Does anyone have information about when Sun will come out with a Web Component Developer exam that includes more up-to-date technologies (e.g. JSF)? The current SCWCD cert covers J2EE 1.4, which includes (AFIK) J2SE 1.4, Servlet 2.4 and JSP 2.0. Now here we are with JSE 5 (already covered by a new SCJP cert), Servlet 2.5, JSP 2.1, and JSF 1.2. The SCWCD 1.4 cert is lagging. I don't want to take the old exam, and then have the new exam emerge a couple of months later. Plus, it doesn't seem worth it to learn a lot of detail about the old specs which are different from or superceded by the newer specs which is what I'll be using going forward. It's strange, because on the one had Sun seems to push the newer stuff (like JSF in Studio Creator) but on the other hand, they're ignoring the certification channel as a way to evangelize the newer specs.
Plus, it doesn't seem worth it to learn a lot of detail about the old specs which are different from or superceded by the newer specs which is what I'll be using going forward.
I don't agree that the Servlet 2.4 and JSP 2.0 specs are "old". Okay, they're not the latest version, but have you actually looked at the changes between them? I've practically covered all the changes in less than 20 pages in Chapter 20 of my SCWCD book (see signature); there really isn't a lot of difference (unlike EJB 3.0). SCWCD 1.4 was a key milestone because of the addition of core Web features like EL and Simple Tags. The only real difference in Java EE 5 is the addition of JSF (which by the way is actually in its own spec. document and not found in the "core" servlet/JSP/Java EE specs).
On the other hand, JSF isn't a core addition: it's a framework created using the core servlet, JSP and tag technologies and can be understood after having a solid appreciation of the basics. Personally, I'd prefer not to see JSF in the cert. exam simply because I think it would be extremely difficult to test. It's a fairly extensive framework, and the exam already contains a lot of very useful material (okay, patterns are always a bit awkward to test so they could be removed from the objectives). Would you really want to add a whole new framework to the objectives? If anything, all you'd get there is an overview of the basics, or alternatively a whole new cert. exam just for JSF - but would there be many takers and would it be worth Sun investing time in one? Additionally, many developers prefer other frameworks such as Struts over JSF, so why should they be forced to learn the "standard" framework which Sun prefers?
I don't want to take the old exam, and then have the new exam emerge a couple of months later.
Well according to my contact at Sun (who's involved extensively with the production of new Java cert. exams), there are no plans for a new SCWCD for at least a couple of years. I actually put it to Sun that a new exam wouldn't be appropriate because of the lack of core material, and they pretty much agreed at the time. So if you're planning on taking the SCWCD, you'd be safe to do so now. My advice is to first do the SCWCD, then learn JSF, unless you're already in an experienced position. The rigour and detail of the SCWCD 1.4 (esp. with EL and tags) will help you understand JSF much better.
Part V of my book devotes itself to the changes in core Java EE 5 and also to the new Unified Expression Language. It doesn't hope to cover JSF as there are many other books (400+ pages) on the subject. So if you're interested in taking the SCWCD but you want insight into the new Java EE 5 features, please take a look. You can find a sample chapter, full contents and availability information at the link in my signature.
Charles Lyons (SCJP 1.4, April 2003; SCJP 5, Dec 2006; SCWCD 1.4b, April 2004)
Author of OCEJWCD Study Companion for Oracle Exam 1Z0-899 (ISBN 0955160340 / AmazonAmazon UK )
Joined: Mar 27, 2003
Now here we are with JSE 5
I forgot to mention in my previous post that of course you can use J2SE 5 (or Java SE 6 if you wish) with your Web applications - servlets are just classes and JSP scripting elements are just Java code (JSPs after translation are servlets), so there's no reason why you can't use the newer language features. Indeed, you'll find I use generics and auto(un)boxing in some of the examples in my book to reduce the lines of code. I don't think it's necessary (nor perhaps appropriate) to incorporate these changes in the SCWCD though, at least not yet.
I don�t think there are many changes to the presentation tier in Java EE 5. The most striking new additions like DI pattern, Annotations (new feature introduced in Tiger), cutting down of XML DDs, boilerplate code, POJO and POJI support for agile development etc. are targeted towards the business tier.
Here is a brief look at changes in Java EE 5:
Presentation tier: JSF Business Tier: EJB 3.0 (Annotations support) EIS tier: Java Persistence API (POJO based O/R mapping) Design patterns: Dependency Injection (container injects dependencies like DataSource, EJB references etc.)
With Java EE 5 web application deployment descriptor is optional for simple web applications containing JSP pages and static files. If your web module does not contain any servlets, filter, or listener components then it does not need a deployment descriptor.