Apache Releases TomEE 1.0 Java EE Web Profile Certified Stack

The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) has finally released TomEE, the Java Enterprise Edition (Java EE) of its Tomcat Web server, as a Java EE 6 Web Profile certified stack. Available under the Apache 2.0 license, TomEE 1.0 integrates a number of Java projects, including Apache OpenWebBeans, Apache MyFaces, Apache ActiveMQ, Apache CXF and Apache OpenJPA.

Support for function-based "profiles," which provide a way for users to define a subset of the Java EE specification and still achieve certification, has been one of the most talked about capabilities of Java EE 6.

"In Java EE 5 and previous versions, in order to achieve certification, you had to implement the full set of Java EE APIs," explained Gartner analyst Massimo Pezzini in an earlier interview. "And there are a ton of those. This is the reason there aren't that many products that are Java EE certified. Basically, it's only the big vendors -- JBoss, Oracle WebLogic, IBM WebSphere -- who can really afford to put together a Java EE-compliant product. But with profiles, you can define a subset of the Java EE APIs and achieve certification only for that particular subset."

The Web Profile is a subset of the full Java EE spec aimed at Web application developers, and it was the first profile defined by the Java Community Process (JCP) expert group. The JCP describes it as "a more gentle introduction to the Java EE platform" that provides only those technologies needed by most Web application developers, "without the enterprise technologies that sometimes confuse such developers."

In other words, it's the technology you typically use to build a Web application, Pezzini said.

"The expectation is that a whole bunch of products that can't today achieve Java EE certification, because they don't implement the more sophisticated features, will be able to achieve a level of certification," he said. "They started with the Web Profile because it's the most popular."

The goal of the Apache TomEE (pronounced "Tommy") project was to deliver the Java EE Web Profile "in a minimalist fashion," the ASF wrote in a blog announcement. David Blevins, vice president of Apache OpenEJB and original co-developer of TomEE, is quoted in the blog, saying, "No longer do developers have to ask 'Do we use Tomcat or Java EE?' at the start of a project, as has been the case for the last 10 years. These two camps have historically been separate, and certification is a major step in unifying these communities. With TomEE, developers can now retire untested legacy stacks and use a reliable product that doesn't deviate from the Tomcat that they know and love."

More information is available on the Apache TomEE download page.

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].