BEA, SilverStream To Unveil Compatibility With J2EE 1.3

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Two Java 2 Enterprise Edition-based application-server vendors Tuesday will give developers early access to products compatible with J2EE 1.3, the latest specification of the standard for building enterprise-scale Java apps.

At Sun Microsystems' J2EE event at the W Hotel here, both BEA Systems and SilverStream Software will unveil J2EE 1.3-compatible early releases of their respective application servers, WebLogic and eXtend, said company executives.

However, IBM, the closest competitor to app-server market leader BEA, already has beaten its biggest rival to the punch. IBM gave developers a free preview of its J2EE 1.3-compatible WebSphere platform in December.

A prerelease of the next version of BEA's WebLogic Server 7.0 will be available for download Tuesday from BEA's Web site, said John Kiger, director of product marketing at BEA. The beta of that product will be distributed in late February at the BEA eWorld show, he said.

Kiger said support for key features of J2EE 1.3, such as the latest Enterprise JavaBeans 2.0 specification and the Java Connector Architecture (JCA) spec, is already featured in the latest WebLogic Server, available now. At the event Tuesday, BEA will demonstrate how customers such as Network Car and the Royal Bank of Scotland have been leveraging the J2EE 1.3 functionality in WebLogic to deploy applications.

Meanwhile, SilverStream will give developers early access to J2EE 1.3-compatible versions of its eXtend app server and eXtend Workbench products starting Tuesday from its Web site. Full J2EE 1.3-compatible versions will be available in the next six months, the company said.

J2EE is currently the de facto standard for building and deploying enterprise-scale, e-business Java applications. The technology came under fire when it was first introduced in June 1999 because other companies using Java believed Sun had too much control over both the technology and the licensing fees.

Since then, Sun has given responsibility for developing J2EE--and other Java specs--to the Java Community Process (JCP), a community of vendors that work together to decide further Java standards. J2EE 1.3, which was finalized in September, is the work of JCP vendors.

Sun will showcase vendors committed to supporting J2EE 1.3 at its annual event here. The vendor also is expected to discuss a road map for the next version, J2EE 1.4, which BEA's Kiger said should be out sometime this year and will be focused on making it easy to build and deploy Web services.

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