JavaOne Unveils Good Developments

Opinion: Broadening enterprise roles, complexity-cutting standards and tools invite delight.

As this weeks tenth annual JavaOne conference kicks off in San Francisco, my schedule has never been so densely packed with show-floor appointments to be briefed on an impressive variety of technologies. Everything from Nokias mobile and handheld devices to GigaSpaces Technologies enterprise-scale virtual server infrastructures is going to be represented in my conversations there, and much of what I see will be discussed in an eWEEK Developer Solutions special report on July 25.

Always high on my personal list of critical technologies, though, are the tools that give developers access to the potential of platforms. Rolling out on the opening day of JavaOne will be a developer preview version of a polished and highly capable integrated development environment, built on the Java communitys Eclipse foundation and constructed to offer leverage in using a full stack of open-source technologies. With new visual tools for using JavaServer Pages to create dynamic content, and JavaServer Faces for component-based user interface construction, the 3.0 release of Exadel Studio Pro looks as if it will offer remarkable value at its planned price of $99 upon general availability in August. I received last week a remote demo of the current build of the 3.0 update: It had the kind of completeness of function, intelligence of design and responsiveness of action that I expect of tools costing 10 times as much.

The Exadel demo called my attention, in particular, to the Hibernate open-source object/relational persistence and query technology, newly strengthened by last weeks first beta release of the Hibernate EntityManager that implements programming interfaces and lifecycle rules of the Enterprise JavaBeans 3.0 initiative. The complexity reduction goals of EJB3, and the similarities between EJB3 and Hibernate purposes and nomenclature, have led to controversial and sometimes unfortunately personal discussions about whether theyre just the same thing: It seems more constructive to note that not only Hibernate, but several other efforts have all informed the EJB3 effort and that many technologies including Hibernate will be improved by the existence of that standard.

Meanwhile, I hope to find that this weeks JavaOne will continue a pattern by being one of the highlights of my year. There are conferences marked by tension, notably those involving IT security; there are conferences marked by frustration, notably those that revolve around major products on continually slipping schedules. The JavaOne conference, year after year, seems dominated by what I can only call delight: a shared sense that this is the right technology, doing the right things in the right way, and creating so many opportunities that I can barely fit a representative sample of interviews into my tightly packed calendar this week. I therefore hope to hear from more Java technology creators and users in weeks to come.

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