Oracle offers ‘cool’ Java tools to create hot Web apps

A senior Oracle Corp. exec announced “cool” technologies at a 2007 JavaOne keynote this week, designed to help developers meet the new demands of services-oriented architecture (SOA) and Web 2.0-centred enterprise applications on Java.

In addition to SOA and Web 2.0, Thomas Kurian, senior vice-president at Oracle, identified use of Java Enterprise Edition 5 (JavaEE 5) and grid computing as other trends developers should take advantage of when building enterprise apps.

“There are cool technologies within these four trends that will change fundamentally what you can build, and open new possibilities for things you can do with Java.”

Kurian previewed the 11g versions of Oracle JDeveloper and Application Development Framework (ADF), which now support Ajax and Flash to create rich Internet applications (RIAs).

The upgraded Oracle Application Server, also previewed by Kurian, will support Enterprise JavaBeans 3 (EJB 3) – for programming business logic – and be fully compliant with JavaEE 5.

“Traditionally, Ajax has required an application developer to program in JavaScript,” he said. With JavaServer Faces (JSF) components supporting Ajax, the task is easier for the non-Ajax literate developer, Kurian added.

In addition, Oracle announced it would “donate” these Ajax-enabled JSF components to Apache, as open-sourced code available to the developer community.

Kurian also predicted the pervasiveness of Web 2.0 would lead to the emergence of enterprise mashups “that bridge Internet services with enterprise applications.”

Developers will probably want to design enterprise apps with the collaborative functionality of the Internet in mind, he said, like shared workspaces, wikis and blogs, so employees can interact on a company Intranet, for instance.

“We’ve integrated a number of these capabilities that people have traditionally talked about on the Internet with enterprise application development tools, so the programmer can bring those same technologies to the enterprise,” said Kurian.

Also, this past year, Oracle has focused on composite applications, or SOA, said Kurian.

Specifically, he said, the company’s has sought to develop a standard way to “wire together” component applications or services.

The result, he said, is service component architecture (SCA) that’s “very modular and light weight”, based on the Spring Framework, an open source application framework.

Kurian said SCA ties individual services, runs atop any infrastructure, and enhances how these services interoperate.

In the area of grid computing scalability, he said, Oracle is offering the ability to add computers to the grid while maintaining system performance, which is typically a sore spot for the enterprise.

“Traditionally, you either got better latency, better throughput, or better reliability – but never all three together.”


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