JavaOne to showcase easier development tools

Sun's Java EE 5.0 to streamline enterprise app development

May 15, 2006—Sun's JavaOne conference this week is expected to highlight the vendor's growing embrace of open source, as well as its move to make Java-based applications easier to deploy and integrate with legacy systems.

Sun plans several announcements at the show, including the release of Java Enterprise Edition 5.0, which it previewed earlier this month. The newest version of the Java specification brings streamlined, easier-to-use development tools to companies wanting to make greater use of Java-based applications, according to Joe Keller, vice president of marketing for service-oriented architecture and integration platforms at Sun.

That means it will be easier to get Java-based applications up. That's good news—and bad news—for IT managers, industry experts say.

"For IT managers [updates to Java] mean that soon they'll have tools that will make their teams more productive and will require less highly skilled programmers to build enterprise Java programs," says Bill Roth, vice president of the Workshop Business Unit at BEA Systems. "But the issue becomes how to manage those applications."

A growing interest in open source platforms such as Tomcat and JBoss, as well as open source Java frameworks such as Eclipse and Struts, also could add to IT managers' headaches, analysts say. That's because as open source becomes a larger part of Java deployments, there are questions around how to manage those open source components.

Vendors are addressing the issue. BEA, for example, is updating the management console for its WebLogic application server to manage other platforms better.

IBM, meanwhile, is expected to announce a program that will make it easier for independent software vendors to write applications for its WebSphere Application Server Community Edition, built on the open source Apache Geronimo application server. That will give customers more preintegrated packages built on open source, IBM says.

In addition to talk about managing Java in mixed environments, there will be talk at the conference about the use of Java on mobile devices, as it turns from simply supporting games and other "cool trinkets" on PDAs and smart-phones to becoming a platform for enterprise applications, says Peder Ulander, vice president of marketing for Sun software.

Sun expects about 14,000 developers to attend JavaOne, which is at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, about the same number as last year, Ulander says. In addition to newly appointed Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz, executives from BEA, IBM, Oracle, and Motorola are scheduled to present keynote addresses.

John Cox and Jennifer Mears are both senior editors at Network World.

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This story, "JavaOne to showcase easier development tools" was originally published by Network World.

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