Wednesday Apr 15, 2015

Last Call to Submit to the JavaOne Java EE Track

This is a first and last reminder from us to all of the folks out there that the JavaOne 2015 CFP closes on April 29 - just about two weeks from now.

The procrastinator in you might be thinking two weeks is plenty of time. In reality if you haven't started working on your submissions yet, you are probably setting yourself up for some stress that will likely result in a weak submission. This is especially true if like most of us you will need to collaborate with others or get your boss's approval for your submission. Putting things in perspective the CFP has already been open for about two weeks so other folks already have a head start to maximize their chances of getting accepted. We want to make sure everyone in the community has a fair chance to help us build a strong Java EE track agenda by submitting their best ideas. As always, never hesitate to get in touch if you have a question.

Consider the following as inspiration for submissions to the Java EE track (the only real limits of course are your own imagination on anything in the Java EE ecosystem):

  • Existing and upcoming Java EE technology JSRs and implementations
  • Cool stuff that extends Java EE in new and interesting ways
  • Case studies using Java EE 5, Java EE 6 or Java EE 7 (specially migration from other technologies)
  • Best practices and design patterns for using Java EE technologies
  • Emerging trends in the ecosystem such as HTTP2, HTML5 and microservices
  • Insightful research, development and analysis work in server-side Java

Fortunately or unfortunately some previous JavaOne CFPs have been extended beyond their initial date. Please do yourself a favor and don't assume this will happen again. You may be winding up denying yourself a shot at submitting your great talk altogether :-).

Finally, here is that all important link to the CFP. Hope to see and accept your great topic soon :-)?

Tuesday Apr 14, 2015

Java EE Security API (JSR 375) Update

"If you don't vote you can't complain. Get involved." (David Blevins)

From the current set of Java EE 8 JSRs, 'Java EE Security API' (JSR 375) is the latest one as it was only approved in December last year. It was started later than the other JSRs. Nevertheless, the EG is now very active (+200 messages just for last month!). 

Obviously, this effort need a strong focus as 'Security' can mean a lot of things. And depending on whom you ask, you will high likely have different views. So to EG is currently busy filtering and consolidating ideas. In addition, one thing that is clear is that having a common ground for discussions is really needed. So the EG is also working on defining a security API terminology; i.e. a common vocabulary to enable concise and accurate communication amongst the EG and the community (see here). This may sounds obvious but it's not; e.g. what's the difference between a user store and a user realm?

During JavaLand, some EG members have presented a few ideas that will be tackled in this JSR. Alex Kosowski (JSR375 Specification Lead) also presented, during Devoxx France, the plans for JSR 375. Alex's session recording will be made available in the coming weeks. In the meantime, you can check the slides.

Since there are potentially a lot of things that could be addressed in this JSR, the EG needs to make sure they address the right features, in the right order and in the right form. So the goal of those different sessions is really to expose the EG current plans and ideas but more importantly to get your feedback!

To know more, you should check this playground has it contains prototype ideas for possible inclusions in this JSR; lurk in the JSR 375 users mailing list and voice any relevant feedback!

Monday Apr 13, 2015

A Preview of Java EE @ GIDS 2015

The Great Indian Developer Summit (GIDS) 2015 will be held on April 21-24 in Bangalore, with a follow-on GIDS.Mini to be held on April 25 in Hyderabad. GIDS is very easily the largest and most significant developer event in South Asia. Perhaps reflecting global demographic shifts in software development, GIDS may also now have become one of the largest developer conferences in the world. It is truly a privilege to be able to speak at the event and I am even more fortunate to have a number of Java EE sessions there. While in India I am very happy to say I will also be speaking at a couple of entirely community driven JUG events at the Madras JUG (Chennai) and the Hyderabad Java user group before and after GIDS.

Below are a preview of my talks at GIDS:

  • Using JavaScript/HTML5 Rich Clients with Java EE 7: This is my thus far extremely popular and well-received talk on using Java EE 7 as an effective back-end for JavaScript/HTML5 rich clients. If this is a development model that interests you, the talk should give you some valuable tools to get started. Although I use AngularJS for my examples, the basic participles from a Java EE 7 perspective apply to any JavaScript/HTML5 or native/hybrid mobile client. The slides for the talk are on SlideShare while the demo code is on GitHub. Besides Bangalore, I will be repeating this talk in Hyderabad for GIDS.Mini.
  • Reactive Java EE - Let Me Count the Ways!: This is one of my newest and thus far also extremely popular and well-received talks. It explores how Java EE 7 APIs like JMS, MDB, EJB @Asynchronous, JAX-RS/Servlet/WebSocket async, CDI events and Java EE concurrency utilities along with Java SE 8 features such as lambdas and Completable Futures work to align the platform with the reactive movement. The slides for the talk are here.
  • Applied Domain-Driven Design Blue Prints for Java EE: This talk essentially introduces the Cargo Tracker project. In the talk I cover the very basics of DDD, discuss how DDD constructs apply to Java EE and show how the mapping can be done using Cargo Tracker. The slides for the talk are here.

  • I am very honored that the Madras JUG and Hyderabad JUG invited me to speak to their members while in India for GIDS and very proud that I was able to accept. The GIDS organizers were very gracious in extending their goodwill to support the community. Both the JUGS in Madras and Hyderabad have arranged all day events in slightly different formats, which is awesome.

    The Madras JUG will host multiple talks on the same day. I will be delivering the opening keynote as well as a technical session. For the keynote I will be delivering my thus far very well-received talk titled Why Open Standards and Java/EE Matter. In the talk I will discuss the basic value proposition of open standards like Java and Java EE in maintaining a healthy, competitive, multi-vendor ecosystem. The slides for the talk are here. For the technical talk, I'll be delivering the latest update on Java EE 8. Besides covering the current state of Java EE 8 I also cover how you can get involved in the process including through highly inclusive programs like Adopt-a-JSR. The slides for the Java EE 8 talk are also on SlideShare. The Madras JUG event will be held before GIDS and the details for the event are here.

    The Hyderabad JUG is hosting the Java EE 7 Hands-on-Lab as a full day workshop. This is essentially our flagship lab/workshop at the moment covering Java EE 7. It has always proven popular so far and it is a great way to get some hands-on experience with Java EE 7. The Hyderabad JUG event will take place after GIDS.Mini and the details are here.

    Hope to see you in India soon during at least one of these events? As always never hesitate to reach out to me if there is something I can help with or if you have a question. I'll bring along some Java/Java EE goodies you are welcome to :-).

    Thursday Apr 02, 2015

    MVC 1.0 (JSR 371) Early Draft Review period has started!

    MVC 1.0 (JSR 371) formally known as the 'Model-View-Controller Specification' has just entered the Early Draft Review period. This is significant because it is the first Java EE 8 specification to enter this phase. Kudos to the JSR 371 Expert Group! JSR 371 is ‘just’ a piece of the Java EE 8 story but this step shows that, slowly but surely, Java EE 8 is starting to take shape.

    You are strongly encouraged to review the early draft of the specification, test it using Ozark, the open source JSR 371 Reference Implementation and obviously provide comments and feedback!

    The MVC specification is really easy to grasp for anybody familiar with JAX-RS, the samples bundled with Ozark will also help to understand the specification. You can also check Ozark's sources and the presentation I gave a few days ago at JavaLand. 

    To test the first Ozark milestone build, you need a recent GlassFish build (post 4.1 build, see here for details). Another and simple solution to test JSR 371 and Ozark is to use this script to create a Docker image with GF, Ozark and the JSR 371 samples pre-deployed.

    The Early Draft Review period will end of April 30th. For specification related feedback, you can use the JSR 371 users mailing list or the JSR 371 issue tracker. For Ozark related feedback, please use the Ozark users mailing list or the Ozark issue tracker.

    So what do you think of JSR 371? Also, should we use this Docker based approach to help you test other upcoming Java EE 8 specifications?

    Wednesday Apr 01, 2015

    Java EE @ ConFoo Canada 2015

    ConFoo 2015 took place 16-20 February in Montreal, Canada. To my knowledge it is the largest developer conference north of the border. The conference has roots in PHP, but has been making an effort to better attract a Java audience hence it was important for me to support the conference. If you are a Canadian Java developer, I would consider adding ConFoo to your radar as a more convenient (and possibly cheaper) event to go to in order to stay up-to-date. Thanks to a number of community speakers such as Ryan Cuprak, Hanneli Tavante and Rodrigo Candido da Silva the Java EE presence was very strong this year. There were Java EE centric talks on JAX-RS, OAuth, cloud, Java EE 7 and Java EE 8.

    I personally delivered two sessions on JMS 2 and testing Java EE applications with Arquillian in addition to a couple of lighting talks on Java EE 8/Adopt-a-JSR as well as Domain-Driven Design (DDD)/Cargo Tracker. More details on the sessions and ConFoo, including slide decks, videos and code, posted on my personal blog.

    Tuesday Mar 31, 2015

    Java EE @ Devoxx France

    Devoxx France will take place next week in Paris. And this year, the most popular French Java conference is moving to a newer (and larger) venue: Palais des Congrés!

    The overall conference agenda is impressive but Java EE is obviously well covered (see the overview below). Personally, I will co-host with Roberto Cortez a session and a Hands-on lab on the Batch API (JSR 352).  I also have another regular conference session where I will talk about Java EE 8. Last but not least, I will also participate in the Java EE BoF with Antoine Sabot-Durand, Antonio Goncalves and Emmanuel Bernard.

    Finally, I will also host a (late!) BoF around one of my hobby: Home Automation and Java. Despite this, this BoF is clearly not about Java EE. The idea is to gather interested people and have informal discussions around anything related to Home Automation and Java (KNX, Z-Wave, Nest, etc.). 

    Monday Mar 30, 2015

    Free JPA 2.1 Cheat Sheet by Thorben Janssen

    Cheat sheets can be very handy while quickly referring to a technology one uses on a daily basis, although they can be tough to read (and write!) if the technology is very extensive like JPA. Fortunately, the changes in JPA 2.1 are definitely small enough to fit on a cheat sheet. Note, just because the amount of changes are small definitely does not mean they are not important. In fact, most of the changes in JPA 2.1 have generated a good deal of interest in the community and are already proving to be well received. Very fortunately for us, Thorben Janssen has gone through the effort of putting together a 100% free cheat sheet on the changes in JPA 2.1. You can download it from his related excellent blog entry aptly titled JPA 2.1 - 12 Features Every Developer Should Know.

    If you look around Thorben's blog you'll find that he is trying his best to craft it to be a valuable resource to the community, including a weekly Java newsletter. If you find the JPA 2.1 cheat sheet to be useful, please do spread the word and consider dropping a brief note of appreciation for Thorben's hard work.

    Friday Mar 27, 2015

    JavaOne CFP is Open - Your Invitation to Submit to the Java EE Track

    It's that special time of the year again - the JavaOne 2015 call for papers is now officially open!

    JavaOne will be held October 25 - October 29 in San Francisco. You can read about the details and submit here (at the time of writing the site has some minor inconsistencies that is being fixed as we speak - generally you can trust the accuracy of the information in this post when in doubt). This year I have the privilege to lead the Java EE track again along with veteran track lead Lance Andersen. My colleagues Bruno Borges and David Delabassee will also be playing key roles in the Java EE track.

    Please do consider this a personal invitation from me to submit your best ideas to one of the most prestigious gatherings of the minds for server-side Java. If you have any questions, never hesitate to get in touch. If your submission was not accepted the previous years please consider this encouragement to try to improve it and submit again.

    Consider the following as inspiration for submissions to the Java EE track (the only real limits of course are your own imagination on anything in the Java EE ecosystem):

    • Existing and upcoming Java EE technology JSRs and implementations
    • Cool stuff that extends Java EE in new and interesting ways
    • Case studies using Java EE 5, Java EE 6 or Java EE 7 (including migration from other technologies)
    • Best practices and design patterns for using Java EE technologies
    • Emerging trends closely relevant to the Java EE ecosystem such as HTTP 2, microservices, reactive and the like
    • Insightful research, development and analysis work in server-side Java

    Note that topics like IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, elasticity, multitenancy, NoSQL, Big Data, DevOps and the like should go on the cloud track instead of the Java EE track. Do make an honest effort in applying your judgement on which track to submit on. Either way, it's not a deal breaker if you don't get it exactly right - we will figure it out for you if all else fails :-).

    The CFP is closed April 29, so please do start thinking about what you want to submit very soon (note that's a very short time frame - just about a month from now). That being said do take your time - quality always matters!

    Thursday Mar 26, 2015

    New book: "Web Development with Java and JSF"

    During JavaLand, I had the pleasure to meet Michael Müller. Michael is well known in the German Java sphere as he wrote numerous articles for various IT medias. In addition, Michael is an avid JSF user and a JSF EG member.

    Michael is currently writing a book titled "Web Development with Java and JSF". Since Michael is a passionate JSF user, JSF is obviously an important topic in his book. But this is not another book about JSF only. Michael's goal is to cover Web Application development at large. That means that different but related topics are also discussed through his book. There are for examples sections on JPA, Bean Validation, Responsive Design, ... Michael also plan to touch on subject such as Web Application testing with Selenium, etc.

    Michael has decided to use “a more fair” publishing approach where the book has 2 prices: a minimum and a suggested price. Based on that, the potential buyer is free to decide how much he wants to pay. This approach gives the buyer the ability to decide how much s/he think the book is really worth but this also gives the author more financial rewards as there is no intermediary between the publisher and the author.

    A great deal of the book has already been written (+240 pages) but Michael is planning to add extra content.  You can read a sample here. "Web Development with Java and JSF" is available in the usual eBook formats (PDF, Mobi, ePub) and once you've bought it, you are entitled to get the updated versions for free.

    Wednesday Mar 25, 2015

    Forge Powered Java EE Rapid Application Development Comes to NetBeans!

    Forge has been a great tool for Rapid Application Development (RAD) with Java EE (for sake of nostalgia it is basically the descendant of the awesome seam-gen tool of the Java EE 5 era). As powerful as Forge is, one of it's drawbacks had been that it is very heavily command-line driven with many commands and sub-commands to learn. As a result it can be initially unnatural for the Average Joe, very IDE centric Java developer to pick up.

    A novel solution to this paradigm mismatch that the Forge team adopted is to integrate Forge into IDEs like Eclipse. I am very happy to report that such integration has finally arrived in NetBeans, perhaps making it truly accessible to the core Java EE community. Indeed the Forge NetBeans integration works out very nicely - you access Forge commands through NetBeans quick search, the otherwise CLI driven commands are rendered dynamically as regular NetBeans wizards and the commands take effect seamlessly within NetBeans including generating code and running the project. In this case, a video really is worth a thousand words (if you are having trouble viewing the embedded video below it is available here). In addition to demonstrating Forge in NetBeans the video is really a great reflection of the kind of productivity you can achieve with Java EE today.

    The Forge NetBeans plugin can be installed directly from within NetBeans by using the Plugin Portal Update Center (Tools -> Plugins). You can also download it manually from the NetBeans Plugin Portal.

    If you are new to Forge, the Forge site has excellent documentation for getting started including a great self-paced, self-directed hands-on lab. Enjoy - Forge really can make web development fun again and NetBeans + Forge is a truly powerful combination that's hard to beat :-).

    Tuesday Mar 24, 2015

    JMS 2.0 Revision A

    The JMS 2.0 errata has passed the JCP executive committee ballot approval! This simple maintenance release was necessary to correct a few errors in the original JMS 2.0 specification. And now that ‘JMS 2.0 Revision A’ is done and approved, the focus is shifting towards the next version of the JMS specification, i.e. JMS 2.1.

    Resources :

    Monday Mar 23, 2015

    Java EE 8/Adopt-a-JSR Updates: Morocco JUG!

    It is truly heartwarming to see Adopt-a-JSR moving forward! Although it is still the early days a number of JUGs worldwide have already adopted Java EE 8 JSRs. The Morocco JUG had been at the forefront of Adopt-a-JSR from the very start. In fact the JUG was awarded as an "Outstanding Adopt-a-JSR Participant" for their contributions to Java EE 7. It should be no surprise the JUG is committed to helping Java EE 8 move forward through Adopt-a-JSR as well. In JUG leader Badr El Houari's own words - "Our goal is helping to shape the best Java enterprise platform ever!".

    With that ambitious goal in mind the Morocco JUG started their year with a meeting on Adopt-a-JSR and Java EE 8. Held at the IBM Innovation Center in Casablanca the meeting was a full house with over ninety developers participating. Badr explained the Adopt-a-JSR program to JUG members and shared what JSRs he was hoping to support:

    • CDI 2
    • MVC
    • JMS 2.1
    • JSF 2.3
    • JAX-RS 2.1
    • JSON-B

    Details on the meeting are blogged on the Morocco JUG website. The Morocco JUG also has a very helpful guide for JUG members that would like to start contributing to Java EE 8 JSRs right now.

    We are sure to see great things from the Morocco JUG on Adopt-a-JSR and Java EE 8. Is your JUG adopting a Java EE 8 JSR yet :-)?

    Wednesday Mar 18, 2015

    Java EE Management API 2.0 (JSR 373) Spins Up

    As most of you know the initial wave of Java EE 8 JSRs have been underway for a little while now, including the platform JSR itself, CDI 2, JSON-B, JMS 2.1, Servlet 4, JAX-RS 2.1, MVC and JSF 2.3. Three more Java EE 8 JSRs have been more recent additions - Java EE Security, JSON-P 1.1 and Java EE Management 2. The Java EE Management API 2 (JSR 373) had been the last of these to truly spin up and I am happy to report that it too has now gone fully into high gear under the leadership of specification lead Martin Mares. Though the initial expert group has already formed, you should still feel free to join as an expert if you want - just go to the JSR page linked above to nominate yourself.

    Although it does not seem to get as much press thus far, this JSR is actually potentially one of the most interesting and useful parts of Java EE 8. For those familiar, it is essentially a modernization of the very dated "J2EE Management" (JSR 77) API. The intention of the old API was to allow for managing all kinds of resources on an application server - JMS resources, JDBC resources, JCA resources, JavaMail resources, drivers, deployment artifacts, EJBs, Servlets, servers, domains and so on. For various reasons the JSR saw limited success - some have argued that the API was overly complex, abstract and cumbersome. It certainly seems dated today as it is largely centered on EJB remote interfaces.

    The new management API is a great chance to take a fresh look at the problem domain using an updated tool-set. Unlike JSR 77, the new API will make use of REST, SSE and potentially WebSocket. For those familiar with the popular GlassFish REST management interface, we can reasonably expect to see something similar. From an industry standpoint, this means being able to work with all Java EE 8 application servers using a uniform, predictable cross-platform API from all kinds of tools from simple HTTP command-line clients to Chef and Puppet, whether on the cloud or on premise. Though not strictly part of JSR 77, the new management API is also slated to handle deploying artifacts instead of simply managing/monitoring them, which is also extremely useful (for the curious, this was the domain of another very dated relatively obscure API -  "J2EE Deployment" or JSR 88).

    Note that you can always participate in a JSR without officially being part of the expert group by simply subscribing to the JSR user alias. In case of Java EE Management API 2.0 that alias is users at javaee-mgmt dot java dot net - go to the Java EE Management API 2.0 java.net project page to subscribe. Also remember that you can always contribute on an even more lightweight format through Adopt-a-JSR.

    Tuesday Mar 17, 2015

    Java EE Container Lifecycle

    Java EE defines different component/container models with their own well-defined lifecycle.  Understanding the lifecycle of those different component/container might sometime be useful. Having some visibility on component lifecycle is also useful with applications that use different types of components (e.g. Servlet and EJB) and needless to stay that this is the most common uses case. Finally, it is not just about visibility. Having the ability to also trigger certain actions based on the state of a particular component/container is also sometime required (e.g. perform some specific initialisation).

    So when it comes to monitoring and managing Java EE applications, Application Servers tends to provide some custom hooks to achieve that, i.e. observe internal state (e.g. state of a particular container) and trigger management actions based on events such as a state change. Obviously, this is Application Server dependent. For example, GlassFish has Life Cycle Modules/Listeners while WebLogic has, amongst different options, WLDF Watches. So overall, this type of capability (and theirs implantations) varies greatly and is Application Server dependent.

    But some of the Java EE Java APIs also provide hooks that can be used to determine in which state an actual component/container is. In terms of granularity, this approach might be a bit more limited but it has the advantage of being Application Server agnostic since it is based on standardised APIs. I recently came across 2 articles that are discussing that particular topic:

    On a related matter, the discussions over the upcoming 'Java EE Management API 2.0' (JSR 373) will also be interesting to track.

    Monday Mar 16, 2015

    Migrating a JSF Application from Spring to Java EE 7/CDI

    One of the most important things to do at this stage of the life-cycle of Java EE is highlight successful adoption stories. We have been doing just that for a long time through our adoption stories blog as well as JavaOne. JavaOne 2014 was particularly good in this regard and JavaOne 2015 looks to be even better. Indeed we hope the folks with great adoption stories that submitted last year but did not get accepted will resubmit next year. We will continue to highlight some of those sessions from JavaOne 2014 in the next few months. In this vein I'd like to highlight a very interesting real world story of migrating a JSF based web application from Spring to Java EE 7 and CDI shared by Mario-Leander Reimer of QAware.

    Mario's division is a small German based project consulting practice. He was tasked by a major German auto manufacturer to undertake this migration effort (it won't take most Germans much effort to figure out who this auto manufacturer might be since Mario shares that they are based in Munich). The reasons cited for the migration include streamlining/simplifying company-wide application architecture, reducing framework explosion/dependencies, standardization and reducing cost. In just about a month Mario was able to successfully migrate over the application that made extensive long-term use of Spring to CDI and Java EE 7! Mario also made use of great CDI ecosystem tools such as DeltaSpike and Arquillian (both projects have been Duke's Choice award winners, DeltaSpike being the more recent recipient). He also used PrimeFaces with JSF.

    During his talk Mario highlighted his journey in learning CDI/Java EE 7 (he was previously a heavy Spring user), the parts of CDI and Java EE he really came to appreciate as well as the challenges he faced and successfully overcame. His talk highlights the ever careful balance struck between feature bloat and simplicity in a Java EE standard like CDI as well as the power of the CDI portable extensions API when you really need to break out of what CDI provides out-of-the-box. You can see Mario's awesome JavaOne 2014 presentation below (if you are having trouble seeing the embedded video it is available here).

    If you have a similarly great Java EE adoption story to share, please do drop us a note (particularly migration stories from other technologies). In the spirit of Java EE centric vendor neutrality, what Java EE implementation or tool set you choose does not matter at all and neither does which part of the globe you are in.