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InfoQ Homepage News Java EE 5 Development Waiting on Application Server Vendors

Java EE 5 Development Waiting on Application Server Vendors

Solution providers are holding off on Java EE 5 development until the major application server vendors release compatible updates. Dr. Dobb's reports that while Sun's Java System Application Server has support and BEA's WebLogic is close, IBM lags behind.

Java EE 5 was a major update and most of the major application server vendors do not yet have compliant versions released. This is delaying most solution providers from developing products based on it, as their customers are not ready for them.

"We have it in our lab, and one of our customers has it in their lab, but no one is deploying it yet," said Robert Abate, principal at RCG Information Technology, an Edison, N.J., services firm with a large J2EE practice. "All of our clients are on application servers that don't support it yet, and none of our clients would be willing to deploy anything on a beta application server," said Aaron Mulder, CTO of Chariot Solutions, Fort Washington, Pa.

Among the major vendors, Sun has released support, WebLogic is close with JBoss following soon after. Oracle has not announced a road map and IBM is lagging significantly behind, with full support not due until 2008. According to Mark Heid, IBM's director of application infrastructure product management:

"We see two types of customers right now, and the majority type is telling us, 'You're shipping things to us so quickly and comprehensively that we're having a hard time consuming it"

Here's an overview of where the vendors stand with their support for Java EE 5

Vendor Schedule Remarks
Sun Released Sun Java System Application Server Platform Edition 9.0 was released in May, based on Project Glassfish.
BEA End of the year BEA has a preview release out and is targeting a full release of WebLogic with by the end of the year.
JBoss First quarter 2007 JBoss AS 5 will provide full support.
IBM Release in 2008 Feature packs for WebSphere 6.1 with support for Web services and SOA are in alpha testing and should be out in the first half of 2007.
Oracle Unknown Road map not published.

Amongst other vendors, one noteworthy update is SAP, who, announced last month that they have achieved compatibility with the new specification and they have put out a preview release of it.

One of the biggest changes in Java EE 5 is EJB 3.0. Here is an overview of how the major vendors have responded to EJB 3.0.

Vendor Response
Sun Glassfish recives TopLink Essentials from Oracle
BEA Acquired Kodo by purchasing SolarMetric last November, available stand-alone and in development preview release
JBoss Hibernate 3.2 released providing full JPA support and certification and embeddable EJB 3.0 engine.
IBM Feature pack providing support for WebSphere 6.1 goes into testing in the first half of 2007.
Oracle Oracle Application Server 10g Release 3 includes EJB 3.0 implementation.

Another reason for the slow adoption of Java EE 5 could be the continued popularity of the Spring Framework. The IT-eye blog notes that with Spring 2.0 you can leverage many application server features without worrying about upgrading to a new version of the spec.

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