Oracle Exec Says J2EE Matters Despite Murmurs

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2005-03-04

Oracle Exec Says J2EE Matters Despite Murmurs

LAS VEGAS—Oracle Corp.s Ted Farrell is about to give a keynote presentation at a geeky Java show here that he expects will get mixed reviews, but he says he sees both sides of the issue he plans to discuss, so hes ready.

Farrell, chief architect in the Application Development Tools Division at Oracle, in Redwood Shores, Calif., will be the keynote speaker during lunch at TheServerSide Java Symposium Friday. His talk is titled "Does J2EE Really Matter?"

The debate over the relevance of J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) comes up often.

TheServerSide Web site has had various posts both pro and con on that issue, and various presenters at this conference have also challenged J2EE, including Rod Johnson, founder of the open-source Spring Java application framework, who will give a talk Friday on "Why J2EE Projects Fail."

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Meanwhile, corporate enterprise customers tend to like J2EE, particularly as it relates to SOAs (service-oriented architectures), "but you have this crowd that is focused on building smaller applications, and they pooh-pooh it," Farrell said.

"My presentation says J2EE is just a set of technologies … and there are others technologies that people like, like Spring or Hibernate or Struts or Tapestry, but the bottom line is J2EE does still matter," Farrell said. "Its a set of services and APIs that are guaranteed to be there, and thats why its important."

Plus, the fact that Oracle, IBM and BEA Systems Inc. have taken the time and effort to certify on the J2EE platform brings some level of satisfaction to corporate customers, he said. "Yet, with many of the open-source alternatives, the developer is responsible for bringing functionality and files and things into the framework."

However, Farrell said he thinks it is important to bring some of those other frameworks into the standard. So his sentiments lie on both sides of the equation.

Farrell said in the second part of his presentation hell discuss EJB (Enterprise JavaBeans) 3.0 and JavaServer Faces. "EJB 3.0 will help developer that create and persist Java applications," he said, noting that Oracle is keen on the specification.

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Meanwhile, Oracle Friday will announce the availability of Oracle Application Server EJB 3.0 Preview, which enables Java application developers to obtain hands-on experience with this latest specification that is aimed at simplifying application development, the company said.

Farrell said with the EJB 3.0 Preview, Oracle delivers the most comprehensive implementation of the EJB 3.0 specification available today. Oracles is the only implementation that offers testability outside of the container and demonstrates how to migrate from EJB 2.1 to EJB 3.0 to make it easier on developers, he said.

However, Oracle JDeveloper, a Java and Web services platform, and Oracle TopLink, a Java object-to-relational persistence architecture, also will leverage the EJB 3.0 specification, Farrell said. The EBJ 3.0 Preview is free for download here.

In addition, Farrell said the Oracle offering has four rendering kits: an HTML kit, a rich-client kit, a mobile kit and a Telnet rendering kit.

Also, Beta 3 of the companys EJB Server comes "with EJB 3.0 in it, so you can download it for free," Farrell said.

Moreover, speaking about the recent news that BEA, Borland Software Corp. and others, including Sybase Inc. and Computer Associates International Inc., had joined or taken on new roles in the Eclipse Foundation, Farrell said: "Its not surprising to see. Borland was a founding member, and they always had plans to take on a larger role whenever the organization went independent. BEA didnt have a real tools strategy, and they had to do something. There were hardly any customers who had just [BEA WebLogic] Workshop … they had Workshop and something else. But if you look at it, Borland still has a dual-stack strategy like ours with JDeveloper."

Farrell was referring to Borlands pledge to continue to support its own proprietary Java integrated development environment as well as support Eclipse. This is akin to what Oracle is doing with its proprietary JDeveloper while also serving as an Eclipse member.

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