Monday Oct 05, 2015

Survey Confirms JSF Remains Leading Web Framework

In the past ten years or so few topics have caused as much impassioned debate as the question of what Java web framework to use. It's not too surprising then that JavaLobby/DZone recently ran a survey to see what the Java web framework usage landscape looks like today. You can take a look at the detailed results of the survey here. As the title of this blog entry suggests the results bode very well for JSF and in fact bode well for the MVC 1.0 specification targeted for Java EE 8 as well:

For those of us that understand something about how open standards and de-facto "standards" form it was only a matter of time before the obviously hyper-competitive server-side web framework space was going to consolidate/converge on some kind of market consensus. This survey clearly demonstrates that is exactly what is finally happening. JSF leads with 34.5% of the market share. That is great news for the JSF community and they deserve credit for it given most other Java web frameworks seem to implicitly choose JSF as their primary competitive target. Spring MVC follows very closely with 34.2%. This in my view is great news as this validates the need to standardize MVC 1.0 as an action-oriented approach to web frameworks. The MVC specification community should take note and pay close attention to the concepts proven out in Spring MVC. In addition the MVC specification has the implicit advantage of not being tied to legacy and starting from a clean slate to adopt what is proven and do better where it makes obvious sense. Other than the two front-runners market share drops pretty sharply for the rest.

I should note that the sample size for this survey is extremely strong at 1300+. While no survey is foolproof, this is probably the closest to getting at what is really going on in the Java web framework space. It is also note worthy that JSF has consistently been either number one or number two in such surveys in the past few years. OmniFaces lead Arjan Tijms pointed this out in a characteristically well written analysis on the JAX-RS expert group some months ago. I highly recommend the post for folks interested in JSF or Java web frameworks in general.

I know a segment of folks will have a tendency to dismiss the server-side Java web framework space with the hype around HTML 5/JavaScript rich clients like AngularJS. Fortunately DZone/JavaLobby ran an even broader reaching survey on the Java ecosystem. That survey measured server-side Java web frameworks against JavaScript client-side frameworks. The results were not made public yet but should be available soon. I don't consider myself a betting man but based on what I have observed during my popular talk on the topic of HTML5/JavaScript clients and Java EE 7 I have a few reasonably good guesses. Given the current hype I have no doubt JavaScript clients will make a strong showing. Indeed I would not be too surprised to also see that AngularJS already dominates the JavaScript client side framework space. However I think both the relative market share for JSF and Spring MVC will remain largely unchanged even in that survey. What's more likely is that the Java web frameworks that are already in a niche would join the marginal ranks of AngularJS's weaker JavaScript framework competitors. We will find out if I am right as soon as the results of the broader survey are published...

Friday Oct 02, 2015

Bessem Hmidi on AngularBeans at JavaOne 2015

For the Java EE track at JavaOne 2015 we are highlighting some key sessions and speakers to better inform you of what you can expect, right up until the start of the conference.

To this end we recently interviewed Bessem Hmidi. Bessem is the JUG leader of the ESPRIT JUG Tunisia, an educator, a researcher, an international speaker and a Java EE enthusiast. He spoke to us about his accepted session at JavaOne 2015 on AngularBeans. AngularBeans is a very innovative open source project that marries AngularJS with CDI and Java EE (click here if you can't see the embedded video). We've highlighted AngularBeans on this humble blog in the past.

You can find details on Bessem's session on the JavaOne 2015 content catalog. The following are the other sessions we talked about:

Besides these sessions, we have a very strong program for the Java EE track and JavaOne overall - just explore the content catalog. If you can't make it, you can be assured that we will make key content available after the conference just as we have always done.

Sunday Sep 06, 2015

Java EE @ Devoxx Poland 2015

Devoxx Poland was held on June 22-25 in historic Krakow. This is one of the largest and most prestigious Polish developer conferences. The conference was completely sold out and chock full of world class speakers/content. Speakers included Adam Bien, Venkat Subramaniam, Ted Neward and Pratik Patel. Topics included Java SE, Java EE, HTML5, JavaScript, DevOps, architecture, methodology, NoSQL and cloud.

I delivered talks on Java EE 8, aligning JavaScript/HTML5 with Java EE 7 as well as the JCP/Adopt-a-JSR. I also delivered two hands-on workshops on Java EE 7 and JMS 2. Adam Bien delivered a vital talk on Java EE and microservices. More details on the sessions and the trip to Poland, including slide decks and code, posted on my personal blog.

Wednesday Aug 26, 2015

JSON-P 1.1/Java EE 8 Webinar at Istanbul JUG

The Istanbul JUG has been spinning up it's participation in Java EE 8 through Adopt-a-JSR. They have already taken an interest in JSON-P 1.1, MVC and JMS 2.1 with many more Java EE 8 JSRs on their radar. The Istanbul JUG is the first Turkish JUG to engage with Adopt-a-JSR and Java EE 8.

Towards this end the JUG is hosting an online webinar on the proposed changes in JSON-P 1.1 to better involve JUG members. These changes include support for JSON Pointer, JSON Patch and JSON Patch-Merge as well as Java SE 8 alignment. They will be using the recently released specification early draft to drive the discussion. The meeting will be hosted online so anyone can participate. The event will be held on September 3rd, 9:00 PM Istanbul time. Details of the meeting can be found here. The linked page also includes a registration form for the webinar. Note the meeting will be in Turkish.

The Adopt-a-JSR program is one the key things we are trying hard to do differently for Java EE 8 with the goal making this version of the platform one of the most community driven technologies ever developed. Here are just some of the things you could help do via the program right now:

The full details for Adopt-a-JSR/Java EE 8 is always available here. Remember that if you have any questions on any of this, you are always welcome to drop me a note.

Tuesday Aug 25, 2015

Asynchronous Support in JAX-RS 2/Java EE 7

Asynchronous processing, non-blocking I/O, events and messaging are keys to more reactive applications. Fortunately Java EE has long organically provided such features in the platform at pretty much every key API layer including Servlet, CDI, EJB and JMS. These features were strengthened further in Java EE 7 and even more could be done in Java EE 8. Spurred by a real world developer I met at a conference writing a highly reactive IoT application with Java EE, I've actually developed a talk about reactive features in Java EE (click here if you can't see the embedded slide deck):

One such feature added in JAX-RS 2/Java EE 7 gets surprisingly little exposure - asynchronous capabilities added for both server-side REST endpoints as well as clients. Fortunately Sam Sepassi has stepped up nicely to fill the gap with a detailed blog entry that covers both the servers-side and client side capabilities. Bonus points to Sam for demonstrating how nicely JAX-RS 2 asynchronous endpoints and EJB @Asynchronous work together! Sam also shows the Java EE 7 Concurrency Utilities in action and does a nice job explaining the basics/what's going on under the hood.

Monday Aug 24, 2015

Java API for JSON Binding (JSON-B) 1.0 Early Draft Now Available!

The first early draft of the Java API for JSON Binding (JSON-B) 1.0 is now available for you to review: As discussed below this is distinct from the Java API for JSON Processing (JSON-P) 1.1, which also recently published it's own first early draft. Like all early drafts for JSRs, the goal is to foster dialog, feedback and participation. Although it is just an early draft the thirty-five page specification document is actually fairly far along so providing useful feedback should be easy.

JSON is increasingly becoming the de-facto data interchange format on the web, be it for mobile, HTML5/JavaScript rich-client or microservices applications. While Jersey, EclipseLink, GlassFish and WebLogic have long provided strong support for JSON via EclipeLink MOXy, it has been a goal in the Java EE platform to make JSON a first class citizen to the degree where it can become just another natural serialization format for Java. Towards that goal Java EE 7 provided simple JSON processing support via JSON-P. That support is being beefed up further in Java EE 8 by supporting more JSON standards in JSON-P such as JSON Pointer, JSON-Patch and the like. As a parallel effort Java EE 8 also plans to provide a much higher level JSON binding API via JSON-B. The idea is to make JSON handling in the platform so ubiquitous and easy-to-use that it is almost invisible akin to JAXB in the XML world.

If these are ideas that interest you, now is the time to get involved with JSON-B and join other folks in the community that are already helping out. The JSON-B early draft gives special thanks to Olena Syrota, Oleg Tsal-Tsalko and the Ukraine JUG for their contributions even at this stage. These folks have helped us with feedback, community building as well as evangelizing.

There are many ways for you to get involved as always. You are always welcome to join the expert group proper via the JCP page for the specification. You can always simply join the discussion by subscribing to the JSON-B specification user alias. If you would rather participate as a group through your JUG you can do that easily via Adopt-a-JSR.

Wednesday Aug 19, 2015

Java EE @ Chicago Coder Conference 2015

The Chicago Coder Conference 2015 was held on May 14-15. The conference is locally organized by the community including the Chicago JUG, which is why it was important for us to support the event. The event is somewhat Java leaning but also has great presence from the web, .NET, database, etc communities.

I delivered talks on JMS 2 and aligning JavaScript/HTML5 with Java EE 7. Chicago based Java EE advocate Josh Juneau covered what's coming in Java EE 8. More details on the sessions and the trip to Turkey, including slide decks and code, posted on my personal blog.

Tuesday Aug 18, 2015

A new CDI scope in Java EE 8 ?

At this stage, it is probably safe to say that a new CDI scope will be introduced in Java EE 8 as the MVC Expert Group (JSR 371) is in the process of introducing a new CDI custom scope (@RedirectScoped) to support redirect. 

The idea is simple; an MCV controller can decide to redirect a client to a specific URL, to a specific controller method. A typical example would be that an anonymous user hits a page that required to be logged; the controller will then redirect the user to a login page. To do this, the controller uses HTTP 302 ('moved temporarily') to invite the client to make a new request to a different URL, to a different controller.  That second request implies a new (and thus different) request-response cycle. And that's the 'raison-d'être' of this new @RedirectScoped scope, i.e. to allow maintaining some state between the 2 request-response cycles of a redirect. Note that this new scope is for the MVC API only. That new scope is sometime referred as the 'Flash scope'. You can see how both redirect and @RedirectScoped works here.

The great thing about this new scope is that it is just a new CDI custom scope. This is a great example on how the Java EE Platform leverages its foundation to evolve. 

And last but not least, make sure to provide feedback as JSR 371 is in Early Draft period review.

Monday Aug 17, 2015

A Journey from Tapestry to JSF 2.2 and JavaEE 7

After the key Java EE 6 release we have seen a steady stream of folks migrating from various non-standard frameworks to Java EE - all for their own good reasons. One such very recent detailed migration story was shared by Lenny Primak. He successfully migrated from Tapestry to Java EE 7/JSF 2.2 and shared his observations in a series of (eighteen!) blog entries. His candid independent insights with regards to JSF/Java EE are likely very helpful to current and potential adopters.

I do think it is very important to take any such migration story with a grain of salt. All of this is just one person's view about what is right for them while choosing amongst a complicated set of trade-offs. It is never wise to over-generalize from those unique perspectives instead of choosing what is right for a given situation. We certainly should not forget that all non-trivial technology has it's advantages and drawbacks over time. Tapestry is a great technology in the overall ecosystem that standards like JSF do adopt good ideas from (and the opposite is likely to also be true). It is also possible to use Tapestry with Java EE as an alternative to JSF.

You can read Lenny's entire migration story on his personal blog. Although eighteen entries can seem daunting each entry is short/to-the-point and well written. Here are some highlights for the very impatient:

  • In the conclusion Lenny notes "As I looked at the big picture, it turned out to be easier to convert the whole app from T5.3 to JSF and PrimeFaces instead of T5.4, and that’s what I did. This turned out a great decision. Everything is compatible, future JavaEE versions are easily adoptable, all integrations do not require heroic efforts to implement or maintain and even JavaScript and Ajax with JQuery even started to be fun to develop."
  • Lenny opted to use Apache Shiro instead of built-in Java EE application server security such as GlassFish Security or WebLogic Security. He found that Shiro was easy to use with JSF and Java EE - "After the switch to JSF, however, Shiro, with it’s standard configuration, worked as expected, and I was able to build all of the security requirements in the application very quickly."
  • Lenny had some nice things to say about JSF generally and JSF 2.2 in particular - "The JSF way seems to be more flexible and saves code", "writing the same function in JSF and PrimeFaces took only about 10 lines of CoffeeScript code", "...major feature of JSF 2.2 is HTML 5 support, and ability to write JSF applications in standard HTML5 syntax as opposed to JSF tags...this development prompted me to re-evaluate JSF as my tool set".
  • Lenny found contributing to Java EE extremely easy "when trying to contribute to JavaEE, I was welcomed right away. The attitude really shined, and I was able to contribute valuable bug fixes without too much hassle."
  • Lenny found it more sensible to work with standard EJB 3 and JPA features instead of the Tapestry approach to persistence - "I found it better to call EJBs from Tapestry, and let EJBs handle all JPA transactions, thus totally bypassing Tapestry-JPA. This turned out to be the best solution of using JPA with Tapestry."
Do you have a similar interesting Java EE adoption story to share with the community? If so, please do reach out and we will find a way to properly highlight it.

Friday Aug 14, 2015

Submit Now to Win a Duke's Choice Award!

The incredible amount of innovation that uses and builds upon standard Java/EE technologies is one the most important factors that keeps our ecosystem so uniquely strong. The annual Duke's Choice Awards is a small way of recognizing and encouraging such innovation. Every year a panel of judges gives out ten of these awards at JavaOne. Submissions for this year is now open and you should check out the details right now.

Note that while some of the text uses the word "nomination", it simply means submitting (aka "nominating") your own project or work for consideration by the awards committee. There is no problem with doing this whatsoever and that is in fact what the submission form expects in most cases. That being said there is also no problem whatsoever in submitting on behalf of any project or work you think deserves the award even if you are not directly involved with it.

Besides some well-deserved recognition by the Java community, winners get a free JavaOne 2015 conference pass, a super cool Duke award statue and of course the winner's badge. Keep in mind the award isn't just for the framework or product developer types. In the past people using Java in innovative ways for "real world" projects, great educators and thought leaders have won too. Here are some example winners from the past few years for inspiration:

  • Apache TomEE - Innovative fully certified lightweight Java EE application server that is a drop-in replacement to Tomcat.
  • United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees/World Food Program Subsidy Card - A real world Java EE 7 application running on GlassFish that makes a real difference.
  • JCertif - Bringing Java/EE focused IT education to the African continent.
  • JEDI - Bringing Java/EE focused education to the Philippines.
  • DeltaSpike - A very useful CDI toolbox for Java EE developers.
  • Devoxx4Kids - A very cool initiative focused on teaching kid's programming facilitated by one of the largest Java developer conferences.
  • JDuchess - A program to strengthen women in Java.
  • London Java Community - The super active JUG involved in OpenJDK, JCP and Adopt-a-JSR.
  • - The world class e-Learning platform built on Java EE.
  • Arquillian - JUnit for Java EE, need I say more :-)?
  • jHome - An open source home automation platform built on Java EE and GlassFish.

You can check out all the past winners here. Do hurry up - the submission deadline is August 24. The submission form is here.

Wednesday Aug 12, 2015

Adopt-a-JSR/Java EE 8 at Istanbul JUG

The Istanbul JUG has been spinning up it's participation in Java EE 8 through Adopt-a-JSR. They have already taken an interest in MVC and JMS 2.1 with many more Java EE 8 JSRs on their radar. The Istanbul JUG is the first Turkish JUG to engage with Adopt-a-JSR and Java EE 8.

Towards this end, the JUG is hosting an event on Adopt-a-JSR to better involve JUG members. The intent of the meeting is to introduce the program and how members can participate in various Java EE 8 JSRs. The meeting will be held on August 13th, 7:30 PM at the Koc University Incubation center. Details of the meeting can be found here (the page is in Turkish and geared towards Istanbul residents).

The Adopt-a-JSR program is one the key things we are trying hard to do differently for Java EE 8 with the goal making this version of the platform one of the most community driven technologies ever developed. Here are just some of the things you could help do via the program right now:

The full details for Adopt-a-JSR/Java EE 8 is always available here. Remember that if you have any questions on any of this, you are always welcome to drop me a note.

Tuesday Aug 11, 2015

Maven, Java EE and ... NetBeans

At the beginning, build tools capabilities were relatively simple, i.e. mostly compile and package the compiled sources. But over the years, those capabilities have largely evolved (e.g. complex build processes, dependencies management, documentation generation, testing integration, etc.). And it's probably fair to say that Maven has been, at least in the Java landscape, one of the main actors in that evolution... if not the most important one! Maven is widely used since many years, it's now the de-facto Java build environment. And if you are using another solution (e.g. Graddle), you can't ignore Maven; chances are high that you still have to directly or indirectly use Maven in a way or another (e.g. to integrate a 3rd party framework which uses Maven). 

In his "Truly Unleashing the Power of Maven and Java EE" article, Geertjan Wielenga (NetBeans Product Manager) talks about how well integrated Maven is in the NetBeans IDE. If you haven't used NetBeans and its Maven support, you should read this piece. It's amazing how Maven is supported in NetBeans. It's so nicely integrated that you sometime tend to forget that Maven is used under the hood.

Geertjan then discusses another strength of NetBeans, its Java EE support. He then concludes with "Maven and Java EE are baked into the very essence of what NetBeans IDE is, as its heartbeat, and as its raison d’être". So when you combine NB's deep Maven integration with its outstanding Java EE support, you get a rock-solid (and free!) environment to develop Java EE applications.

Visual representation of a Maven project's depencies in NetBeans

Monday Aug 10, 2015

Help Recognize Java Community Process (JCP) Heroes!

An open standard like Java/EE involves a lot of hard work from a lot of different groups of people. The hard work of these people, largely selflessly, benefit countless developers. For specification leads the work in the JCP is often far beyond just a job. I have seen the same to be true of many vendor experts on a specification. Especially admirable are the independents that contribute to specifications largely on their own time as well as Adopt-a-JSR participants. The annual Java Community Process awards is a small way of recognizing some of these great people and their work. This year's award nominations are now open - you should read the details here. There are four different awards:

  • JCP member or participant of the year
  • Outstanding specification lead
  • Most significant JSR
  • Outstanding Adopt-a-JSR participant

The awards will be presented at JavaOne 2015. These are the nominations I have personally made already:

  • Josh Juneau (for outstanding Adopt-a-JSR participant)
  • Arjan Tijms (for JCP member of the year)
  • Adam Bien (for JCP member of the year)
  • David Blevins (for JCP member of the year)
  • Ivar Grimstad (for JCP member of the year)
  • Antoine Sabot-Durand (for outstanding specification lead)
  • Manfred Riem and Santiago Pericas-Geertsen jointly (for outstanding specification lead)
  • CDI 2 (for most significant JSR)
  • MVC 1.0 (for most significant JSR)
Are there others that deserve nomination this year? If so, please don't hesitate to submit the nomination yourself using the very straightforward form. The form is only open until August 17th, so please do hurry!

Friday Aug 07, 2015

JSF 2.3 Early Draft Needs You!

The JSF ecosystem continues to grow even after many years in a very competitive space. JSF 2.3 aims to keep the specification strong by addressing the needs of the community in the next few years and further beyond. The JSF 2.3 specification is now gearing up for it's first early draft. The intent is to publish the early draft by JavaOne 2015. If you have an interest in JSF 2.3, this is a perfect time to get involved in helping shape the draft. The items specification lead Ed Burns has in his mind at the bare minimum for inclusion into the early draft includes:

  • Multi-component validation.
  • Java SE 8 Date and Time support.
  • f:socket tag.
  • Option to render Ajax traffic using JSON.
  • Complete CDI alignment.
  • Any other open issues.

There are many ways for you to get involved as always. You are always welcome to join the expert group proper via the JCP page for the specification. You can always simply join the discussion by subscribing to the JSF 2.3 specification user alias. If you would rather participate as a group through your JUG you can do that easily via Adopt-a-JSR.

Wednesday Aug 05, 2015

JavaOne 2015 Java EE Track Content Finalized (A Detailed Preview)

I am very pleased to share with you that the JavaOne Java EE track content is now finalized. In this brief but detail-rich entry on my personal blog, I want to take this opportunity to tell you a little bit about the track, key content and star speakers this year. The collective passion and dedication of all the folks that submitted helped us construct a very strong offering for the community at large. JavaOne is a key part of the global Java community far beyond the walls of Oracle and all of you are a large part of keeping it successful.

I hope to see you all at JavaOne. In the next coming weeks and months we will be sharing more details on the Java EE track, content and speakers at JavaOne. Lastly having been on the other side of the fence I know as much as you might come to JavaOne, it might not be a practical reality for you for a variety of good reasons. I want to remind you that we make a point to make JavaOne content openly available to all. That being said I want to tell you that you should make the pilgrimage to JavaOne at least once as a Java developer.