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SOA influences JavaOne to get down to business

While the 'geek factor' remains, this year's JavaOne is focused more on the SOA-style convergence of technology and business.

Service-oriented architecture (SOA), Ajax, and Web 2.0 will be hot technology topics this week at the JavaOne Conference, but there will also be a new focus on getting down to business.

We've really targeted rich Internet applications.
Ted Farrell
Chief Architect and VP of Tools and MiddlewareOracle Corp.

The show's traditional "geek factor" will not be lost, but the annual show will also have a little more white-shirt-and-tie IBM flavor than in years past, predicts Bradley F. Shimmin, principal analyst of application infrastructure at Current Analysis LLC, and a veteran attendee at many JavaOnes.

"It still has the high geek factor," he said, so the more than 15,000 attendees expected at Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco will not be disappointed. "But what is being previewed isn't so much pie-in-the-sky stuff that's really interesting, but doesn't relate to the enterprise issues. Now, what they are doing is focusing on enterprise issues, security, performance and availability. There's a lot of interesting work in terms of what can you do with Java EE 5 and Spring that are forward looking."

New this year is Java Technology Business Day on Tuesday, which is a full-day program designed for business people who want to find out how to leverage Java technology and the Java brand to make money, said Jean Elliott, senior director of Java software product marketing at Sun Microsystems Inc.

Today, however, the show opens with a more technology-centric program with NetBeans Day, where Sun and the NetBeans Community are scheduled to announce the availability of the NetBeans 6.0 Integrated Development Environment (IDE) preview release. The new IDE moves beyond its Java and C/C++ roots to support the Ruby and JavaScript dynamic scripting languages, according to Sun. Ruby support in NetBeans also extends to the NetBeans GUI Builder, which now allows developers to use Ruby on Rails with existing Java code, the announcement said.

Also at today's event, ICEsoft Technologies, Inc., an Ajax vendor, will be highlighting its support for NetBeans in developing rich Internet applications (RIAs). Nexaweb Technologies, Inc. will be demonstrating new capabilities for Ajax and Web 2.0 in its tools which support the Java platform.

Elliot said Sun will have further announcements Tuesday morning at the opening keynote for the conference.

Beginning Tuesday, attendees may get some glimpses of Java EE 6, Shimmin said, even though leading vendors, most notably IBM have yet to move from J2EE to Java EE 5, which was the platform highlight of last year's JavaOne.

"I expect Sun to really be pushing the EE 5 story and trying to show how important that is, and try to showcase the vendors that have already come onboard," the analyst said. "They'll probably be previewing future stuff with EE 6 as well. In terms of EE 6, Sun may show pieces of it that are in their underlying technologies for mobile. It's little pieces here and there. It's not like they're rolling out EE 6."

Attendees who want to offer suggestions for the future of the Java Enterprise Edition in general and the upcoming Java EE 6 release in particular, should sign up for JavaOne Camp, Elliott suggested. There will be an open mike session where anyone can get up and tell the Sun software engineers what they want to see in the next release.

Part of the Java EE 5 story will be provided by Oracle Corp., which takes the floor for its keynote on Wednesday. It is scheduled to announce that Oracle Application Server now supports EE 5, as well as key SOA standards including WS-Policy, now working its way through the W3C standards process, and Service Data Objects (SDO), now in the hands of OASIS.

Ted Farrell, Oracle's chief architect and vice president of tools and middleware, said Oracle also will be announcing its new JDeveloper IDE for SOA and Web services development as well as its Application Developer Framework. JDeveloper is the tool and ADF is the runtime.

"We've really targeted rich Internet applications," Farrell said. "We see a trend to building applications that are Web 2.0 enabled and use technologies like Ajax and Adobe Flash to give an interactive experience to the end user."

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However, Shimmin said Oracle's plan to announced support for the Spring Framework in Oracle Application Server is also "very important." Spring fits more into the enterprise business focus of the show, he said.

"Spring is not about the Web 2.0, Ajax, mashup world," the analyst said. "Spring is about making an application that is going to run on a Java EE server that is probably going to a Web service-based application that's going to be something like order-to-cash. It's more business-like in scope."

Attendees interested in Spring can expect to see new technology from the framework's maker, Interface21, Shimmin said.

"They're going to be previewing the new version of the Spring Framework. One of the things they are previewing is Spring Web Flow (SWF) capability to connect to JSF so that the Spring Framework can literally cover everything you build from the connection between the applications down to the user interface."

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