Vendors Embrace Open Source, Eclipse, JBI and SOA at JavaOne

Vendors are making significant announcements this week in San Francisco at the annual JavaOne conference, which marks the 10th anniversary of Java.

- One of the show's biggest freebies comes from Oracle Corporation, which will announce it will give away its JDeveloper 10g Java IDE to any developer, beginning June 28.

"We expect that [making the IDE available for free] will accelerate the adoption of JDeveloper," says Rick Schultz, VP of Oracle Fusion Middleware, "which will, in turn, drive an increased interest in the Oracle Fusion Middleware products."

JDeveloper has been in the market for more than eight years, and it has evolved into a mature development environment, Schultz says. It includes the BPEL designer for mapping business process flows, built-in UML modeling, advanced Web services and J2EE capabilities, and Java ServerFaces support.

Oracle is also proposing to spearhead a JSF tooling project within the Eclipse Foundation. The project builds upon Oracle’s Enterprise Java Beans 3.0 tooling project, and makes the JSF framework available to an even larger base of developers. Oracle also plans to make the functionality provided by the JSF and EJB 3.0 Eclipse projects available with the JDeveloper tool.

Oracle is also expected to disclose it has joined the Apache MyFaces project as a core contributor.

- Tibco Software will unveil Project Matrix. The new deployment platform for service-oriented architecture is designed to allow composite applications to be developed, deployed and managed as distributed, standards-based services.

Tibco is one of several organizations announcing support for the Java Business Integration specification. The first product shipped as part of Project Matrix will include a JBI service container, says Rob Meyer, senior product marketing manager. That product will be available to early-access customers in the first half of 2006, Meyer says.

"The industry has gotten together around JBI," Meyer says. "The problem we're all trying to address is the fact that customers today face vertically siloed SOA stacks. They're ending up with multiple SOAs within an organization that don't have an interoperability standard. JBI is about putting a layer above all the communications and below the services that make services standardized."

- Another JBI announcement is expected from IONA, which is to unveil an open-source Java Enterprise Service Bus. Dubbed Celtix, the ESB is designed to deliver the core functionality required to begin deploying service-oriented architectures in the enterprise, the company says. Part of that functionality will be support for the JBI specification.

The initial release of Celtix will include WSDL contract language support for defining services; standard transports, including WS-RM, JMS and HTTP; binding support for SOAP and XML payloads; and application bindings for Java and POJO. Celtix will also feature Eclipse-based administration and configuration tools and basic security support, the company says.

The ESB project will be hosted by the European open-source ObjectWeb Consortium, an open-source community focused on middleware. IONA expects to see an initial release of Celtix by the end of the year.

- Compuware Corporation is unveiling the latest version of its J2EE development environment, OptimalJ. The 4.0 version comes with new process-modeling functionality, which extends the Pragmatic Model Driven Architecture approach for which the tool is known.

OptimalJ 4.0 introduces a process model based on the UML 2.0 Activity Diagram. Developers can use the new process model to define the flow of an application, which is then automatically transformed into J2EE application components.

Compuware is also introducing a version of the tool built on the open-source Eclipse framework. The company first introduced Eclipse capabilities in its 3.3 version of the product with a plug-in, explains Compuware platform product manager Mike Sawicki. But with the release of OptimalJ 4.0 Developer Edition for Eclipse, Compuware begins a major commitment to the platform. In fact, all future editions of OptimalJ will be built on the Eclipse platform, Sawicki says.

Concurrent with this release, Compuware is launching an online developer exchange, Pattern Plaza. The Web site is designed to provide a place where architects can share OptimalJ transformation patterns and collaborate on implementation improvements.

- Another leading toolmaker, Borland Software Corporation, is unveiling a newly Eclipse-ified product. The company plans to launch the latest version of its Together modeling suite at the show. Together 2006 comprises the company's three role-centric tools: Together Designer 2006, Together Developer 2006 and Together Architect 2006.

All three will be deployed directly on Eclipse 3.1, says Marc Brown, Borland's director of product marketing. Eclipse is now one of the two primarily platforms the company plans to support, he says. (.NET is the other.)

Together 2006 adds business process modeling support based on the Business Process Modeling Notation industry standard, which provides a means of visualizing workflows within an organization. This release is also one of the first products to enable customers to build software using the MDA approach via support of the query/view/transformation specification. The QVT spec enables users to perform model-to-model transformations. Brown calls it the cornerstone specification of MDA. And it also introduces model-level audits and metrics to help designers and developers improve the quality of their work.

- Sybase is another vendor making a big Eclipse announcement at the show. The company is introducing a new tools bundle called WorkSpace, a unified application development environment that uses an Eclipse framework.

"The IDE market is converging," says Sybase VP of marketing Kathleen Schaub. ".NET and Eclipse are becoming the standard. That's a big change. But we're also seeing a new class of applications that are going beyond tasks to services. Nothing that people don't know about, but this shift requires some changes in tools."

This new class of applications requires that modeling, services orientation and more cohesive deployment needs to be brought into the process. WorkSpace is designed to fulfill these requirements with a single IDE. It integrates modeling, data management, service-oriented development, Java development and mobility.

About the Author

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