Wednesday Oct 02, 2013

JavaOne 2013 Trip Report

JavaOne 2013 San Francisco was held September 22-26. I am proud to say this is my seventh JavaOne as an attendee, my fifth one as a speaker, my second one as an Oracle employee and my first one as a member of the content committee. This was a particularly important year from a Java EE standpoint with the release of EE 7 and GlassFish 4 - the content reflected this fact.

I'll admit JavaOne has a special place in my heart - I still remember how awe inspiring my first JavaOne was. It seemed almost surreal, as if the air itself was electrifying. For almost a full week, I felt proud and humbled to be part of an incredible global phenomenon taking place under the roof of Moscone Center in beautiful San Francisco. It made me want to be a more significant part of the Java community. While JavaOne 2013 can certainly be considered a success by most measures, I think most folks would say the atmosphere for JavaOne 2013 unfortunately would not resemble the description of my first JavaOne. Whatever the underlying factors, that's a real shame since there can be little question that JavaOne remains the most important Java conference in the world. Having taken part in organizing a few other fairly large conferences and attending/speaking at numerous others, the content was definitely of outstanding quality even as compared with many other conferences of similar magnitude. It's clear the best and the brightest in the Java ecosystem still see participating in JavaOne as a badge of honor and a privilege. Perhaps a wise retrospective to be had is that we at Oracle need to do more to keep the conference a uniquely valuable experience and try to reach out to a newer generation of developers that would continue to find JavaOne inspiring. On the other hand, hopefully it's just that I'm a bit more jaded and less naive than I once used to be :-).

At any rate, JavaOne 2013 was definitely both hectic and rewarding personally. Besides booth duty at the GlassFish 4/Java EE 7 kiosk, I had one user group event, a couple of BOFs and a technical session. The conference really started for me on Saturday evening with making sure the GlassFish 4/Java EE 7 kiosk is up and running. I am proud to say Cargo Tracker was demoed at the booth along with the Java EE 7 Hands-on-Lab. Part of the Java EE Blue Prints project, Cargo Tracker is a sub-project I initiated that is aimed at demonstrating architectural best practices such as Domain-Driven Design (DDD) using Java EE 7. It's essentially the well known Java DDD sample application originally written in Spring, Hibernate and Jetty modernized, expanded and ported over to Java EE 7/GlassFish 4. If you weren't aware of the project, it is somewhat deliberate. We are still working out some details before we do our first alpha release and reach out to the community. Consider this a sneak peek :-). You are of course welcome to contribute to the open source project any time.

It was my pleasure and privilege to lead the GlassFish Community Event on Sunday. It's long been a rallying point for the GlassFish and Java EE communities at JavaOne and a great way to kick off the conference. Despite the early morning timing and somewhat unfortunate but unavoidable conflict with the NetBeans Sunday User Group event, the two hour session was fairly well attended as usual. John did an excellent job presenting the road map as usual (slide deck embedded below), the GlassFish/Oracle executive panel was very good and we had four great Java EE/GlassFish stories this year. The entire session was video recorded and all the slide decks are posted on SlideShare. We still need to figure out how we can best get all the great content to the broader community, but I hope we can publish most of it on the page for the event. The stories will be posted on the usual blog that hosts all Java EE/GlassFish stories.

The now iconic GlassFish party was held at the Thirsty Bear in the evening. The party was a full house with a ton of pictures that we will publish soon as well.

On Monday and Tuesday afternoon, I had booth duty. The booth traffic was decent and there were a number of pretty good conversations. On Monday afternoon I had my first BOF titled "What’s New with Bean Validation and Expression Language in Java EE 7". I generally enjoy BOFs as they give me an opportunity to talk about a given topic at a slightly deeper level in a slightly less impersonal setting. The goal was to have a fairly informal/open-ended discussion around the changes in Bean Validation 1.1 as well as EL 3 and the impact of these changes in terms of the Java EE 7 platform as well as the broader ecosystem. Somewhat to my surprise, the BOF was packed and I got excellent feedback afterwards. I decided to break up the BOF deck into two separate lightning talk oriented decks (posted below). As always, I've posted the source PPT so you are welcome to use the material yourself as you see fit.

On Tuesday evening I led the GlassFish BOF. Tuesday late evening is always a tough time slot since many of the parties are scheduled at the time. Nonetheless, we had pretty good attendance and some excellent conversations. We covered Java EE 7, the features in GlassFish 4 beyond Java EE, the GlassFish/Java EE ecosystem, the face lift, project Avatar and the road ahead. The slide deck is posted below.

On Thursday mid-day I had my technical session titled "Android and iOS Development with Java EE 7". I co-presented the talk with Ryan Cuprak and Bala Muthuvarathan. Ryan is the leader of the Connecticut JUG, a close friend and my co-author on the upcoming second edition of EJB 3 in Action (covering EJB 3.1, CDI 1.1, JPA 2.1, etc). Bala is a friend and former colleague from CapTech Consulting. They are both incredibly capable people that it is an honor to work with. The goal of the talk was to demonstrate how Java EE 7 can be used as an effective back-end for native mobile development with Android and iOS. The server-side consists of a chat WebSocket API and a to do list REST API implemented using the Java API for WebSocket, JSON-P, JAX-RS 2, CDI, Bean Validation, EJB 3 and JPA. While I focused on the server-side code, Ryan wrote the iOS portion while Bala wrote the Android portion. The demo code is available on GitHub and the slide deck is posted below. The idea is to give you the seed code you need to get started with Java EE 7 based mobile development. The plan is for me, Ryan and Bala to co-author an article series on the material very soon.

The talk went extremely well and was a full house. A couple of folks went so far as to tell us that it was "one of the best talks of the conference" and "the only talk worth attending all week". As an offshoot to the talk, I entered a couple of feature requests against Tyrus and Jersey. Feel free to vote on the issues and contribute to the project on GitHub. Also, do drop me a note if you need help getting things up and running.

The Saturday after the conference my wife Nicole and I took my daughter Zehra to see the Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks. Home to giant sequoias like General Sherman, the parks offer some of the most spectacular landscapes that still represents the uniqueness, magnificence and great potential of this country. At 275 feet tall and approximately 2500 years old, General Sherman is the largest known living single stem tree on Earth. If the presence of the giant sequoias doesn't inspire you to try to live a meaningful life beyond yourself that makes a positive difference for as many people as you can in your fleeting and insignificant lifetime, nothing probably ever will...

All in all, this JavaOne trip was good overall and I hope to be a part of JavaOne again next year.

Tuesday Nov 06, 2012

Java2Days 2012 Trip Report

Java2Days 2012 was held in beautiful Sofia, Bulgaria on October 25-26. For those of you not familiar with it, this is the third installment of the premier Java conference for the Balkan region. It is an excellent effort by admirable husband and wife team Emo Abadjiev and Iva Abadjieva as well as the rest of the Java2Days team including Yoana Ivanova and Nadia Kostova. Thanks to their hard work, the conference continues to grow vigorously with almost a thousand enthusiastic, bright young people attending this year and no less than three tracks on Java, the Cloud and Mobile. The conference is a true gem in this region of the world and I am very proud to have been a part of it again, along with the other world class speakers the event rightfully attracts.

It was my honor to present the first talk of the conference. It was a full-house session on Java EE 7 and 8 titled "JavaEE.Next(): Java EE 7, 8, and Beyond". The talk was primarily along the same lines as Arun Gupta's JavaOne 2012 technical keynote. I covered the changes in JMS 2, the Java API for WebSocket (JSR 356), the Java API for JSON Processing (JSON-P), JAX-RS 2, JCache, JPA 2.1, JTA 1.2, JSF 2.2, Java Batch, Bean Validation 1.1 and the rest of the APIs in Java EE 7. I also briefly talked about the possible contents of Java EE 8. My stretch goal was to gather some feedback on some open issues in the Java EE EG (more on that soon) but I ran out of time in the short format forty-five minute session. The talk was received well and I had some pretty good discussions afterwards. The slides for the talk are here:

To my delight, the Java2Days folks were very interested in my domain-driven design/Java EE 6 talk (titled "Domain Driven Design with Java EE 6"). I've had this talk in my inventory for a long time now but it always gets overridden by less theoretical talks on APIs, tools, etc. The talk has three parts -- a brief overview of DDD theory, mapping DDD to Java EE and actual running DDD code in Java EE 6/GlassFish. For the demo, I converted the well-known DDD sample application ( written mostly in Spring 2 and Hibernate 2 to Java EE 6. My eventual plan is to make the code available via a top level project. Even despite the broad topic and time constraints, the talk went very well. It was a full house, the Q & A was excellent and one of the other speakers even told me they thought this was the best talk of the conference! The slides for the talk are here:

The code examples are available here: for now, as a simple zip file. Give me a shout if you would like to get it up and running.

It was also a great honor to present the last session of the conference. It was a talk on the Java API for WebSocket/JSR 356 titled "Building HTML5/WebSocket Applications with JSR 356 and GlassFish". The talk is based on Danny Coward's JavaOne 2012 talk. The talk covers the basic of WebSocket, the JSR 356 API and a simple demo using Tyrus/GlassFish. The talk went very well and there were some very good questions afterwards. The slides for the talk are here:

The code samples are available here: You'll need the latest promoted GlassFish 4 build to run the code. Give me a shout if you need help.

Besides presenting my talks, I got to attend some great sessions on OSGi, HTML5, cloud, agile and Java 8. I got an invite to speak at the Macedonia JUG when possible. Victor Grazi of InfoQ wrote about my sessions and Java2Days here: Stoyan Rachev was very kind to blog about my sessions here:

I definitely enjoyed Java2Days 2012 and hope to be part of the conference next year!


Reza Rahman is a former independent consultant, now Java EE/GlassFish evangelist.

He is the author of the popular book EJB 3 in Action. Reza is a frequent speaker at Java User Groups and conferences worldwide.

Reza has been a member of the Java EE, EJB and JMS expert groups. He implemented the EJB container for the Resin open source Java EE application server.

All views voiced are my own, not necessarily Oracle's.


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