Wednesday Sep 26, 2012

Talking JavaOne with Rock Star Adam Bien

Among the most celebrated developers in recent years, especially in the domain of Java EE and JavaFX, is consultant Adam Bien, who, in addition to being a JavaOne Rock Star for Java EE sessions given in 2009 and 2011, is a Java Champion, the winner of Oracle Magazine’s 2011 Top Java Developer of the Year Award, and recently won a 2012 JAX Innovation Award as a top Java Ambassador.

Bien will be presenting the following sessions:

  • TUT3907 - Java EE 6/7: The Lean Parts
  • CON3906 - Stress-Testing Java EE 6 Applications Without Stress
  • CON3908 - Building Serious JavaFX 2 Applications
  • CON3896 - Interactive Onstage Java EE Overengineering

I spoke with Bien to get his take on Java today. He expressed excitement that the smallest companies and startups are showing increasing interest in Java EE. “This is a very good sign,” said Bien. “Only a few years ago J2EE was mostly used by larger companies -- now it becomes interesting even for one-person shows. Enterprise Java events are also extremely popular. On the Java SE side, I'm really excited about Project Nashorn.”

Nashorn is an upcoming JavaScript engine, developed fully in Java by Oracle, and based on the Da Vinci Machine (JSR 292) which is expected to be available for Java 8.  

Bien expressed concern about a common misconception regarding Java's mediocre productivity. “The problem is not Java,” explained Bien, “but rather systems built with ancient patterns and approaches. Sometimes it really is ‘Cargo Cult Programming.’ Java SE/EE can be incredibly productive and lean without the unnecessary and hard-to-maintain bloat. The real problems are ‘Ivory Towers’ and not Java’s lack of productivity.”

Bien remarked that if there is one thing he wanted Java developers to understand it is that, "Premature optimization is the root of all evil. Or at least of some evil. Modern JVMs and application servers are hard to optimize upfront. It is far easier to write simple code and measure the results continuously. Identify the hotspots first, then optimize.”

He advised Java EE developers to, “Rethink everything you know about Enterprise Java. Before you implement anything, ask the question: ‘Why?’ If there is no clear answer -- just don't do it. Most well known best practices are outdated. Focus your efforts on the domain problem and not the technology.”

Looking ahead, Bien said, “I would like to see open source application servers running directly on a hypervisor. Packaging the whole runtime in a single file would significantly simplify the deployment and operations.”

Check out a recent Java Magazine interview with Bien about his Java EE 6 stress monitoring tool here.

Originally published on blogs.oracle.com/javaone.



Tuesday Aug 14, 2012

Enterprise JavaFX Deployment with LightView: Part 3 now on otn/java

A new article by Java Champion Adam Bien, now up on otn/java, titled “Enterprise JavaFX Deployment with LightView: Part 3,” explores ways to use Maven 3 to build and deploy the LightView application in all available deployment modes. In addition, Bien shows how to sign and deploy LightView with a Java EE 6 application.

Bien explains the basics:

“LightView uses the HTTP (REST) protocol to communicate with the back-end server. For the realization of back-end communication, an external library—the Jersey client—is used. LightView connects with the back end (LightFish) at startup time, so it is not suitable to lazy-load the Jersey dependencies for optimization purposes. Furthermore, multiple JAR files are hard to handle for standalone applications; you have to set up the class path correctly and keep all the moving parts consistent. The most convenient way to deploy Java (and JavaFX) applications is simply by starting them with java -jar my-killer-app.jar and deploying a single file that contains all the dependencies.”

He shows how the class files are packaged with the javafxpackager, which is shipped with the JavaFX 2 SDK, using the exec-maven-plugin and explains the core tasks achieved by Maven and describes the what javafxpackager does behind the scenes. He then shows how the LightView application operates and interacts with LightFish.

Bien concludes by emphasizing that the richness of JavaFX lies in the fact that it is another Java library. “Because JavaFX is ‘just’ an additional Java library, all of the established build, test, and deployment infrastructure can be reused. You can develop JavaFX applications using any integrated development environment (IDE) you like. And best of all, you can use a single language in a project, from the Java EE back end to the JavaFX front end.”

Check out the article here.

Tuesday Apr 24, 2012

Spring to Java EE Migration – Part 4, the Finale

In a new article, now up on otn/java, titled “Spring to Java EE Migration, Part 4,” David Heffelfinger presents the final part of his series in which he demonstrates the ease of migration from the Spring Framework to Java EE. Here he compares equivalent functionality in Java EE and Spring in areas such as MVC design pattern implementation, data access, transaction management, and dependency injection.

He concludes the series with these remarks:

“In this series of articles, we developed a Java EE version of Spring’s Pet Clinic application. We saw how the advanced tooling provided by NetBeans enables us to quickly develop a Java EE application…. Once we were done building the Java EE version of the application, we compared it with the Spring version, noting that the original version has several dependencies whereas the Java EE version has none, because it takes advantage of all the services provided by the Java EE application server.

Finally, we compared how to implement similar functionality such as MVC and DAO implementation, transaction management, and dependency injection with Spring and Java EE. In every case with Spring, some XML configuration needs to be done besides adding annotations to the code. Java EE relies on convention, and in most cases, no XML configuration is needed in order to implement these services.

Although newer versions of Spring rely a lot less on explicit XML configuration than earlier versions, there are always a few little lines here and there that we need to add to an XML configuration file in order to get most of the Spring annotations to work, violating the DRY (don’t repeat yourself) principle...

Additionally, Spring applications tend to have several dependencies, because they are meant to run in a “lightweight” Servlet container such as Tomcat or Jetty and these containers don’t provide all the required functionality. In contrast, Java EE applications are meant to be deployed in a full-blown Java EE 6 application server such as Oracle GlassFish Server...

For these reasons, I always recommend Java EE over Spring for enterprise application development.”

Have a look at the article here.

Tuesday Mar 13, 2012

Key to the Java EE 6 Platform: NetBeans IDE 7.1

Oracle’s Geertjan Wielenga has a new article up on otn/java, titled “Key to the Java EE 6 Platform: NetBeans IDE 7.1,” in which he shows how the NetBeans IDE provides the tools, templates, and code generators to support Java EE 6 and its main specifications.

He initially observes that, “When you begin to grasp the breadth and ambition of the Java EE 6 Platform, which covers everything from the model (JPA and Bean Validation), to the controller (EJB and Servlets), to the view (JavaServer Faces), a simple entry point is difficult to find. Enter NetBeans IDE 7.1, which is Oracle’s IDE for the Java Platform, created by the same group of developers who created the Java EE 6 Platform. Here you find tools, templates, and code generators intended to be used in combination with the set of specifications that the Java EE 6 Platform encompasses.”

After offering a tour of the NetBeans IDE 7.1 tools that support Java EE 6, Wielenga ends on a cautionary note:

“While code generators and tools such as those described here are great to help you get your feet wet, a danger is that a lot of code is generated that you don't understand and that you therefore do not know how to debug and maintain. The good news is that far less code needs to be generated in Java EE 6 than before, making it far easier to understand and maintain.

Nevertheless, it is advisable to use tools of this kind intelligently. Start small, focusing on specific APIs. Get to know them via the generated code and then slowly extend the application as you become more familiar with the Java EE 6 Platform. Once you are comfortable with the spec, the tools aim to help you become more productive: combining the leanness of the Java EE 6 Platform with the tools in the IDE, you'll be rapidly creating the core of your application.”

Check out the article.


Monday Jan 09, 2012

Interfaces on Demand with CDI and EJB 3.1

A new article by Java Champion Adam Bien, up on otn/java, “Interfaces on Demand with CDI and EJB 3.1” explains that since Java EE 6, interfaces are no longer required by the container in order to realize common use cases, thus enabling developers to use them more consciously and strategically for the realization of business logic. Bien shows how interfaces can now be used as vehicles for encapsulation or abstraction, as they were originally intended.

From the article:

“There is nothing wrong with the abstraction of every implementation with an interface if such an approach can be clearly justified, but interfaces become dubious when you have to introduce artificial naming conventions to avoid name clashes…
Interfaces should be introduced only as a contract for already existing classes, for the realization of Strategy or Bridge patterns, or when you need to design an API, such as Java Database Connectivity (JDBC), Java Message Service (JMS), and so on. In typical business applications, this occurs in only a fraction of all cases.”
Read the complete article here.


Thursday Sep 22, 2011

Integration Testing for Java EE

A new article by Java Champion Adam Bien, now up on otn/java, titled “Integration Testing for Java EE,” explores the intricacies of integration testing, which is done after a successful execution of unit tests, which however, will often fail. According to Bien, unit tests are fast and fine-grained while integration tests are slow and coarse-grained.

From the article:

“Testing everything inside an embedded container is convenient but unproductive. Java EE 6 components are annotated Plain Old Java Objects (POJOs) and can be easily unit tested and mocked out (see my previous article, “Unit Testing for Java EE.") with Java SE tools such as JUnit, TestNG, or Mockito. Using an embedded container to test your business logic is not only unproductive, but it is also conceptually wrong. Unit tests should validate your business logic, not the container behavior. Also, the majority of integration tests could be easily performed with a local EntityManager (see Listing 1) or a mocked-out container infrastructure. Only a fraction of all integration tests can be beneficially implemented with embeddable containers or test frameworks such as Arquillian.”

Read the complete article here.

Friday Sep 09, 2011

Client-Side Improvements in Java 6 and Java 7 Article on OTN

Java Champion Josh Marinacci has a new article titled “Client-Side Improvements in Java 6 and Java 7” up on otn/java’s "Developer Spotlight". The article takes a tour of Swing, looks at installation, and explores substantial improvements to the client and desktop parts of Java SE 6 and Java SE 7, including the applet plug-in, the Java Deployment Toolkit, shaped and translucent windows, heavyweight-lightweight mixing, and Java Web Start.

Marinacci concludes: “Finally, desktop Java apps benefit from many of the general improvements in Java SE 7. The improved file I/O APIs offer fine-grained control over file permissions, symbolic links, and notification of file changes, plus the ability to have the operating system move and copy files at native speed.

With the improvements in Java SE 7 and a new Java language version of JavaFX available this summer, things are looking bright for client-side Java.”

Read the complete article here.


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