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After working for several years within SAP´s Java UI stack (mainly Web Dynpro Java and SAP Enterprise Portal) I had the chance to visit the JavaOne two weeks ago for the first time. I met the “real” Java community, learnt a lot and collected my expiriences in the following:

General Sessions

The “vision” I got from the general sessions in my words:

“The world is connected and will be even more connected in the future. Desktop, servers, notebook, netbooks, smartbook, mobiles, TV – everything is online and every device runs Java. With JavaFX 1.2 there is now the one and only development environemnt to build applications running on all these devices. And: using Java Warehouse and Java App store you can distribute your applications to millions and millions of potential customers all over the world”.
In the first general session also Larry Ellison was presented as special guest. And he stated that of course Oracle will continue in supporting Java. There was the question whether there will be another JavaOne next year. He did not anwser this explicitly and therefore I assume that the JavaOne will be merged with Oracle´s developer conference next year.
 In all general sessions they showed how Java / Java FX is used to build “cool” applications running on all possible devices like desktop, mobiles and TV. Although most of the demos looks nice I did not see in most of these demos the real business value or the real benefit for the user. Why it is important to read mails on the TV or to order something in an online shop while watching TV? But perhaps I am too “old-fashioned” for this new stuff – I still use my cell-phone mainly as telephon … ,-)
The last session at friday was really cool. James Gosling himself showed in his yearly “toy show” absolutly surprising solutions based on Java. My favourite demo was an Audi TT remotly controlled (without driver in the car) with 160 mph speed based on Java Realtime System (JRS) – hopefully there is no NulllPointer exception before the next red traffic light ,-)

Technical Sessions

It is of course not possible to join all interesting sessions, but I tried my best:

Services: Web 2.0, Next Generation Web, and Cloud Services Platform

Cloud computing was one of the most often mentioned things. Not important whether you use Amazon or Google or eBay or something else – but your stuff has to run in the cloud

Java™ Servlet 3.0: Empowering Your Web Applications With Async, Extensibility and More

Some of the ideas were not new for me as we had very similiar discussions within the Web Dynpro team in the last years. My learning here: outside SAP they have to solve the same problems (and my feeling was several times in this week, that in some areas we are even today still provide better capabilites like the standard ones). We should try to bring this to the community!

Java™ Platform, Enterprise Edition 6 with Extensible GlassFish™ Application Server V3

Glassfish V3 is based on OSGi and seems to be a really pluggable platform. It is for sure worth to look deeper into it.

Introduction to the JavaFX™ Technology-Based API (Graphics and Animation)

Ajax Versus JavaFX™ Technology

Interesting discussion but without no clear guidelines – in the end it was at always: in depends on the concrete use case.

Writing Killer JavaServer™ Faces 2.0 UI Components

A Complete Tour of the JavaServer™ Faces 2.0 Platform

Extreme Google Web Toolkit: Exploring Advanced Aspects of GWT

Move Your Users: Animation Principles for Great User Experiences

They mappend learnings from how to create cool cartoons to the user interface of applications. For sure not our core business but interesting to see that there are a lof of rules which are the same in both worlds.

Creating Compelling User Experiences

In this session SAP was mentioned (and this was the only one for me). But SAP was named as bad example for compelling user interfaces (but without showing concrete screens). It seems for me that we will most probably never get rid of this perception …

Comparing Groovy and JRuby

The Web on OSGi: Here’s How

Although I am (not yet) the OSGi expert this was interesting as the speaker explains how his company managed the way from simple web applications to an OSGi based infrastructure and way of developing and extending their solutions.

JavaServer™ Faces Platform and Ajax: State of the Union

This was a really good expirience. In this session there were the two spec leads for JSF 2.0 and 4 architects from 4 vendors implementing JSF 2.0 (eg, ICEFaces). Although this was not one company this was a really (!) open discussion about how to merge integrate Ajax capabilites into the JSF standard. All implementations brought in their ideas, and during the discussion process for JSF 2.0 all this stuff was merged together into the standard. So from my point of view all these vendors are on one side able to provide “new stuff” and extend the existing standard but on the other side are also willing and motivated to involve the next version of the standard. I liked this open and constructive session very much – no politics but only the facts ,-)
I understand also during this session that we really missed a great opportunity to involve and participate in the community with our learnings and findings when buidling Web Dynpro for Java.

Writing a JavaServer™ Faces 2.0 Component That Uses Ajax: It’s Easy! (Really, It’s Easy.)

Cloud Computing: Show Me the Money

Cloud computing all over the world – Amazon, e-Bay, Google – all do it and showed demos how to build applications running in their clouds

Using REST and Web Services to Mash Up Communications Capabilities

Building Rich Internet Applications with the JavaFX™ Programming Language

Google App Engine: Java™Technology in the Cloud

It was interesting to see “how easy” (at least in the demo) is was to build a web application running in the end on top of the Google App Engine. One idea came into my mind during this session: it would be interesting to see WDJ applications running in the cloud ! ,-)

Building Facebook and OpenSocial Applications with Java™ Technology

This session was in one of the largest rooms and was completly booked. This was surprising for me a little bit as from my point of view these “social network applications” are still gimmicks for me, but there is a big interest how to build it.

Pro JavaFX™ Platform: RIA Enterprise Application Development with JavaFX Technology

Just another session where JavaFX was shown. I was a little bit disappointed as the “Enterprise” aspect was not visible for me – moving texts on top of a background image is not a enterprise application for me,

Building Next-Generation Web Applications with the Spring 3.0 Web Stack

The “Spring” stack looks reallyy good for me because its architecture seems to be really flexible.

Cleaning Up with Ajax: Building Great Apps That Users Will Love

Building Enterprise Java™ Technology-Based Web Apps with Google Open-Source Technology

Java™ Technology for the Web! Now What? Choosing the Right Technology Stack for Your Java Technology-Based Web Site

This was really interesting to see that even in a standard compliant and open Java world you have to answer very similiar questions as within SAP in regardsof “which technology” I have to use. Standards is not the answer for all or as said by the speaker: “the good thing with standards is that there are so many”.
Also interesting to see the long list of Web UI Frameworks he mentioned:
JSP, Struts1, Struts2, Java Server Faces, Wicket, Spring MVC, WebFlow, Tapestry,Jamon, Velocity, Jboss Seam, Restlet, JAXRS, GWT, Cocoon, MyFaces, WebWork,´Turbine, Rife, Echo, AppFuse, Stripes – I miss Web Dynpro Java for sure …

Some more thoughts

Although I worked now for a longtime within the Java area my most impressive learning from last week was: “I know that I do not know anything” – there is so much ongoing in the community that it is really hard to follow:  
JSP, Struts1, Struts2, Java Server Faces, Wicket, Spring MVC, WebFlow, Tapestry, Jamon, Velocity, Jboss Seam, Restlet, JAXRS, GWT, Cocoon, MyFaces, WebWork,´Turbine, Rife, Echo, AppFuse, Stripes, Groovy Grails, Guice, Spring, REST, Glassfish, OSGi, Facelets, Jetty, Mojarra, RichFaces, Exadel, bubblemark.com,Probe, JPA, Spring, Google Wave, Flamingo, Dojo, GWT, ExtJS, SOA, JQuery, JRuby, HK2, Maven, SSR 229, …..
So a lot of stuff to learn or to look into ….
The audience was much younger comparing this to a TechEd or a SAPphire. I saw a lot of students but I learnt meanwhile that they get free tickets this year, therefore this is no surprise.

I was really impressed about the “community” feeling. In almost every session there were open discussions about the shown solutions and ideas and it was almost never like “we present what we built and you have to take it”.

The standards we currently discussing a lot (WSRP, Portlets) were not visible at all – I do not know what does this mean. It is not important at all or just too old to be visible at JavaOne?

To sum it up: it was a great expirience and I will hopefully come back next year ,-)

Jochen

P.S. And if you visit San Francisco you must go to one of the best Jazz clubs I ever visited -> Yoshi´s in the Fillmore Street.

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