Sun Betas Aim to Simplify Java Development, Web Services

The company's preview versions of Java EE 5 and NetBeans Enterprise Pack 5.5 offer a next-generation Java platform and tools for building SOA apps.

Sun Microsystems has announced the release of preview versions of the Java Platform Enterprise Edition 5 software development kit and the NetBeans Enterprise Pack 5.5 Software.

Sun announced beta versions of these technologies on Feb. 21, saying these offerings feature technologies that provide developers with the next-generation Java platform and tools for building and deploying Web services and SOA (service-oriented architecture) applications.

Moreover, the new betas feature contributions from the open-source GlassFish Project and NetBeans communities, the company said.

And the news comes on the heels of several recent developer-oriented announcements Sun has made, including the launches of NetBeans 5.0, Java Studio Creator 2, Java Standard Edition 6 (aka Project Mustang), Java Studio Enterprise 8, and Sun Studio 11—all of which are also now available at no cost to developers, the company said.

Graham Hamilton, a vice president and fellow on the Java platform team at Sun, based in Santa Clara, Calif., said the Java EE Platform 5 is a major revamp of the enterprise developer programming model that radically simplifies Java EE development, especially for Web services and transactional components.

/zimages/6/28571.gifClick here to read more about Suns Project Mustang, or Java Platform, Standard Edition 6.

"Java EE 5 went into beta today," Hamilton said in his blog Feb. 21. "Ive been raving at people inside of Sun about how important this is. I think Java EE 5 will be by far the biggest developer event of 2006. I love what weve accomplished in Tiger [Java SE 5] and Mustang, but Java EE 5 brings a much deeper and more important set of changes."

Hamilton added that Java EE 5 "radically simplifies Java EE development, especially for Web Services (JAX-WS 2.0) and transactional components (EJB 3.0). And it also brings a new simplified database persistence model (Java Persistence).

"J2SE 5.0 (Tiger) was a big deal and a great release. But for me its most important feature was the Java language annotations work. That work was specifically intended to enable radical Ease-of-Development changes in Java EE. Now were delivering those changes in Java EE 5 and it seems to be working: Code that used to be convoluted and awkward in J2EE 1.4 is now dramatically simplified in Java EE 5.

"Its all about making developers productive. We want to reduce the amount of time you need to spend worrying about the Java EE plumbing and thus increase the amount of time you can spend on your real application logic."

Sun officials said the new Java EE 5 platform facilitates Web and enterprise application development through features such as EJB (Enterprise JavaBeans) 3.0, the Java Persistence API, JavaServer Faces API and JAX-WS (Java API for XML-based Web Services and Annotations).

EJB 3.0 adds support for programming with POJOs (Plain Old Java Objects), which can be converted to Web Services with Annotations or made persistent using the Java Persistence API, the company said. JAX-WS simplifies the creation of Web services by automatically generating client and server code and supporting the latest SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) and WSDL (Web Services Description Language) standards.

JavaServer Faces 1.2 simplifies the building of user interfaces for Web-based applications by providing pre-packaged components that developers can access from applications. And Annotations greatly reduces the size of the deployment descriptors that developers have to write, the company said.

"Community involvement in the development of the Java EE 5 Platform and NetBeans Enterprise Pack 5.5 Software previews has been invaluable," said Jeff Jackson, senior vice president of Suns Java Enterprise Developer Group. "Combined with Suns own expertise, input of the developer community and our Java platform partners is helping to extend Java technologys leadership position as the premier development platform for solving IT and business challenges in the Web 2.0 era."

Next Page: Suns goals for Java EE 5.