Thursday Sep 26, 2013

Session Report: 50 New Features of Java EE 7 in 50 minutes

 by Timothy Beneke

On Tuesday afternoon, noted Java EE authors Arun Gupta and Antonio Goncalves offered a whirlwind tour of new features in “Java EE 7: Fifty New Features of Java EE 7 in 50 Minutes”. Gupta is legendary at Oracle for his hard work and astute grasp of the Java EE platform. His blog offers a wealth of insight into Java EE and other Java matters. He is the author, most recently, of Java EE 7 Essentials published by O’Reilly. Goncalves is one of the most highly regarded writers on EE anywhere and the author of Beginning Java EE 7, published by Apress.

Java EE 7’s new features enhance HTML5 support, increase developer productivity, and further improve how enterprise demands can be met. Developers will write significantly less boilerplate code, have better support for the latest Web applications, and gain access to enhanced scalability and richer, simpler functionality. The session did a stellar job of spelling out the details to a packed house.

With four new components (WebSocket, JSON-P, batch, and concurrency), and three old ones significantly updated (JAX-RS, JMS, and EL), along with other significant changes to the platform, a lot of new functionality has been added.

They divided the new Java EE 7 features into 19 categories and explained an average of two to three features in each category.  Here were the categories:

CDI 1.1 (JSR 346)
Bean Validation 1.1 (JSR 349)
Interceptors 1.2 (JSR 318)
Concurrency utilities 1.0 (JSR 236)
JPA 2.1 (JSR 338)
JTA 1.2 (JSR 907)
EJB 3.2 (JSR 345)
JMS 2.0 (JSR 343)
Servlet 3.1 (JSR 340)
Web Socket 1.0 (JSR 356)
Expression Language 3.0 (JSR 341)
JSF 2.2 (JSR 344)
JAX-RS 2.0 (JSR 339)
JSON-P 1.0 (JSR 353)
Batch 1.0 (JSR 352)
JavaMail 1.5 (JSR 919)
JCA 1.7 (JSR 322)
Java Connector Architecture
Default Resources

Here are just a few of the high points:

CDI 1.1 (JSR 346) enables finer scanning control and the ability to veto the processing of a class or package. Bean Validation 1.1 (JSR 349) allows for method validation and the ability to pre/post conditions on method and constructors. Interceptors 1.2 (JSR 318) focused on the ability to associate an Interceptor associated with a constructor and the ability to prioritize interceptor bindings.

For Concurrency utilities 1.0 (JSR 236), the emphasis was on ManagedExecutor with a focus on:
* User threads in Java EE applications
* The ability to support simple and advance concurrency design patterns
* And to extend Concurrency Utilities API from Java SE (JSR 166y)

Further emphasis in concurrency was on ManagedThreadFactory and DynamicProxy.

Dynamic Proxy:
* Creates dynamic proxy objects, and adds contextual information available for applications running in Java EE environment
* It supports Classloading, JNDI, Security, …

Also covered as part of concurrency: ManagedExecutor
* User threads in Java EE applications
* Support simple and advance concurrency design patterns
* Extend Concurrency Utilities API from Java SE (JSR 166y)
– java.util.concurrent package

In addition: ManagedScheduledExecutor
* Managed version of ScheduledExecutorService
* Submit delayed or periodic tasks

For JPA 2.1 (JSR 338), standardized database schema generation and the ability to define additional indexes in schema generation were emphasized. JTA 1.2 (JSR 907) was praised for its capacity for transaction management on Managed Beans as a CDI interceptor binding; in addition, it offers CDI scope whose lifecycle is scoped to the currently active JTA transaction.

They discussed WebSocket and annotated server endpoint which enables full-duplex bi-directional communication over a single TCP connection.

JSON Builder creates an object model (or an array) in memory by adding elements. JsonParser is an event-based parser that can read JSON data from a stream.

All in all, it was an impressive display of Java SE 7 expertise.

Java EE 7 Essentials by Arun Gupta

Beginning Java EE 7 by Antonio Goncalves

Be sure to check out in early October to listen to the entire session. It's well worth it.

Wednesday Sep 25, 2013

Session Report: Demystifying Java EE

Adam Bien, who is not only a Java Champion and JavaOne Rock Star, but was named in 2010 as Oracle Magazine’s Java Developer of the Year, spoke to an enthusiastic crowd where he addressed some core issues about Java EE. He encouraged questions – “The more heretical or offensive the better.” It was obvious that Bien loves to think about and code in Java. He remarked, “The more I code the happier I am”. Spoken like a hard-core Java developer!

First, he asked, “What is Java EE? Innovation vs. Standardization”?  For Bien, Java EE is nothing but a release of co-existing APIs. Before Java EE, there was a mess with lots of application servers, with absolutely no chance of finding two application servers with similar APIs. Java EE resulted in a huge simplification. Now with Java EE 7 a wealth of are applications available. Java EE, insisted Bien, was never about innovation because building a standard precludes innovation. “Java EE will always lag behind,” he observed. “For instance, Hibernate will always have more features than JPA. Spring will always have more features than CDI. Java EE is the 80% that makes products work. It was never about innovation.”

He boiled down the whole point of Java EE: “What matters are small WARs – the smaller the WAR, the faster the build and deployment. The faster the build and deployment, the more productive you become,” he insisted. He explained that Java EE enables you to not put everything into the WAR and place as much as possible on the application server and less on the WAR. He explained that most of his WARs in Java EE 6 or Java EE 7 projects are very small

Bien asked, “Are EJBs bloated?” He explained that the question implies some voodoo stuff behind the scenes making EJBs bloated. He offered a means to answer this question.

He went on to answer a wealth of questions in a way that was thoughtful, incisive, witty and, at times, a bit provocative.

Here's some of the topics/issues (pulled directly from his slides) that Adam touched on in this fast-paced session:

*Do we need transactions?
*Is Dependency Injection Black Magic, VooDoo, or both?
*Is EJB pooling needed? Are EJBs bloated? What happens, if you violate the EJB programming restrictions?
*Why AOP didn't take off in Java EE?
*Stateless vs. Stateful programming model?
*HA without a Cluster?
*Are there any POJOs out there? What happens during deployment?
*Is Java EE faster than J2EE? Does JMS 2.0 scale and perform well? Is Java EE only suitable for the "big" enterprise?
*Is JSF the silver bullet? What is the deal with CORBA and RMI?
*How to unit test Java EE applications? Why we don't build a best of breed server from scratch?

This was a lively, entertaining and information-packed session. Just what you would expect from a pro developer as Adam Bien. I highly recommend viewing this session.

Adam Bien’s Blog
Check out where you can listen to the session in early October.

Tuesday Sep 24, 2013

Session Report: JSR 341: Expression Language 3.0

Ed Burns, Consulting Member of Technical Staff, and Kinman Chung, Principle Member of Technical Staff, both at Oracle, presented a session on Monday in which they described new features in JSR 341, Expression Language (EL) 3.0. They discussed the APIs for the use of EL in standalone environments and EL syntax for new operators, plus lambda expressions, and support for collection objects, all the while offering copious code illustrations.

Burns remarked that he was pleased that Java Champion and JavaOne Rock Star Adam Bien had referred to EL 3.0 as “the hidden gem of Java EE”. “I don’t know how hidden it is,” said Burns, “but I think it’s a gem.”

He discussed the origins of EL, which has a long and active history in the Java platform. EL began in 2004 as part of the Java Standard Tag Library (JSTL 1.0), moved to JSP 2.0 in 2006, and became an independent specification with JSR 341 in 2011. It is used in JSF, CDI, and Avatar. Now, 9 years after its inception, it is an independent specification that is heavily used in JSF.   

Burns observed that the presence of EL is the key differentiator between Java server and non-java server stacks. “Java server-based web frameworks are likely to use EL,” said Burns. “When you show someone who is not familiar with EL how easy it is to move things together from disparate parts of your application, it’s very compelling.”

The most important feature that EL 3 brings is lambda expressions – developers do not have to wait until Java SE 8 is released. It all runs on Java EE 7, which requires Java SE 7 -- which means that it is currently available. Burns gave a brief discussion of lambda expressions, which basically behave like an anonymous function -- lambdas in EL are EL expressions. They offer full access to the EL environment within the body of the EL lambda expression, something not available from Java SE lambdas. “You won’t be able to refer to other EL things from a plain old SE lambda expression,” said Burns.

The goal of EL 3 is to provide greater expressive power for applications and to use it outside of Java EE. Burns and Chung provided an overview of collection operations and explained EL’s support for stand-alone environments. EL 3 is easy to use outside of Java EE and provides standard data structures: ELContext; ELResolvers; and local variable and function repositories.

They explained that it enables direct EL operations and has: EL expression evaluation; Bean definition; and Function definition. They emphasized that other key parts of Java EE can also be used standalone, such as: Bean Validation; Persistence (JPA); and Contexts and Dependency Injection (CDI). They encouraged developers to consider the possibilities for cloud deployment in: Defining functions and variables and defining beans.

They spent the rest of the session illustrating their key points with a healthy dose of code.

Links and Downloads:
* JSR 341:
    Download spec and API javadocs

* Project home:
   Report spec bugs or RFE for

* RI:
   Maven artifacts available from Maven Central
   Download source and report RI bugs

* Integrated in Glassfish 4.0:

You can listen to this session in early October on

Thursday Jun 27, 2013

An Overview of Batch Processing in Java EE 7

Up on otn/java is a new article by Oracle senior software engineer Mahesh Kannan, titled “An Overview of Batch Processing in Java EE 7.0,” which explains the new batch processing capabilities provided by JSR 352 in Java EE 7. Kannan explains that “Batch processing is used in many industries for tasks ranging from payroll processing; statement generation; end-of-day jobs such as interest calculation and ETL (extract, load, and transform) in a data warehouse; and many more. Typically, batch processing is bulk-oriented, non-interactive, and long running—and might be data- or computation-intensive. Batch jobs can be run on schedule or initiated on demand. Also, since batch jobs are typically long-running jobs, check-pointing and restarting are common features found in batch jobs.”

JSR 352 defines the programming model for batch applications plus a runtime to run and manage batch jobs. The article covers feature highlights, selected APIs, the structure of Job Scheduling Language, and explains some of the key functions of JSR 352 using a simple payroll processing application. The article also describes how developers can run batch applications using GlassFish Server Open Source Edition 4.0.

Kannan summarizes the article as follows:

“In this article, we saw how to write, package, and run simple batch applications that use chunk-style steps. We also saw how the checkpoint feature of the batch runtime allows for the easy restart of failed batch jobs. Yet, we have barely scratched the surface of JSR 352. With the full set of Java EE components and features at your disposal, including servlets, EJB beans, CDI beans, EJB automatic timers, and so on, feature-rich batch applications can be written fairly easily.”

Check out the article here.

Monday Apr 08, 2013

Technical Article: Java EE 7 and JAX-RS 2.0

A new article by Java Champion Adam Bien, titled “Java EE 7 and JAX-RS 2.0” is up on otn/java. The article demonstrates how Java EE 7 with JAX-RS 2.0 has several new useful features which further simplify development, and lead to the creation of more sophisticated Java SE/EE RESTful applications.

Using a Java-friendly, but simplistic JAX-RS 2.0 example Bien takes the reader through aspects, request interception, client and configuration issues and much more. He concludes the article as follows:

“Interestingly, JAX-RS does not even require a full-fledged application server. After fulfilling the specified Context Types, a JAX-RS 2.0–compliant API can be anything. However, the combination with EJB 3.2 brings asynchronous processing, pooling (and so throttling), and monitoring. Tight integration with Servlet 3+ comes with efficient asynchronous processing of @Suspended responses through AsyncContext support and CDI runtime brings eventing. Also Bean Validation is well integrated and can be used for validation of resource parameters. Using JAX-RS 2.0 together with other Java EE 7 APIs brings the most convenient (=no configuration) and most productive (=no re-invention) way of exposing objects to remote systems.”

Check out the article here.

Friday Mar 08, 2013

The Tech Events over 2 days

Today is International Women's Day and Global Tech Women founder Deanna Kosaraju commemorates the event by organizing the Voices Global Conference, a live streaming event celebrating women in technology. Women technologists from over 20 countries present a collection of technical talks including software for data center, testing, breakthrough innovation frameworks, community building, humanitarian projects, leadership, and more. Attendees can participate in group discussions, network online or at local gatherings, and watch the sessions online. All the sessions are streamed live and recorded. Registration is open. 

Another conference starting today is Java Developers Conference (JDC) in Cairo, Egypt. The conference brings together 600 developers and students for the biggest Java conference in Middle East and North Africa today and tomorrow. The Egyptian Java User Group (EGJUG) is organizing the two-day forum for knowledge exchange with its 4 tracks and 40 sessions in English and Arabic. 

Oracle technologist Mike Keith presents "creating a configuration standard for Java EE". Architect Christ Bailey has a talk titled "From Java Code to Java Heap The Adventurous Developer's guide to JVM Languages." Software Architect and JCP member Mohamed Taman  presents "a hack session titled revealing the power of Websocket, JSON APIs & HTML5." Technologist Jernej Kase talks about "increasing Java EE development productivity to the max - for free." 

Also this weekend, Daniel Sachse is organizing a Google hangout hack night Saturday March 9, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. PST. Participants are expected to contribute to a JSR about Java EE technologies such as CDI and JSF among others. 

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.


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