Rivals IBM, BEA set to reveal Java specs
- By John K. Waters
Tomorrow, longtime rivals IBM and BEA will publish three
new jointly developed Java specifications designed to increase application
portability across both of their app server offerings. IBM and BEA survived a
long battle for J2EE application server supremacy among several competitors, and
some observers were surprised when the two firms revealed the collaboration last
According to Rod Smith, VP of Emerging Technologies in IBM's Software Group,
the two companies have developed three new specifications -- Service Data
Objects (SDO), Work Manager for Application Servers, and Timer for Application
Servers -- which they expect to implement in upcoming releases of IBM's
WebSphere and BEA's WebLogic Platform.
The new specs are designed to make life easier for developers who want to
connect business applications across application servers based on the Java 2
Platform, Enterprise Edition, Smith said. ''The goal of the collaboration is to
provide our customers with a simpler and more consistent platform for J2EE
development,'' he noted.
The two companies offered the following details on the new
Service Data Objects (SDO) -- Provides a unifying programming model for data
from heterogeneous data sources, including relational databases, XML data
sources, Web services and enterprise information systems. This specification
will provide a simple programming model for data that supports best-practice
application design patterns, and will be amenable to tools and frameworks that
will provide even greater developer productivity.
Work Manager for Application Servers -- Provides a simple API for application
server-supported concurrent execution of work items. This enables J2EE-based
applications (including Servlets and EJBs) to schedule work items for concurrent
execution, which will provide greater throughput and increased response time for
Timer for Application Servers -- Provides a simple API for setting timers in
an application server-supported fashion. This enables J2EE-based applications
(including Servlets, EJBs and JCA Resource Adapters) to schedule future timer
notifications and to receive timer notifications.
''BEA and IBM have collaborated in the past on new specifications. [Now,] we
are entering into a new phase where providing consistency across both companies'
application servers is of paramount importance to our customers,'' said Scott
Dietzen, chief technology officer at BEA Systems.
The two companies are jointly submitting the proposed specifications for Java
Community Process (JCP) consideration, Dietzen said. The JCP ''guides the
evolution of Java technology'' by producing specifications, reference
implementations and technology compatibility kits, via a consensus of industry
experts, that use a review process designed to allow an ever-widening audience
to evaluate and comment on the proposed specification. Both IBM and BEA are
members of one of the two JCP executive committees.
Meanwhile, to give developers and customers a chance to take the specs for a
test drive and to begin generating industry feedback, IBM and BEA will make the
specifications available on a royalty-free basis, the companies disclosed.
The new specifications, and a white paper entitled
Next-Generation Data Programming: Service Data Objects,
will be available on two Web sites: http://dev2dev.bea.com/technologies/commonj/index.jsp
John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached