J2EE 1.4 delay won't slow Web services: developer

Sun Microsystems ( last week disclosed its decision to delay the release of its J2EE 1.4 spec until this summer. Developers predict the move won't slow the shipping of Web services slated to be completed this spring.

Santa Clara, Calif.-based Sun had promised to release the J2EE 1.4 spec during the first quarter of this year. Sun officials blame the delay on the its decision to fully support the guidelines promoted by the Web Services Interoperability Organization (WS-I). Complying with the WS-I's ''basic profile'' specification, a set of rules specifying how to implement key Web services specifications, officials said, requires a few months' more work.

According to Sun, adding support for WS-I basic profile to its existing support for Web services standards such as WSDL, SOAP, ebXML and UDDI, will allow J2EE technology to provide both the Web services programming model and data model that enable developers to build end-to-end applications and services that can be used on any Internet-enabled device.

''With support for WS-I basic profile, J2EE Version 1.4 demonstrates Sun's commitment to open standards,'' contended Mark Bauhaus, vice president of Java Web services at Sun. ''Sun is fully engaged in collaborative work with industry organizations such as WS-I to help ensure Web services interoperability becomes pervasive.''

Brent Carlson, VP of technology and co-founder of Pittsburgh-based LogicLibrary (, said the delayed release of the J2EE upgrade shouldn't prevent vendors from rolling out Web services. Carlson believes that the main 'value-add' of the 1.4 spec, from a Web services perspective, is the integration of the Java API for XML-based Remote Procedure Calls (JAX-RPC) into the mainline Java code base.

Currently, the JAX-RPC is packaged as a Java extension, which users are able to retrieve and deploy into their development environments. Developers are getting value from JAX-RPC today in its current state, Carlson said. Embedding this package into the mainline J2EE definition will simply make application development and deployment a bit easier.

''Obviously, life will get easier when [the JAX-RPC] is part of the mainline J2EE packaging,'' he said. ''But we're rolling out Web services using the JAX-RPC package today on our product. In general, we think it's good that Sun is being sensitive to the WS-I activities.''

The JAX-RPC is part of LogicLibrary's flagship Logidex product, a software development asset (SDA) mapping and discovery engine that represents complex enterprise application environments graphically. The Logidex SDA Library is a catalog of SDAs, their relationships to each other, the company's business processes and the technical infrastructure. Users -- including application developers, business analysts and architects -- can search this library to identify the software assets that best match business and technical requirements for application development and integration.

Logidex is designed to allow developers to link software applications to business processes, enabling faster creation of high-quality Web services applications. Logidex uses JAX-RPC within its implementation of its open SOAP-based APIs, Carlson said.

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at


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