Getting Java programmers up to speed on Java EE 7 need not be a 'Pilgrimage'

Here we take a look at the top five features of Java EE 7 that traditional J2EE and standard edition Java developers will want to familiarize themselves. There are some cool features in Java EE 7, but they're evolutionary, not revolutionary, so a little Java knowledge goes a long way.

If you've been working primarily with older J2EE versions and haven't spent much time digging into the new features available in Java EE 7, it's time to get up to speed. You can still rely on your existing skillset, but this is a great opportunity to add to your Java development repertoire with this more flexible and user-friendly specification. TheServerSide asked Peter Pilgrim, author of the Java EE 7 Developer Handbook, which features old school J2EE developers should familiarize themselves with in version 7.

Five Java EE 7 features that will make you program like a pro:

  1. "If you're still using J2EE, that's so long ago that you're missing RESTful services like JAX-RS. That's very important for lots of businesses I've come across now. RESTful web services are the way of linking a new website that relies on JavaScript such as angularjs to these services that actually store data in databases somewhere." Pilgrim also points out that JPA 2.1 is also a good thing to check out if you are still storing data in relational databases on the backend.
  2. If you are leapfrogging from legacy J2EE all the way to the bleeding edge of business, Peter says WebSockets may be helpful. That's certainly true if your organization is going mobile and working with HTML5.
  3. Even more traditional tools like servlets also deserve attention – particularly the use of servlet filters for authentication.
  4. Another thing to look at is the Concurrency API for Java EE 7 which helps get around the problem of the application not knowing about the threads that you may want to spawn in the application. "Now you are allowed to have threads that are managed by the container."
  5. If you are working in the web world, Pilgrim mentions that the JSON processing API is very helpful to build JSON objects programmatically, all of which is playing a big role in SOA based services. Programmers still need a way to bind a Java POJO directly to JSON objects. So, watch for this in the next specification.

Are you just starting to explore Java EE 7? What cool new features are attracting your attention? Let us know.

You can follow Peter Pilgrim on Twitter: @peter_pilgrim. You can also buy his Java EE 7 Developer Handbook on Amazon.

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