(Reformatted and relinked from the original post on February 21st, 2006 at Java.Net)
The beta for the Java EE 5 SDK is now available here and a set of tools that works with it is available here (the follow-up to J2EE 1.4 is Java EE 5, and that for J2SE 5.0 is Java SE 6 – the “2” is dropped and the “Java” is spelled out – it all makes sense but it can be confusing).
Today’s releases are a pretty big deal and there are already several blogs, discussions, technical papers, and other news available; we will be tracking these through the next few days at The Aquarium.
The main focus of Java EE 5 is an effort to improve the ease of development, which is critical for the future success of the platform. Java EE 5 takes the new annotations feature ofTiger and the experience from around the Java Community at large (specially around the Java Persistence APIs), and folds all this into the new version of the server-side Java platform. The resulting platform is arguably the biggest release on the Java space this year; see Graham’s Rave for a strong argument for this.
These two releases are very much community efforts. The tools are from the NetBeans community and I’ll let people like Roman talk about them. The Platform is a joint effort from many groups including the Expert Groups from the JCP, the wider communities from Open Source projects like Apache and JBoss, and from Vendors like BEA, IBM, Oracle and many many others. The specific bits in the SDK are from GlassFish and I want to add two words about that.
For me, GlassFish is a bit of going back to 1996. I believe that one of the reasons why Java was very succesful at the beginning is because the original team was very well connected to their customers and responded very quickly to their needs. Some things have changed: the community is now bigger and includes non-Sun folks, we are now using an Open Source license, and we are now very widely distributed and we no longer use USENET news, (see my blog on Time Zones and Blogs) but the basic goal and method is the same as it was in 1996.
We have made big improvements at GlassFish since it was announced at JavaOne’05; just two examples are the emphasis on supporting popular frameworks and applications and open discussions on Rearchitecting the WS stack, but we know we still have work to do. Please help us to be truly attuned to the community!
Have fun with the releases.