JavaOne 2007 – Winners and Losers, well… Stars and roadies

It is not yet over, the conference. And the jury is still out. And mine is only a single vote. But by now I do get a pretty clear picture what at least in my view is hot, what is lukewarm (either heating up or cooling down), what is still in the fridge and what is on its way out. The excitement over one technology, and more importantly, the real investments in terms of books, time and proper understanding that is clearly visible at JavaOne seems a good indication of what will shape our landscape for the next 12 months and probably more.

The real star of the show, no question, is JavaFX (Script, Mobile etc.), the new scripting language from Sun that promises ease of development for creation of visually compelling, (also) consumer oriented web and mobile applications. The session on JavaFX Script was the only one I could not get into thusfar, the room was packed. JavaFX suggests – it has all to be proven yet – that as part of the Java platform – run anywhere, integrate with all Java libraries, leverage existing skills and investments – we can achieve through a simple scripting language what other technologies such as Flash, Adobe Apollo, AJAX/DHTML, Mozilla XUL and Microsoft WPF/XAML also offer. See: for more information.


A number of concepts, technologies, announcements and tools that made my heart beat a little faster, that were casted as Co-Star so to speak are listed here. Definitely items to look into when I (or you) get a chance, definitely candidates to discuss in our next round of the Crossroads process. I do not claim in any way that is list is complete. This is just a list of contenders that are important to me.

EclipseLink – the new open source incarnation of TopLink under the Eclipse umbrella (with next to O-RM also O-XML and support for EIS, SDO, Database WebServices and JCA.

Scripting languages, especially Ruby and Groovy; the integration with Java, through Java 6 and also with JRuby, makes these languages an extgra tool for Java developers, while the richness of the JEE platform provides many valuable libraries and services to the scripting languages. There seems to be an excellent case for using them together.

NetBeans – with Sun setting the scene it may not come as a surprise, but NetBeans has made an impressive recovery over the last year and a half, winning a clear position at the front of IDEs – with support for the latest technologies, including JavaFX and very good integration with GlassFish and JEE 5.

Mobile Devices – with 2.5B Java powered mobile devices, now seems to be the time to really start looking the mobile way.

SCA – the foundation under SOA will be SCA. 18 of the most largest players in the Middleware arena have joined forces in SCA, the interest in the many SCA sessions was great and SCA seems to make sense. It is simple, it has a clear purpose and it is almost upon us (the implementations as well as the specification)

JEE 5 No further comments should be needed; the certifications are coming in, it is quickly going to become mainstream.

JSF – Rich Web Application Development of enterprise (professional user focused) application is getting easier and easier with Java Server Faces and the many sets of components. Usually sitting on JSP, it will quickly overtake JSP as the primary Java web development approach

J2SE 6

Spring Framework – It is everywhere! Primarily the Bean Container, Injection and AOP support, WebServices and JMX support (not so much Spring MVC or WebFlow). It is integrated by major vendors in their core products (such as Oracle in its Application Server), it provides one of only a few implementation languages for SCA components, it is a driving force behind the success of JMX… Its momentum keeps continuing.



Oracle Coherence, fka Tangosol


Rookies with potential or Question Marks

  • SDO (well, lots of talk, not a lot of walking)
  • XForms (though it could be dead in the water too, given the headway it did not make since 2003)
  • jMaki (sitting on top of Dojo, Scriptaculous and others) (perhaps already close to being a co-star)


Fading perhaps…

Compared to the bright stars and co-stars, and perhaps even because of overlap or direct competition, several others can be considered to be fading or at least currently lacking in momentum and clear future. Among these


  • A large number of commercial vendors of rich web 2.0, AJAX, JSF etc. frameworks: the products offered in the open source arena, often backed by large, very credible parties such as Sun and Oracle, have caught up with many of these rich offerings that clearly had a headstart. Now that the lead in functionality is (almost) gone, I fail to see how these products can survive, especially those with fairly steeps licensing conditions.
  • Struts – not going anywhere it seems (but it has a grand history as far as Java Web Frameworks go)
  • the other IDEs, especially the commercial ones – NetBeans, Eclipse, and to a lesser extent JDeveloper and IntelliJ IDEA (JetBrain) seem to more or less set the scene in Java IDE land
  • Python – seems to be losing out against Ruby and Groovy, though will undoubtedly live on its own niche arena