inc. in San Francisco.
The framework should be valuable to developers because it "makes it simple and straightforward for developers to quickly sketch out the Web services end" of Java application development, Witte said.
While Witte said he doesnt do a lot of Java programming, "I will take a look at it, and I will encourage some of my fellow employees who are more qualified than I am to take a close look at it," he said.