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J2EE 1.4 and Web Services

Panagiotis Varlagas
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 27, 2000
Posts: 233
Some experts, such as Richard Monson-Haefel in his recent books, claim that only J2EE 1.4 is mature enough for mission-critical Web Services applications. This leads to the following dilemma, given the current non-availability of commercial app servers supporting J2EE 1.4:

(1) Start working with a beta version (such as WebSphere Application Server Technology for Developers 6.0) and hope that the commercial release will be out at a reasonable time before you deliver your app OR

(2) Go with a J2EE 1.3 compliant server (e.g. WebSphere 5.1) with all the concomitant shortcoming wrt robust Web Services support.

How hampered is one if one decides to stick with J2EE 1.3? Are the limitations so severe that one should wait if at all possible for the J2EE 1.4 server generation of app servers? And when exactly are they expected to be out?

Many thanks!
Lasse Koskela

Joined: Jan 23, 2002
Posts: 11962
Surely one can develop robust web services on top of pre-J2EE 1.4 technologies. If robustness is the problem, then add in some redundancy and brokers. If you can't/don't want to build a state-of-the-art web services infrastructure, buy the solution from IBM and be done with it.

I would really like to see the exact words used by Richard, for example. Do you have any references at hand?

Author of Test Driven (2007) and Effective Unit Testing (2013) [Blog] [HowToAskQuestionsOnJavaRanch]
Panagiotis Varlagas
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 27, 2000
Posts: 233

Here are the exact words (from RMH's "J2EE Web Services" book) you asked
for. Emphasis is mine. Actually, J2EE 1.4 app servers are required
to support BP 1.0, but this does not preclude J2EE 1.3 app servers to do
so. I just do not know if there any actual instances of such servers.



"This book covers the use of the Web Services APIs as specified in J2EE 1.4
because version 1.4 is the first Java platform that fully embraces the
Web service paradigm

"At the heart of J2EE Web Services interoperability, and of Web services
interoperability in general, is the Basic Profile 1.0 (BP), published by
the Web Services Interoperability Organization (WS-I). The BP provides a
set of rules that govern how applications make use of common Web service
technologies so that everyone is speaking the same language. The BP makes
Web service interoperability practical, and coverage of it is a critical
aspect of this book.

Although this book assumes you will want to develop Web services that
comply with WS-I, only J2EE 1.4 vendors are required to support the BP."

"Throughout this book, particular care is given to framing most discussions
in the context of the Web Services Interoperability Organization's Basic
Profile 1.0. If you have worked with Web service technologies in the past
and have had a chance to study the BP, then you will probably appreciate
why it's so important. To be completely blunt: I do not believe general
Web service interoperability with anonymous parties is actually feasible
without the guidance of the WS-I Basic Profile 1.0. Experienced Web
service developers can tell you numerous interoperability horror stories
related to the loose language and broad visions defined by standards like
SOAP, WSDL, and UDDI. The WS-I Basic Profile eliminates many, if not all,
of the ambiguities inherent in these primary standards, finally making
interoperability among disparate Web service platforms (.NET, J2EE, Apache
Axis, Perl, etc.) possible.
[ August 06, 2004: Message edited by: Panagiotis Varlagas ]
Lasse Koskela

Joined: Jan 23, 2002
Posts: 11962
Thanks. However, I really think that drawing the conclusion "only J2EE 1.4 is mature enough for mission-critical Web Services applications" from Richard's text above is exaggeration. It's not a question of maturity at all. It's a question of web services standards compliance which can be accomplished even without any J2EE version...
I agree. Here's the link:
subject: J2EE 1.4 and Web Services
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