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Open Letter to the Java Technology Community

Open Letter to the Java Technology Community

[Full text of the Open Letter published this week by the Co-Specification Leads of JSR-151, Bill Shannon & Mark Hapner]

The Java 2 Platform Enterprise Edition (J2EE) specification has been a collaborative effort since its inception. The cooperation among competitors and the support of some of the brightest minds in enterprise computing contribute significantly to ensuring its ubiquity in the enterprise. Today nearly 9 out of 10 enterprises deploy application servers based on the J2EE platform. By introducing a highly configurable middle tier into their computing architecture, enterprises can leverage their data systems to reduce cost and complexity, offer new and improved services, while still protecting their substantial investments in their existing systems. J2EE is more than just a technology standard; it is a business strategy used by the world's leading corporations to gain competitive advantage.

In order to deliver a careful balance of innovation, time-to-market, and interoperability, a diverse group of vendors and software developers joined the Expert Group to develop the J2EE 1.4 specification, the newest version of the Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition. This Java Community Process (JCP) program expert group has a goal to collaborate & agree on the standard platform for enterprise computing. Among these experts are BEA Systems, Borland Software Corporation, IBM, Macromedia Inc., Novell Inc., Oracle, Pramati Technologies, and Sun Microsystems and a number of distinguished individual developers.

The challenge for the J2EE 1.4 Expert Group was to deliver even more innovation to help enterprises leverage technology for competitive advantage. The clear message we received from the J2EE technology community is that the J2EE platform must provide excellent support for Web services. The ease of using XML and related protocols to build reusable software for system independent applications make Web services a perfect fit for the J2EE platform. To that end, the J2EE 1.4 specification delivers the first platform and one of the industry's most comprehensive support for the WS-I Basic Profile; a set of best practices and protocols to ensure interoperability amongst different implementations of Web services. This makes J2EE one of the most interoperable Web services platform ever.

Now that the specification is complete and has been ratified by the Executive committee of the JCP program, the next step is to release an implementation of the J2EE platform specification for the community. The J2EE SDK will be released on November 24 and will be made available on http://java.sun.com/j2ee. Developers will be able to build and deploy applications on a J2EE 1.4 compatible platform with the SDK or by using products from our licensees including BEA, Borland Software Corporation, IBM, Macromedia Inc., Novell Inc., Oracle, Pramati, and Sun Microsystems.

"As a member of the JCP Executive Committee, Apache congratulates the J2EE 1.4 Expert Group on the successful completion of the JSR, the first version of the popular middleware platform that can be implemented under an open source license," said Geir Magnusson Jr., Vice President of the Apache Software Foundation. "We expect that the new Web services features and WS-I Basic Profile support mean that J2EE 1.4 will meet a key goal important to the ASF as well as the rest of the developer community, namely standards-based interoperability. Through the Apache Geronimo project, we are working hard to bring this interoperability to market via a compatible implementation of J2EE 1.4 under our open source license."

"Borland has been committed to advancing the Java platform and standards since they were first introduced in 1995. J2EE 1.4 represents a major step forward for the Java platform by merging two highly complementary technologies (Java and Web services) into a single platform." said George Paolini, vice president and general manager of Java solutions at Borland. "Borland(r) Java solutions, including Borland JBuilder integrated development environment (IDE) and Optimizeit ServerTrace, are designed to accelerate the application life cycle, and we believe these technologies have played a role in making these standards more usable."

"Macromedia is strongly committed to J2EE 1.4 as the secure, robust, and comprehensive Web service platform that is broadly supported across all operating environments," said Sean Neville, Macromedia representative on the J2EE 1.4 expert group. "It provides a great foundation for increasing return on technical investments, reducing risk, and interacting with customers and partners in more sophisticated and meaningful ways."

"Oracle is pleased to see the hard work of the JSR 151 expert group come to fruition," said Ted Farrell, chief architect, application development tools, Oracle."With each new specification to come out of the Java Community Process, the industry continues to prove cross-company collaboration. The new Web services functionality in J2EE 1.4 will make a big difference in allowing corporations to build interoperable enterprise applications."

"The new Web services features of J2EE 1.4 will be of great help to developers integrating applications in the enterprise," said Vijay Pullur, co-founder and CTO, Pramati Technologies. "WS-I Basic Profile support will make J2EE 1.4 the most interoperable platform on which to develop enterprise Web services. Pramati is working hard to bring our next product release to market, which will add great management and development tool support to a solid implementation of J2EE 1.4."

"J2EE 1.4 represents a major advance for Java technology, Web services and enterprise integration", said Charlton Barreto, Computer Scientist, and individual contributor to JSR 151. "The major industry players have already rallied around the Java Community Process to define a powerful yet flexible server platform bringing the benefits of Java technology to enterprise information technology across the globe. JSR 151 demonstrates the enterprise software industry's commitment to establish Java technology as the leading solution to enable the secure, dynamic delivery and execution of Java enterprise applications."

"By defining the industry standard for Web Services in the J2EE 1.4 specification, the J2EE platform provides a solid foundation for e-business infrastructure of the enterprises," said KangMan Lee, President, Tmax Soft. "Tmax Soft is strongly committed to J2EE 1.4 as a significant platform for implementing Web Services, and we are very pleased to see the J2EE community standardizing on key elements of interoperability for enterprise applications."

"I was impressed with the people involved in JSR-151; they are smart individuals with real world experience," said Richard Monson-Haefel, author and independent member of JSR-151 Expert Group. "The JCP process works well, bringing together vendors and independent experts cooperating to create the best enterprise platform today."

In addition to the efforts of the members of the JSR-151 Expert Group and our J2EE technology licensees, we are asking the entire Java technology community to contribute to the future direction of the J2EE platform. We'd like to encourage everyone to download the J2EE SDK to learn about what's new and improved in the platform. Send us your feedback at and tell us what you'd like to see in future versions of the J2EE platform. Become more active in the Java technology community by joining an online community of developers such as java.net. Your input is crucial to the continued success of the world's most popular enterprise platform.

Sincerely,

Bill Shannon and Mark Hapner Co-Specification Leads, JSR-151

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JDJ News Desk monitors the world of Java to present IT professionals with updates on technology advances, business trends, new products and standards in the Java and i-technology space.

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