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IBM's Thomas on the state of Java

Asked for a State of Java 2004 perspective, Jamie Thomas, IBM vice president of development for the WebSphere Application Server unit, said 2004 will be the year Java standards allow J2EE and Web services to fit together "hand-in-glove."

She pointed to the release of WebSphere v.6, slated for later this year, which she said will support the key standards for integration and interoperability in Web services applications.

"I think the strides that we've seen in the standards development around J2EE 1.4 and the ability to add in things -- JAX-RPC, JSR 109, JCA and things of that nature -- really enable Java to become a premier Web services platform," she told This Week in Java.

Thomas noted that the upcoming release of WebSphere, which is currently available to developers in a technology preview, includes support for JAX-RPC, the Java API for XML-based RPC for Web service calls via SOAP/HTTP, JSR 109 for implementing enterprise Web services, and JCA 1.5 for asynchronous and synchronous communications between Java applications and enterprise software systems. She said all of these standards have reached a degree of maturity where developers can count on them working when implemented in applications.

"In the case of JCA 1.5," she said, "it makes sure developers can take advantage of legacy assets and connect those assets to other ISV systems whether that's SAP or Siebel, etc."

The maturity of standards developers can count on fits into the IBM Software Group strategy for on-demand business computing, Thomas said.

"One of the fundamental elements of becoming an on-demand business is [that] it's all about integration: the ability to integrate across the enterprise as well as integrate with suppliers, etc," she said. "Being able to have a standards-based system is critical to our overall strategy."

About the Author

Rich Seeley is Web Editor for Campus Technology.

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