Java Development News:

Java specification requests move the Java EE platform forward

By James A. Denman

13 May 2011 | TheServerSide.com

The JBoss implementation of the Java EE 6 platform is nearing completion. Early access for developers was announced at the combined Red Hat / JBoss World event in Boston earlier this month. The changes in the new version of the platform are the introduction of dependency injection, updated Java Bean validation, and redesigned data handling via persistent memory cache. Red Hat also announced two new cloud offerings, OpenShift and CloudForms, which provide Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), respectively.

At JBoss World 2011, Ashesh Badani, senior director of middleware at Red Hat and JBoss, discussed new developments in the Java EE 6 platform specifications and the introduction of JBoss Enterprise Application Platform 6. According to Badani, Red Hat and JBoss industry experts have lead the way on three Java specification requests that have lead to "major steps forward in the evolution of the Java EE platform". Specifically, Badani talked up JSR 299 concerning Java dependency injection, JSR 303 concerning Java Bean validation, and JSR 347 concerning in-memory persistent data stores.

JSR 299 came about in direct response to the work that a lot of non-standard frameworks, like Spring, were putting forth. This work was in turn spurred by the need for developers to mess around with xml configuration files. According to Bedani, the new support for context dependency injection simplifies and unifies some programming models around the EJB, Java ServerFaces, and Java persistence architecture and makes annotation-based dependency injection significantly easier for Java developers.

The Java bean validation provided for by JSR 303 is supposed to make life easier for Java developers who are working with validation logic. It allows for a standardized way to look at validation logic across the application lifecycle.

Bedani says that Java users who are already used to the overarching concepts behind Infinispan will quickly recognize the changes put forth in JSR 347. This specification update helps incorporate big data management techniques like those used in Data Grid and J-cache. Such big data techniques were pioneered by major public cloud service providers, but are now becoming a standard component of the Java EE platform.

Industry analyst Judith Hurwitz was quoted in a Red Hat press release saying, "Cloud computing is starting to change the way open source developers are writing and delivering applications. Therefore the market for platform-as-a-service is beginning to expand at a rapid pace." Red Hat intends to take advantage of that momentum with the OpenShift PaaS offering. Support for the new Java EE 6, CDI support and other features are a part of the plan. In addition, Red Hat has stated that OpenShift is designed to reduce vendor lock-in by allowing users to run applications on the cloud provider of their choice.  

For private and hybrid clouds, Red Hat now offers an IaaS offering called CloudForms, which is said to provide automated self-service and scalability, application portfolio management options, and other features designed to simplify infrastructure management.

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