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 Parleys.com in early October to listen to the entire session. It's well worth it.

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: http://www.jcp.org/en/jsr/detail?id=341
    Download spec and API javadocs

* Project home: https://java.net/projects/el-spec/
   Report spec bugs or RFE for el.next

* RI: https://java.net/projects/uel/
   Maven artifacts available from Maven Central
   Download source and report RI bugs

* Integrated in Glassfish 4.0: https://glassfish.java.net/

You can listen to this session in early October on Parleys.com.

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