Sun Readies Java EE 5 For Launch

Stacy Cowley

Sun calls Java EE 5 the most significant update to the Enterprise Java development platform in more than five years. A battery of features aimed at easing development and a greatly simplified component model are among the updates in Java EE 5.

Representatives from Oracle, BEA, JBoss and SAP joined Sun executives on a call Thursday to discuss the JCP approval. All are planning announcements related to Java EE 5 at JavaOne, which opens May 16 in San Francisco, and several have already incorporated key Java EE 5 advances like Enterprise JavaBeans 3 (EJB) into their software. Sun plans to release the Java EE 5 SDK and compatibility test suite at JavaOne.

Sun executives ducked a straight answer to the immortal rumor about Java: Will Sun open-source it?

"Every year, we evaluate what we're going to open-source at JavaOne," said Jeff Jackson, senior vice president of Java development at Sun, before launching into a litany of all the ways in which the Java development process is already open and transparent. "We basically have done this entire development project with the community in plain sight."

Linux developers will be pleased with one move Sun hinted about: licensing changes to make it easier to distribute Java Standard Edition runtimes with other open-source platforms such as Linux.

"The intent is to make it easier for developers to get their hands on the runtimes with the platform they're using," said Laurie Tolson, vice president of Sun's Java Platform Group.

This year will be a watershed one for Java releases. In addition to the new Java EE 5, Sun is close to wrapping up the next Java Standard Edition release, version 6 (code-named Mustang). Sun released a Java SE 6 beta in February and said it expects general availability in the fall.

In related news, earlier this week Sun said Rich Green a software executive who left the company last year, is returning to the fold as executive vice president for software. John Loiacono, who had been in that role, left Sun for Adobe Systems earlier this spring.

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