Earlier this year, SAP published a roadmap, in which we shared with you – our community – what are the main next steps in supporting Java. This roadmap was a clear sign about how committed SAP is in supporting the latest Java standards, and how innovative it is in achieving first-class robustness of its Java server infrastructure. Now, we can proudly announce that the SAP NetWeaver Application server, Java EE 5 edition delivered on the commitments we made. These blog series will take a closer look at the four main aspects where important changes were introduced and how they add value to users. Those aspects are: runtime support for latest standards, development tools based on an open-source tooling platform, administration tools for improved configuration and operation of the system, and architecture evolvement for increased robustness. Support for Latest Java Standards So let’s start the series with the first aspect defined by the roadmap – building an open platform based on Java standards. Not surprisingly, on the front line of this aspect is the Java EE 5 support. This new standard is all about ease-of-development, reduced platform complexity and increased productivity, and at the same time keeping the full set of feature-rich APIs and programming models. Sharing the main virtues of the standard – simplicity, openness, standardization – is where SAP’s commitment to Java EE 5 comes from. So, why is Java EE 5 so important to application developers? In fact, I don’t think of answering that one myself. I would rather say you get this answered by the Java EE 5 specification lead Bill Shannon in his article on the same question. I would only like to point it out that the improved support for web services, combined with increased developer productivity makes Java EE 5 a solid ground to step on in developing your enterprise SOA solutions. And the SAP NetWeaver Application Server, Java EE 5 Edition made the first important step in this direction! Part of the group of vendors who drive the SDO and SCA – the standards that would define the SOA programming model – SAP provides an early implementation of the Service Data Objects specification, version 2.1 in the Java EE 5 Edition. The aim of this new standard is to provide a uniform way of accessing data that might reside in different data stores and formats. Although the Java EE 5 Edition does not offer the full SOA story (and it never pretended to), it is an opportunity for you to try out the upcoming technologies and get a feeling of how they enable you in building SOA-ready solutions. I can recommend that you get your fingers wet working on this SDO tutorial. And last, but not least, the remaining two members of our “supported standards” family:
- JSR 168 – The Portlet Specification – Provides standard API for development of portlet components that can be easily (no change of code) run in each JSR-168-compatible portal. Using this specification, developers benefit from reduced development time and cost since portlets are based on Java APIs and extend Java EE capabilities to portals. Note: to avoid creating false expectations, I must point out that SAP NetWeaver Application Server, Java(TM) EE 5 Edition currently provides only runtime support for JSR 168 (i.e. a portlet container implementation). No portal is available to integrate your portlet components. For those of you, who would like to try out development with portlets API can refer to this guide.
- JSR 45: Debugging Support for Other Languages This JSR allows non-Java languages (in Java EE this often refers to JSPs) to be debugged at source level by Java debuggers. Runtime support for it means you can use any Java debugger tool to debug SAP applications. To complement the JSR 45 story, the SAP NetWeaver Developer Studio provides design time support for it (inherited by the embedded WTP1.5 tools).
In the next part of the series you’ll learn more about SAP’s new approach to delivering an integrated Java development environment based on the open-source Eclipse platform.