Oracle Issues J2EE 1.4 Developer Preview

The software vendor offers a preview brimming with comprehensive Web services features for the latest Java version; plus, details on WS-Reliability testing.
Posted September 4, 2003

Clint Boulton

Oracle Thursday released a software preview kit for the latest iteration of Java , the highly-anticipated Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) 1.4.

J2EE 1.4 has been developed specifically with Web services in mind, which is crucial as competing software vendors large and small are looking to stake claims in the industry turf with new applications. Web services, among other things, allow applications to communicate with one another more efficiently.

Redwood Shores, Calif.'s, Oracle plans to offer such features in its preview, including Java interoperability with the Web services developed for WSDL and SOAP standards, including .NET.

The preview will also feature improvements to the Oracle Java Servlet, JavaServer Pages (JSP), and Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB) technologies, all of which make creating complex enterprise applications easier. There will be support for the new J2EE Management 1.0 API, including JMX, which provides a standard way to monitor and manage J2EE components from seminal points such as the JSPs to full EJB implementations.

Lastly, there will be upgrades to the J2EE Connector Architecture, which makes connectivity to resource adapters and Java Message Service possible, as well as support for the J2EE Deployment 1.1 API.

"J2EE 1.4 provides the groundwork for J2EE Web services development and sets new standards for application deployment and server management," said Floyd Marinescu, director of "I welcome the availability of Oracle's J2EE 1.4 Developer Preview as a way to help the Java community become familiar with the new specifications for creating fully interoperable applications and take advantage of the strong integration of Web services with the J2EE platform."

Importantly for the software vendor, J2EE 1.4 will be supported in the upcoming Oracle 10G Application Server, scheduled to be unveiled at OracleWorld San Francisco 2003 next week. The new developer preview is available immediately for download from the Oracle Technology Network (OTN).

The news follows the June release of a similar kit from Java purveyor Sun Microsystems , which unveiled Java Technology for the Enterprise, version J2EE 1.4, which feature enhanced Web services integration. The SDK included blueprints, a tutorial and a J2EE 1.4-compatible application server, as well as Web services support.

In related Web services news, Oracle and partners Fujitsu, Hitachi and NEC said they have proven interoperability between four independent implementations of reliable Web services based on the Web Services-Reliability (WS-Reliability) specification, which the companies offered to OASIS in January.

WS-Reliability is a spec for an open, reliable messaging infrastructure that makes it possible for companies to conduct efficient business-to-business trading with Web services.

Analysts agree on the importance of such as service, although the industry has been thrown into a bit of a uncertainty with the release of an alternative reliability spec from Microsoft, IBM, Tibco and BEA Systems, dubbed WS-Reliable Messaging.

This prompted Oracle and others to cry foul that Web services leaders like Microsoft and IBM are bent on driving a wedge between disparate specifications.

The companies behind WS-Reliability said they can now show how a sender will automatically resend the same message if no positive acknowledgement was received, and how a receiving application eliminates duplicates of the same message. These functions ensure proper delivery of a purchase order to suppliers.

The interoperability demonstration will be conducted today during the WS-RM Technical Committee meeting in Bedford, Mass.

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