Posted by:Monica Samuel September 11th, 2012

The latest Java Enterprise Edition (EE) 7 will release in Spring 2013; more than three years after the release of Java EE 6. Anticipant Java application developers will be disappointed to know that some cloud features promised in version 7 may not come through and could be postponed to Java EE 8, expected to release in the spring of 2015.

Oracle’s plan for Java EE 7 was perhaps too ambitious. The enhancements and changes expected were too many and too huge. Linda DeMichiel who has served as a Java EE 7 specification lead, explains that the progress in developing cloud technologies, specifically support for standardized PaaS (platform as a service) programming and multitenancy has been slow going because of ‘immaturity in the provisioning, multitenancy, and elasticity spaces, as well as in application deployments.’ She also cites ‘our conservative approach in trying to get things ‘right’ in view of limited industry experience in the cloud area when we started this work’ as another reason.

She explains that the agenda for Java EE 7 was demanding – ‘significant enhancements in simplification, usability, and functionality in updated versions of the JSRs that are currently part of the platform; new JSRs that reflect emerging needs in the community; and support for use in cloud environments.’ Since a number of new features are through in Java EE 7 and even Java EE 6 works for building cloud applications, the Java team proposes releasing EE 7 on time without the cloud standardization features.

Java EE 7 has a lot to offer including:

  • support for HTML 5 in the form of Web Sockets, JSF 2.2 and JSON-P
  • simplified JMS 2.0 APIs
  • improved Managed Bean alignment including transactional interceptors
  • JAX-RS 2.0 client API
  • support for method-level validation
  • a much more comprehensive Expression Language
  • cloud features including resource definition metadata, improved security configuration, JPA schema generation
I also believe that there is no point in making Java developers wait another 2 years for features that are ready for release. Hopefully, the Java EE 8 release could also be expedited to 2015 since the base for cloud support has already been established in EE 7, as DeMichiel says.

Jevgeni Kabanov, founder and CEO of ZeroTurnaround; Pete Muir, Red Hat’s CDI lead; and David Blevins, a founder of the Apache TomEE, OpenEJB and Geronimo projects are also supporting this proposal. The common feeling is that Java EE is already cloud friendly and that the cloud scene right now is too uncertain and nascent for standardization.

On this note, we conclude with hopes of seeing Java EE 7 release on schedule.

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