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Java EE 5 Gets Thumbs Up in Advance of JavaOne

Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (Java EE) 5 has been given the green light by the Java Community Process just ahead of the annual JavaOne conference, and Sun Microsystems is talking up its benefits in advance of the show.

The Java Community Process Java EE/SE Executive Committee gave Java EE, formerly known as Java 2 Enterprise Edition, a unanimous vote of approval. This clears the way for Sun to hand out the software development kit (SDK) at JavaOne, to be held on May 16-19 in San Francisco.

Java EE 5 was developed in a new way for Sun Microsystems , using the open community process called Project Glassfish. Glassfish will eventually give rise to the Java EE SDK and an application server, said Joe Keller, vice president of marketing for SOA and integration platforms.

"We've done this entire project in plain sight," he said on a conference call announcing Java EE's approval.

Keller considers this the biggest update to the platform since its release in 1999. Jeff Jackson, senior vice president of Java development and platform engineering for Sun, said there were four significant areas of improvement in Java EE 5: EJB 3.0, Java Persistence API, JavaServer Faces 1.2 and Web services.

The new EJB 3.0 spec is considered the most important, he said. It simplifies the programming model by supporting Plain Old Java Objects (POJOs), which can be easily converted to Web services with annotations or made persistent using the Java Persistence API.

Java Persistence works in tandem with EJB as it allows for easier mapping to relational databases. The API was co-developed by Sun and Oracle. JavaServer Faces 1.2 facilitates building Web 2.0 apps with Ajax and simplifies development through use of prepackaged components.

The updated Web Services includes updates to JAX-WS 2.0 and JAXB 2.0, which support the latest W3C and WS-I standards, protocol and transport independence and REST Web services.

To demonstrate the benefits of Java EE 5, Sun rewrote the sample applications that come with the platform, and in the process used 60 percent fewer classes, 80 percent less XML code and 30 less Java code over previous versions, according to Karen Padir, vice president of the enterprise Java platform and engineering lead for the project.

Padir said the company will offer a preview of the NetBeans enterprise pack 5.5 at JavaOne. This new version ties Java EE 5 to NetBeans so developers can write Java EE applications and components in the NetBeans IDE. NetBeans 5.5 will also come with tools for viewing a service oriented architecture (SOA) environment and UML modeling tools.