From J2EE to Java EE: what has changed?

See original @Java_EE tweet on 29 May 2014

Yeap, it has been 8 years since the term J2EE was replaced, and still some people refer to it (mostly recruiters, luckily!). But then comes the question: what has changed besides the name? Our community friend Abhishek Gupta worked on this question and provided an excellent response titled "What's in a name? Java EE? J2EE?". But let me give you a few highlights here so you don't lose yourself with YATO (yet another tab opened):

  1. J2EE used to be an infrastructure and resources provider only, requiring developers to depend on external 3rd-party frameworks to then implement application requirements or improve productivity
  2. J2EE used to require hundreds of XML lines of codes to define just a dozen of resources like EJBs, MDBs, Servlets, and so on
  3. J2EE used to support only EAR (Enterprise Archives) with a bunch of other archives like JARs and WARs just to run a simple Web application

And so on, and so on! It was a great technology but still required a lot of work to get something up and running. Remember xDoclet? Remember Struts? The old days of pure Hibernate code? Or when Ajax became a trending topic and we were all implementing it with DWR Servlet? Still, we J2EE developers survived, and learned, and helped evolve the platform to a whole new level of DX (Developer Experience).

A new DX for J2EE suggested a new name. One that referred to the platform as the Enterprise Edition of Java, because "Java is why we're here" quoting Bill Shannon. The release of Java EE 5 included so many features that clearly showed developers the platform was going after all those DX gaps.

  • Radical simplification of the persistence model with the introduction of JPA
  • Support of Annotations following the launch of Java SE 5.0
  • Updated XML APIs with the introduction of StAX
  • Drastic simplification of the EJB component model (with annotations!)
  • Convention over Configuration and Dependency Injection

A few bullets you may say but that represented a whole new DX and a vision for upcoming versions. Clearly, the release of Java EE 5 helped drive the future of the platform by reducing the number of XMLs, Java Interfaces, simplified configurations, provided convention-over-configuration, etc! We then saw the release of Java EE 6 with even more great features like Managed Beans, CDI, Bean Validation, improved JSP and Servlets APIs, JASPIC, the posisbility to deploy plain WARs and so many other improvements it is difficult to list in one sentence. And we've gotta give Spring Framework some credit here: thanks to Rod Johnson and team, concepts like Dependency Injection fit perfectly into the Java EE Platform. Clearly, Spring used to be one of the most inspiring frameworks for the Java EE platform, and it is great to see things like Pivotal and Spring supporting JSR 352 Batch API standard! Cooperation to keep improving DX at maximum in the server-side Java landscape. 

The master piece result of these previous releases is seen and called today as Java EE 7, which by providing a newly and improved JavaServer Faces release, with new features for Web Development like WebSockets API, improved JAX-RS, and JSON-P, but also including Batch API and so many other great improvements, has increased developer productivity and brought innovation to server-side Java developers. Java EE is not just a new name (which was introduced back in May 2006!) but a new Developer Experience for server-side Java developers.

To show you where the platform is going (see the Java EE 8 update), see some totally-cool-and-refreshed informal images at the Java EE Platform Facebook Album, or the Google+ Java EE Platform Album you could use to spread the word and love for Java EE. Don't forget to like and/or +1 those social network profiles :-)

If you are a licensed vendor, perhaps you want to continue using the "Java EE Compatible" logo.

A message to all job recruiters: stop using J2EE and start using Java EE if you want to find great Java EE 5, Java EE 6, or Java EE 7 developers

To not only save you recruiter valuable characters when tweeting that job opportunity but to also match the correct term, we invite you to replace long terms like "Java/J2EE" or even worse "#Java #J2EE #JEE" or all these awkward combinations with the only acceptable hashtag: #JavaEE. And to prove that Java EE is catching among developers and even recruiters, and that J2EE is past, let me highlight here how are the jobs trends! The image below is from trends page, for the following keywords: J2EE, Java/J2EE, Java/JEE, JEE. As you can see, J2EE is indeed going away, while JEE saw some increase. Perhaps because some people are just lazy to type "Java" but at the same time they are aware that J2EE (the '2') is past. We shall forgive that for a while :-)

Another proof that J2EE is going away is by looking at its trending statistics at Google. People have been showing less and less interest in the term J2EE. See the chart below: 

Recruiter, if you still need proof that J2EE is past, that Java EE is trending, and that other job recruiters are seeking for Java EE developers, and that the developer community is aware of the new term, perhaps these other charts can show you what term you should be using. See for example the Job Trends for Java EE at and notice where it started... 2006! 8 years ago :-)

Last but not least, the Google Trends for Java EE term (including the still wrong but forgivable JavaEE term) shows us that the new term is catching up very well. J2EE is past.

Oh, and don't worry about the curves going down. We developers like to be hipsters sometimes and today only AngularJS, NodeJS, BigData are going up. Java EE and other traditional server-side technologies such as Spring, or even from other platforms such as Ruby on Rails, PHP, Grails, are pretty much consolidated and the curves... well, they are consolidated too. So If you are a Java EE developer, drop that J2EE from your résumé, and let recruiters also know that this term is past. Embrace Java EE, and enjoy a new developer experience for server-side Java developers.

Java EE on Twitter
Java EE on Google+
Java EE on Facebook


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