Java Community Process Approves J2EE 1.4

JBoss signs on the dotted line and becomes a J2EE licensee at long last.

Sun Microsystems Inc. Tuesday announced that the Java Community Process has approved the Java 2 Enterprise Edition Version 1.4 specification and the technology will be available on Monday.

The Santa, Clara, Calif., company also announced that and JBoss Group LLC have licensed the J2EE 1.4 specification and its accompanying Technology Compatibility Kit (TCK) under open source license terms.

JBoss and Sun had been involved in a noisy battle over JBoss licensing previous versions of the J2EE specification and the TCK. JBoss sought open source licensing, but Sun maintained the company was a commercial concern. But now the companies have come to terms and JBoss has licensed the J2EE 1.4 specification. The open source licensing terms came with the JCP 2.5 changes, which support open source use of the Java platform technologies.

However, JBoss President Marc Fleury said his company did not get the open source license as Sun alluded to in its press materials.

"JBoss was charged a hefty sum for the certification suite," Fleury said. "The open source program is not real, it is a non-for-profit program. We are for profit, we are professionals. There was really no back and forth. When we agreed to the sum we waited until a week ago to get the contract. Sun was sitting on it forever."

Bob Bickel, JBoss vice president for strategy and product development, said: "JBoss Group did not receive a scholarship to achieve J2EE certification. As a Professional Open Source company, JBoss Group is committing significant resources to achieve certification. And, while Sun is not lending any assistance, the community is. JBoss Group has created the JBoss J2EE Founders Program to collect the resources of the large community using the JBoss open source project. While JBoss Group is the driving force behind the open source project, the strength of the community and partners are the key foundation to move forward JBoss and the idea of Professional Open Source that is ready for commercial use. JBoss Group committed to signing the contract to achieve J2EE certification back in July. The delay is most likely because Sun wanted to wait until 1.4 was ready."

Joe Keller, a vice president of Java Web services at Sun, said, "We set out to attract open source developers."

He added: "For us this feels like a big milestone. Weve delivered a new release of the platform and an app server in line with that release on the same day."

Mark Hapner, a Sun distinguished engineer and one of the chief architects of the J2EE platform, said Sun will announce the J2EE 1.4 specification, a reference implementation of the specification and a software development kit that contains the reference implementation bundled into it.

"The software development kit has the Sun application server platform edition" in it, Hapner said.

In addition, Sun has added improved management capabilities beyond the basic platform, he said. The new specification includes improvements in JavaServer Pages (JSP) technology and new functionality in the J2EE Connector Architecture (JCA).

Meanwhile, as Sun and the Web Services Interoperability Organization (WS-I) announced earlier this year, J2EE 1.4 incorporates full support for the WS-I Basic Profile 1.0 set of specifications, Hapner said.

Many of the enhancements in the new version of J2EE are "good for people building service-oriented architectures."

Meanwhile, the JCP celebrates its fifth anniversary next month. Sun officials said 233 Java Specification Requests (JSRs) were submitted to the JCP program since the process began in 1998, representing an average of 45 new specifications per year. About a third of the submitted JSRs have been completed, JCP officials said.