Tuesday Dec 22, 2009

Java EE 6 and GlassFish v3 virtual seminar replays available -- Connectors 1.6 overview talk

As you might have seen in the recent Aquarium post, the session replays and slide-sets of the talks in the Java EE 6 and GlassFish v3 virtual seminar is now available (registration required for access. registration is free). The replay for the technical overview session on Connectors 1.6 (in slide-cast form) is also made available as part of this set. This talk highlights the new features, discussed in an earlier post, in Java EE Connector Architecture 1.6 (JSR 322).

The slides of the JavaOne talk on Connectors 1.6 are also now available at slideshare and embedded below.

Wednesday Dec 02, 2009

Java EE Connector Architecture 1.6 Specification approved!

The final approval ballot for the Connectors 1.6 specification and the Java EE 6 platform closed yesterday and the EC has approved the specification and the platform. As Roberto shared in his blog, the final release happens on December 10 along with the release of the reference implementation, GlassFish v3.

The Connector Architecture in the Java EE platform enables an enterprise application to work with disparate enterprise information systems (EIS), like databases, MoM products, transaction monitors etc.

The Connector 1.6 specification developed through the JSR 322 expert group, builds upon the the earlier Connector 1.5 specification in the following areas:

  • Generic Work Context mechanism: Defined a generic mechanism for propagating contextual information during Work execution. The specification standardizes passing in security, transactional and other quality-of-service parameters from an EIS to a Java EE component during Work execution.
  • Security Work Context: Defined a standard contract that a resource adapter could employ to establish security information(established identity) while submiting a Work instance for execution to a WorkManager, and while delivering messages to message endpoints (MDBs) residing in the application server
  • Ease of Development: Dramatically simplify the development of resource adapters through extensive use of Java language annations, reducing the need to write redundant code and the need for a deployment descriptor, provide better programmatic defaults, etc.
  • Standalone Container Environment: Defined container provider requirements for implementations of the Connector specification that exists outside the Full Java EE Profile.
  • Bean Validation: Defined how resource adapters could leverage the underlying Bean Validation support in Java EE to express their configuration validation requirements.
  • Added Features that enhance QoS and reliability around Connection Management, Work execution etc.

I had provided brief overviews of these features in previous blog entries and presentations. There are more articles/tutorials on the technology coming up in the next few weeks.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have helped in this version of the specification -- the expert group members of JSR 322, the spec-leads and EG members of related JSRs, the reference implementation (RI) and the technology compatibility kit (TCK) teams and all those from the community who had provided feedback and suggestions on the previous milestone drafts.

Edit: Jagadish Ramu, the Connectors RI lead, blogs about the release here.

Edit: GlassFish v3 is now available and further Aquarium coverage here.

Monday Jun 01, 2009

Connectors 1.6 technical session at JavaOne 2009

Binod and I are talking about Connectors 1.6 (JSR 322) in JavaOne 2009 about the updates to the specification and the work that has been done in the JSR 322 expert group leading to the latest proposed final draft version.

Details of the session:
    ID#: TS-4733
    Title: Java™ Platform, Enterprise Edition Technology-Based Connector Architecture 1.6
    Date: 05-JUN-09
    Time: 10:50 AM-11:50 AM
    Venue: Moscone
    Room: Gateway 104

Please attend this session if you want to learn more about the new features planned for the Java EE Connector Architecture 1.6 technology.

Arun Gupta recently recorded me providing a short blurb video about this talk and I have embedded it below.

Update: Slides for this JavaOne talk on Connectors 1.6 (along with speaker notes to aid the reader) are available at slideshare now.

Connectors 1.6 Proposed Final Draft and the availability of Java EE SDK Preview

The JSR 322 expert group released the proposed final draft (PFD) of the Java EE Connectors 1.6 specification during mid-Febraury 2009.

We had covered the features introduced in the earlier milestones of the specification in this blog (see entries on early draft and public review).
Some of the changes and new features introduced in the PFD draft are:
  • Config property attributes: New attributes (See Section have been introduced to configuration properties to indicate if they
    • support dynamic updates: to indicate to the application server that dynamically reconfiguring the config property is supported by the resource adapter
    • are confidential: to indicate that a particular configuration property is confidential, so that deployment/runtime tools could use special visual aids denoting confidentiality and not expose the values as plain text.
  • The original InflowContext interfaces have been renamed to WorkContext or its equivalent, as the interfaces were not relevant only during Message Inflow but during all Work processing. (See Ch.11 and 16)
  • Robust handling of error conditions during MessageEndpoint creation and Work submission: Enhanced the MessageEndpoint creation APIs to support timeouts and also enhanced the exceptions thrown by the MessageEndpointFactory and WorkManager to handle retryable scenarios. (See 13.3 and 10.3.3 for more details)
  • Provide guidelines on the relationship of the Connector Architecture and other integration technologies such as Java Business Integration (JBI) and Service Component Architecture (SCA). (See Section 1.5)
  • Updated the ease of development annotations and contracts, that were introduced  in the Public Review draft of the specification, to address feedback received.  (See the change history, Section I.1, for a list of changes and Ch. 18 for more details)
  • Misc updates and clarifications to the Connection and Transaction Management chapters (see the change history, Section I.1 for a complete list of changes).
As always, we would like your feedback on the draft through the JSR comments alias jsr322-comments@jcp.org or in the comments section of this blog entry. Since this is the last milestone of the JSR before going final, please try to spend some time reading  the new features introduced in this version of the specification, try out the reference implementation (details below) and provide your review comments and feedback through the alias above.

As you might know, the reference implementation for the Connectors specifications and other components specifications in the Java EE 6 platform are developed in the GlassFish community. Now, with the release of the Java EE 6 SDK early access in JavaOne, most of the features in the PFD draft are now available for you to try out.

Jagadish, the lead of the Connectors technology reference implementation in GlassFish, has blogged recently about how a resource adapter can be built using the new metadata annotations introduced in the spec and demonstrates how the use of the EoD features could reduce the need for redundant boilerplate code and eliminate/reduce the need for XML deployment descriptors. Please also go through the Connectors 1.6 mail-connector sample that he has made available through the Java EE 6 Preview SDK to understand how these annotations could be used while developing a resource adapter.

Thursday Aug 07, 2008

Connectors 1.6 Early Draft Specification now available!

I am very happy to announce that the Early Draft of the JavaTM EE Connector Architecture 1.6 specification is available now. We started to work on an update to the earlier Connectors specification (J2EE Connector Architecture 1.5) in the Expert Group of JSR 322 in January this year. The Expert Group has been working very hard on the Early Draft and we are looking forward to hear your feedback. Please send your feedback and comments to jsr-322-comments@jcp.org.

The purpose of the Java EE Connector Architecture 1.6 specification is to address some areas in the earlier specification, where further support has been requested by the developer/user community and the expert group. Some of the important features that are being planned to be addressed in this release include:
  • Generic Inflow Context: a mechanism for enabling a resource adapter to provide additional contextual information while a Work gets executed by the application server's WorkManager
  • Security Inflow: enabling a resource adapter to propagate security identity information during Work execution and delivery to MessageEndpoints(MDBs)
  • General improvements to the specification: in the areas of handling connection failures, inbound and outbound configuration consistency, better configuration property processing (ability to specify better validation rules etc) and clarifications around the classloading of standalone resource adapters.
  • Focus on ease-of-development of resource adapters. Aligning with common programming model of Java EE by defining helper classes and annotations for the Connector API wherever applicable.
As a general reminder, since we're still relatively early in the process, the exact feature set is subject to change (for instance, the contracts have already gone through a lot of change since our JavaOne 2008 BoF presentation a couple of months ago :) ).

Here is a brief overview of the features that have been discussed and made it to the early draft. This is not a comprehensive list and so please see the Change History (Section I.1) for more information on all the changes made to the specification, in this early draft.
  • Generic Inflow Context: Certain Enterprise Information System (EIS) integration usecases requires the propagation of contextual information from the EIS to the application server. For example, a resource adapter may want to flow-in Security context information, (or in the case of an EIS that deals with conversational messaging, correlation information that might be necessary to recreate a conversational session state in the container) from the EIS to the application server during inbound message delivery. The resource adapter may also want to run a particular Work instance in the context of the "flown-in" Security information. 
The Generic Inflow Context is a new system contract that enables a resource adapter to control the execution context of a Work instance that it has submitted to the WorkManager for execution. The Generic inflow contract provides the mechanism for a resource adapter to augment the runtime context of a Work instance with additional contextual information flown-in from the EIS.

Inflow Contexts for propagating in transaction and security information from the EIS into the application server during the execution of a Work instance have now been standardised via the TransactionInflowContext and SecurityInflowContext interfaces. An application server must support both these inflow contexts and therefore a portable resource adapter can assume an application server’s support for both these inflow contexts. Since the Inflow Context contract has been defined to be generic and extensible, the Connectors specification or other Profiles may define additional context types in the future.

For more information on this new system contract, its API and an illustrative example of how a resource adapter can pass in (say) Transactional information along with a Work instance during Work submission, please refer "Chapter 11. Generic Inflow" of the Early Draft.
  • Security Inflow Context: It is critical, in EIS integration scenarios, that all interactions between an application server and resource adapter are secure.To achieve end-to-end application security, it is important that all activities that a Work instance performs, including delivering messages to a MessageEndpoint (MDB) happens in the context of an established identity.
The Security Inflow Context is a new standard contract that enables a resource adapter to control and establish security information during the execution of a Work instance. This contract provides a mechanism to support the execution of a Work instance in the context of an established identity. It also supports the propagation of user information/Principal information from an EIS to a MessageEndpoint(MDB) during Message Inflow.

So, for instance, if the resource adapter uses the new Security Inflow contracts, deliveries to Message Driven Beans (MDBs) could be made in the context of a security identity [that is, MessageDrivenContext.getCallerPrinicipal() and MessageDrivenContext.isCallerInRole() would returns values established by the resource adapter/EIS].

For more information on this new system contract, its API and an illustrative example of how (say) a XMPP resource adapter can deliver a message with appropriate security information, please refer "Chapter 16. Security Inflow" of the Early Draft.
  • Other changes: In addition to the two new changes discussed above, a suite of new features/changes have also been discussed in the early draft. A few of them are:
    • a definition of minimum set of requirments that must besupported by a compliant Java EE Connectors Architecture 1.6 container within an implementation of any subset of the Java EE Full Profile (like a Web Profile). Refer Section 3.5 
    • an ability to specify the transaction support level of a resource adapter at runtime. Refer Section 7.13
    • ClassLoading requirements for standalone resources adapters. Refer Section 19.3

Monday Jun 30, 2008

Java EE Connector 1.6 overview - JavaOne BoF presentation slides

Binod and I, along with the expert group of JSR 322, have been working on an update to the Java EE Connectors technology. This update, Java EE Connector Architecture 1.6 is planned to be part of Java EE 6.

We presented an overview of the updates currently being discussed in a BoF session in this year's JavaOne. Thanks to everyone who attended the session and for the interesting discussion during and after the session.

I received a few requests for the slides that we used in BoF 5634, and so I have made them available here (pdf). We are working on producing an early draft of the specification and it should be posted in the JSR home page in a few weeks. So, please stay tuned and let us know your feedback.




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