Sun Microsystems has announced the general availability of its small-footprint Java System Application Server Platform Edition 8, designed for developer productivity with tools to help deploy applications quickly. It is completely free of license fees for development, deployment, and redistribution, "making it suitable for broad adoption and embedding in third-party systems and applications."
The Java System Application Server Platform Edition 8 is the first commercially available version of the Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EE) 1.4 specification, featuring rigorous J2EE standard compliance and Web services interoperability through support of the WS-I Basic Profile. "It offers a complete Web services infrastructure, including the Java API for XML Messaging (JAXM), Java API for XML Processing (JAXP), Java API for XML Registries (JAXR), Java API for XML-based RPC (JAX-RPC), SOAP and WSDL. Its high-performance Java Message Service (JMS) provider delivere enterprise-class application services and Web services. The new J2EE Connector Architecture version 1.5 featuring bi-directional connectivity for access to enterprise applications supports standardized J2EE deployment APIs, making it easier to deploy to the application server using industry-standard Java technology IDEs such as NetBeans. Java System Application Server Platform Edition 8 supports the new JavaServer Faces 1.0 APIs for building powerful GUIs for J2EE technology-based applications. It also supports the JavaServer Pages (JSP) Standard Tag Library (JSTL), which encapsulates core functionality common to applications that use JSP pages."
A migration tool is available for migrating J2EE applications that were developed on other J2EE application servers. An updated version of the popular J2EE 1.4 SDK, free for both development and deployment, is also available for download.
From the Announcement
"Sun has played a leadership role in the application server market, being the first solution to drive the convergence of XML and Java technology into Web services, and then changing the economics of Web services by offering production versions of the application server for free," said Mark Bauhaus, vice president of Java Web Services, Sun Microsystems. "The dramatic success of the developer release of Sun Java Application Server 8 clearly illustrates that Sun's solution is well aligned with the needs of companies that are in the process of developing and deploying secure Web services today."
The Java System Application Server Platform Edition 8 is designed for developer productivity with tools to help deploy applications quickly. With a small-footprint J2EE platform suitable for broad adoption and embedding in third-party systems and applications, the Java System Application Server Platform Edition 8 brings J2EE 1.4 technology into volume markets. The Java System Application Server Platform Edition 8 is the default container for the NetBeans open source integrated development environment (IDE), and Sun's development tools product line including Java Studio Standard, Java Studio Enterprise, and the upcoming Java Studio Creator. It is completely free of license fees for development, deployment and redistribution, with support available for an additional charge.
In addition to being the first fully Compatible implementation of the J2EE 1.4 platform, the Sun Java System Application Server Platform Edition 8 includes two new technologies for building the Web tier of J2EE technology-based applications: JavaServer Faces, which simplifies building user interfaces by providing reusable UI components for use in Web applications, and the JavaServer Pages (JSP) Standard Tag Library (JSTL), which encapsulates core functionality common to applications that use JSP pages...
Sun's J2EE SDK is one of the most popular software kits being used by Java developers today. Historically developers have used the SDK only for development purposes, deploying on commercially available J2EE application servers of their choice. With the release of J2EE version 1.4, the J2EE SDK has been licensed for use in both development and deployment environments, providing a seamless end-to-end development and deployment experience and helping speed time to market.
The J2EE 1.4 SDK includes blueprints, tutorials and a fully J2EE 1.4-Compatible application server, as well as comprehensive Web services support. For more information about J2EE technology or to download the J2EE 1.4 SDK, visit http://java.sun.com/j2ee/1.4/.
The Java System Application Server Platform Edition 8 is free and can be downloaded from http://java.sun.com/j2ee/1.4/download-sdk.html. Sun has also provided migration tools to easily move applications running on the J2EE Reference Implementation 1.3/1.4 Beta1, Sun ONE Application Server 6.x/7.x, Sun ONE Web Server 6.0, WebLogic Server 5.1/6.0/6.1, WebSphere Application Server 4.0, JBoss 3.0 and Apache Tomcat 4.1. The migration tool can be downloaded from http://www.java.sun.com/j2ee/tools/migration/.
About JavaServer Faces
"Developed through the Java Community Process under JSR-127, JavaServer Faces technology establishes the standard for building server-side user interfaces. With the contributions of the expert group, the JavaServer Faces APIs are being designed so that they can be leveraged by tools that will make web application development even easier...
The technology includes: (1) a set of APIs for representing UI components and managing their state, handling events and input validation, defining page navigation, and supporting internationalization and accessibility; (2) a JavaServer Pages (JSP) custom tag library for expressing a JavaServer Faces interface within a JSP page...
Designed to be flexible, JavaServer Faces technology leverages existing, standard UI and web-tier concepts without limiting developers to a particular mark-up language, protocol, or client device. The UI component classes included with JavaServer Faces technology encapsulate the component functionality, not the client-specific presentation, thus enabling JavaServer Faces UI components to be rendered to various client devices. By combining the UI component functionality with custom renderers, which define rendering attributes for a specific UI component, developers can construct custom tags to a particular client device. As a convenience, JavaServer Faces technology provides a custom renderer and a JSP custom tag library for rendering to an HTML client, allowing developers of Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EE) applications to use JavaServer Faces technology in their applications.
Ease-of-use being the primary goal, the JavaServer Faces architecture clearly defines a separation between application logic and presentation while making it easy to connect the presentation layer to the application code. This design enables each member of a web application development team to focus on his or her piece of the development process, and it also provides a simple programming model to link the pieces together. For example, web page developers with no programming expertise can use JavaServer Faces UI component tags to link to application code from within a web page without writing any scripts..." [adapted from the overview]
Migration Tool for Sun Java System Application Server Platform Edition 8
The Migration Tool for Sun Java System Application Server Platform Edition 8 (hereafter called the Migration Tool) is used to migrate J2EE applications that were developed on other J2EE application servers to Sun Java System Application Server Platform Edition 8...
The Migration Tool supports the migration of applications to the Application Server from the following source application servers:
- J2EE Reference Implementation 1.3/1.4 Beta1
- Sun ONE Application Server 6.x/7.x
- Sun ONE Web Server 6.0
- WebLogic Server 5.1/6.0/6.1
- WebSphere Application Server 4.0
- JBoss 3.0
- Apache Tomcat 4.1 [source: release notes]
About Java 2 SDK Enterprise Edition 1.4 (J2EE 1.4 SDK)
"J2EE 1.4 SDK is a complete package for developing and deploying J2EE 1.4 applications. The J2EE 1.4 SDK contains the Sun Java System Application Server Platform Edition 8 FCS, the J2SE 1.4.2 SDK, J2EE 1.4 platform API documentation, and a slew of samples to help developers learn about the J2EE platform and technologies and prototype J2EE applications. The J2EE 1.4 SDK is for both development and deployment.
In addition to being a fully compliant implementation of the J2EE 1.4 platform, the Sun Java System Application Server Platform Edition 8 FCS includes two new technologies for building the Web tier of J2EE applications: JavaServer Faces, which simplifies building user interfaces by providing reusable UI components for use in JSP pages and the JavaServer Pages Standard Tag Library (JSTL), which encapsulates core functionality common to applications that use JSP pages...
The Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition 1.4 is the most complete Web services platform ever. The platform features complete Web services support through the new JAX-RPC 1.1 API, which supports service endpoints based on servlets and enterprise beans. JAX-RPC 1.1 provides interoperability with Web services based on the WSDL and SOAP protocols. The J2EE 1.4 platform also supports the Web Services for J2EE specification (JSR 921), which defines deployment requirements for Web services and utilizes the JAX-RPC programming model. In addition to numerous Web services APIs, J2EE 1.4 platform also features support for the WS-I Basic Profile 1.0. This means that in addition to platform independence and complete Web services support, J2EE 1.4 offers platform Web services interoperability.
The J2EE 1.4 platform also introduces the J2EE Management 1.0 API, which defines the information model for J2EE management, including the standard Management EJB (MEJB). The J2EE Management 1.0 API uses the Java Management Extensions API (JMX). The J2EE 1.4 platform also introduces the J2EE Deployment 1.1 API, which provides a standard API for deployment of J2EE applications. The J2EE 1.4 platform includes security enhancements via the introduction of the Java Authorization Contract for Containers (JavaACC). The JavaACC API improves security by standardizing how authentication mechanisms are integrated into J2EE containers.
The J2EE platform now makes it easier to develop web front ends with enhancements to Java Servlet and JavaServer Pages (JSP) technologies. Servlets now support request listeners and enhanced filters. JSP technology has simplified the page and extension development models with the introduction of a simple expression language, tag files, and a simpler tag extension API, among other features. This makes it easier than ever for developers to build JSP-enabled pages.
Other enhancements to the J2EE platform include the J2EE Connector architecture, which provides incoming resource adapter and Java Message Service (JMS) pluggability. New features in Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB) technology include Web service endpoints, a timer service, and enhancements to EJB QL and message-driven beans. The J2EE 1.4 platform also includes enhancements to deployment descriptors. They are now defined using XML Schema which can also be used by developers to validate their XML structures..." [from the main reference page]
J2EE Web Services Support
"Web services are Web-based enterprise applications that use open, XML-based standards and transport protocols to exchange data with calling clients. The J2EE platform provides the XML APIs and tools you need to quickly design, develop, test, and deploy Web services and clients that fully interoperate with other Web services and clients running on Java-based or non-Java-based platforms.
To write Web services and clients with the J2EE XML APIs, all you do is pass parameter data to the method calls and process the data returned; or for document-oriented Web services, you send documents containing the service data back and forth. No low-level programming is needed because the XML API implementations do the work of translating the application data to and from an XML-based data stream that is sent over the standardized XML-based transport protocols...
The translation of data to a standardized XML-based data stream is what makes Web services and clients written with the J2EE XML APIs fully interoperable. This does not necessarily mean that the data being transported includes XML tags because the transported data can itself be plain text, XML data, or any kind of binary data such as audio, video, maps, program files, computer-aided design (CAD) documents and the like. The next section introduces XML and explains how parties doing business can use XML tags and schemas to exchange data in a meaningful way... [tutorial]
- Announcement: "Sun Microsystems Helps Define the Next Generation of Web Services With Java System Application Server Platform Edition 8. Features First Production Version of JavaServer Faces APIs. Drives a Standard and Flexible Framework for Building UIs for J2EE Applications."
- Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EE) 1.4
- The J2EE 1.4 Tutorial
- "Java 2 Platform Enterprise Edition Specification, Version 1.4." PDF format.
- The J2EE 1.4 Tutorial FAQ
- JavaServer Faces reference page
- JSR 127: JavaServer Faces
- Chapter 17: JavaServer Faces Technology. From the tutorial.
- JavaServer Pages Technology. "In Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EE) v1.4, JSP technology has simplified the page and extension development models with the introduction of a simple expression language, tag files, and a simpler tag extension API, among other features. This makes it easier than ever for you to build pages based on JSP technology."
- Enterprise JavaBeans Technology. "Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB) technology is the server-side component architecture for the Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EE) platform. EJB technology enables rapid and simplified development of distributed, transactional, secure and portable applications based on Java technology."
- J2EE Connector Architecture
- Migration Tool for the Sun Java System Application Server Platform Edition 8 Download. See also the release notes.
- Migration Tool for Sun Java System Application Server Platform Edition 8 - User Guide
- J2EE 1.4 Software Developer Kit (SDK). Download the updated SDK for free.
- JavaOne 2004 Conference
- Sun Microsystems web site