If you were going to recommend a j2ee environment to your IT director, what frameworks / products would you choose?
Is there a site out there that shows j2ee usage statistics or review comparisons of open-source frameworks? What is everybody using?
We are currently using Oracle Forms for everything, which is awful. Now management is used to quick development because of Forms, and will likely expect the same from J2EE, which I doubt is going to happen. We need to get off this limited and buggy product however. Any suggestions?
ORM: Hibernate. Use Hibernate for DDL as well, that greatly improves your portability. Been using it for large scale projects with great success.
Web: Wicket. It's new (1.0 planned for March) but it rocks!
otherwise consider Tapestry, Echo or JSF (MyFaces).
Plumbing/ usefull patterns (though I don't have the need for such frameworks): Spring, or when you want to work with Tapestry, Hivemind.
Reporting: Jasper. Been using it for years now. Works great.
Scheduling (if you need it): Quartz.
That totally depends on the skill of the java staff.
How much experence?
Very few developers, little or no java experience, and most of them are used to RAD tools.
Chris to be honest, if you have a pool of existing Forms developers that you must convert to J2EE, then look at the Oracle ADF Framework. It's much easier conceptually for a Forms programmer to understand how ADF Business Components work as an O/R mapping tool than something like Hibernate or Toplink. Likewise the Development environment offered by Oracle JDeveloper provides developers with the option of doing as much as possible in a visual and declaritive way if that's what they are used to.
That aside - now is a good time to look at JSF as a view technology, I think the component and "trigger"/event model used by JSF is much simpler for a 4GL coder to pick up and as a technology JSF promises a lot in terms of the kind of UIs you'll be able to build with it.