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Sun Preps Another J2EE 1.4 Beta

Expect a second beta version of J2EE v1.4 to come out in the next few weeks. That's the word from Sun Microsystems which is preparing for next month's Java ONE confab in San Francisco.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based network computer maker told internetnews.com that it has all its ducks in a row when it comes to its Web services lingua franca. The only thing standing in the way of a full release seems to be the blessing from the Web Services Interoperability Organization (WS-I) and an agreement of its Basic Profile.

"Until the WS-I basic profile is complete we can't completely release J2EE version 1.4 but our JSRs have been tracking that closely, said Sun Senior Product Manager J2EE Dennis MacNeil. "When it becomes available, we suspect that we will be the first to offer full support."

MacNeil said the second beta is expected to include more tools and processes that will help consolidation of separate types of servers like application and Web servers into one environment.

The addition of the Basic Profile means any Web Service built with J2EE 1.4 will automatically be fully interoperable with any other Web Service that supports the Basic Profile, regardless of its underlying platform.

Sun says it has a ton of momentum going towards the v1.4 release. The company issued a statement boasting a growing demand for Java Compatible and Java Verified products. To date 19 licensees are shipping compatible Java2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EE) v 1.3 application server products. That number is up 46 percent from January 2002.

The company also said the number of J2EE Reference Implementation (RI) downloads is currently surpassing 3.5 million.

The waiting for Sun is reflective of the company's choice to joint the WS-I group and according to MacNeil, is well worth the investment.

"That is part of the challenge working with other bodies," MacNeil said. "It's a compatible market but a competitive one at the same time. One of the things that is beneficial to the WS-I is that you will see a quick implementation of the new version of J2EE and the interoperability is worth the wait."