Facilitating the Spread of Knowledge and Innovation in Professional Software Development

Write for InfoQ


Choose your language

InfoQ Homepage News Richard Monson-Haefel: It's too late to save Java EE

Richard Monson-Haefel: It's too late to save Java EE

Richard Monson-Haefel's recently released Burton Group analyst report "Java EE 5, the beginning of the End" has set off a storm of controversy. But what did Richard Monson-Haefel, well known for his popular books on EJB, actually say? Richard summarized the main points from the report on a podcast, summarized here.
Java EE has become the imcumbant technology in a disruptive market.  Although JEE 5 is somewhat similar to previous versions, the simplification is not enough. "JEE5 was a step in the right direction, but clearly it's too little too late to save the platform. Over the course of the next few years, more and more developers are going to move to different kinds of platforms which provide much easier development environments and we'll slowly see Java EE 5 whither on the vine as a standard for enterprise development... organizations should look elsewhere when considering new enterprise development and plan for the eventual sunset of Java EE as an enterprise solution.
What does RMH mean by too complicated?  RMH makes the following points in the report/podcast:
  • Java EE tries to do everything in one platform which makes things too complex
  • The number of Java EE API's "have not been simplified, merged, or been eliminated; they remain in place and continue to be necessary."
  • Java EE's programming model has changed significantly for the 3rd time
  • The API's for supporting Web Services have also changed
  • The "extensive and complex web development framework JSF was added to the platform"
  • The platform has gotten more complicated and intimidating
  • Configuration is not significantly simpler than previous versions
    • Rather than reduce the number of facets that can be configured, the new platform simply shifts the complexity from xml deployment descriptors to source code annotations
    • Developers still need to understand "all the configuration options and their impact on production code" but now can do it in source instead of XML
    • "Rather than have one complex  mechanism for configuration, JEE5 now has two separate but interdependent  mechanisms"
  • "Ease of development has been ignored in favour of breadth of functionality and flexibility. Java EE's primary value proposition has become it's achiles heel."
The report has received a lot of  press coverage and caused a number of discussions. InternetNews and Steve Anglin on O'Reilly discussed if Java EE is light enough.  TSS today commented on an article from SearchWebServices quoting RMH and other analysts on Java EE not being suitable for implementing SOA, so the emergence of SOA will contribute to Java EE becoming the next Corba (dead).  

An important point however is that RMH attacked Java EE, not SE.  "I think the Java programming language is going to continue to thrive and be the mainstay for most enterprise development for years to come." 

Rate this Article