Focusing on open APIs for enterprise applications

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Migration of software systems to the OSGi platform is gaining momentum with wide acceptance of the OSGi technology as the dynamic module system for Java. This transition is of special interest when it comes to popular Java application frameworks, which attract a growing number of Java developers around the world. Although the technical merits of the OSGi platform are broadly recognized, the migration of existing application frameworks is slow due to significant redesign and re-implementation efforts involved. We present an alternative lightweight approach - an adaptation of existing Java application framework for component based OSGi environment. Adaptation, as opposed to migration, eliminates the necessity of modularizing or redesigning the existing framework. This is particularly important when existing software platform and the associated programming model is mat... (more)

Live Demo of Yahoo! Query Language to be Given at 4th Cloud Computing Expo

What every developer wants is access and the ability to shape any data across the Internet through one simple language, with out need to learn different APIs. Yahoo! Query Language (YQL) provides just that and its effectiveness will be demonstrated live at SYS-CON's 4th International Cloud Computing Conference & Expo, being held November 2-4 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The demo will take place at a breakout session being given by Technical Yahoo! Jonathan Trevor. YQL provides an extensible plugin model for connecting to any data source called Open Data Tables. Yahoo! deploys YQL as a functional cloud service, enabling developers to move their data focused business logic to the cloud where the processing takes place, and leverage Yahoo scale, content & infrastructure. "The Yahoo! Query Language is an expressive SQL-like language that let... (more)

Clouds Should Be Open, Not Proprietary

David Young's "Joyeur" Blog What sort of cloud computer(s) should we be building or expecting from vendors? Are there issues of lock-in that should concern customers of either SaaS clouds or PaaS clouds? I’ve been thinking about this problem as the CEO of a PaaS cloud computing company for some time. Clouds should be open. They shouldn’t be proprietary. More broadly, I believe no vendor currently does everything that’s required to serve customers well. What’s required for such a cloud? I think an ideal PaaS cloud would have the following nine features: 1. Virtualization Layer Network Stability Cloud computers must operate on some sort of virtualization technology for many of the following features to even be feasible. But as general purpose computing moves from dedicated hardware to on-demand computing, one key feature of the dedicated model for web applications is a ... (more)

"No Sun Is An Island," Says Javalobby Founder

Read Eric Raymond's Open Letter to Scott McNealy: "Let Java Go" Read "Letting Java Go" - James Gosling in 2003 on Open-Sourcing Java As if driven by the cycles of the moon, it seems like the Java community gets a monthly visit from that special topic that divides and angers us more than any other: the question of whether Sun should "open source" Java? Most recently a top open source advocate named Eric Raymond (author of  The Cathedral And The Bazaar) published an open letter to Sun urging them to "Let Java Go." I have huge respect for the achievements of the open source community, but I tend to stay away from the pissing contests that these discussions about open sourcing Java often devolve into. I think the issue is something of a bugaboo, anyway. The source code for Java is readily available to anyone who accepts the Sun Community Source License (SCSL.) You can fix p... (more)

AJAX and Mozilla XUL with JavaServer Faces

In our previous JDJ article - Rich Internet Components with JavaServer Faces - we discussed how JavaServer Faces can fulfill new presentation requirements without sacrificing application developer productivity building Rich Internet Applications (RIA). We discussed how JSF component writers can utilize technologies, such as AJAX and Mozilla XUL, to provide application developers with rich, interactive and reusable components. In order to use AJAX and Mozilla XUL with JSF, component writers have to make sure to provide any resource files need by these technologies, such as images, style sheets, or scripts. The standard approach to providing resource files for a JSF component library is to serve them directly out of the web application root file system. These resources are usually packaged in an archive (such as a ZIP file), and shipped separately from the JSF componen... (more)

Portable Persistence Using the EJB 3.0 Java Persistence API

Experience has taught us that it's not enough to simply have a persistence standard as part of an enterprise specification. It must be a standard that can solve people's problems and be useful to most of the applications that want to use it. While earlier versions of Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB) persistence met some of the needs, they were primarily focused on the distributed problem domain. It is now known, and has been proven by successful commercial products like Oracle TopLink and Open Source projects like JBoss Hibernate, that the objects to be persisted don't have to be anything more than simple Java objects. The proof was in the popularity of these Object-Relational Mapping (ORM) tools; most developers have tended to pick up and use these tools rather than adopt the Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) entity bean programming standard. The problem was that even th... (more)

j-Interop: An Open Source Library for COM Interoperability Without JNI

I have spent a good part of the last year trying to "wrap" COM servers in Java for a content management organization. It had an array of syndication servers supported by an integrated messaging platform developed using COM. The purpose of this exercise was to increase the organization's market penetration by hooking on to the J2EE bandwagon across multiple platform configurations. With so many different complex COM servers to work with, some supporting automation and others not, I struggled with the all too familiar JNI cycle...code, crash, code some more, and then crash. Literally speaking, I must have brought down the JVM hundreds of times. To top it off, some syndication servers worked on a "pull" mechanism, they could pull the content out from the interfacing repositories. This meant bi-directional access and an event-based interoperation. I had a look at some ... (more)

Ship Happens! Insights From the Eclipse SWT Community

The Standard Widget Toolkit (SWT) is the GUI toolkit used by Eclipse. The same folks that worked on the Common Widget (CW) library for IBM/Smalltalk developed it, this time for Java. Now, it's maintained as part of the Eclipse Platform project and distributed under an open source license, the Eclipse Public License (EPL). One key design point of SWT is that it uses native functionality on each operating system and, at the same time, presents a common, portable API. Joe Winchester, Desktop Java Editor for Java Developer's Journal, asked Steve Northover (SWT Team Lead) recently whether he'd be happy to answer some questions about SWT and, after talking to his colleagues and a few developers, here is the result. JDJ: SWT supports many different widget toolkits with a common programming API. What's the hardest thing about making all this work? Steve: Specifying an API t... (more)

Google's OpenSocial: A Technical Overview and Critique

Dare Obasanjo's Carnage4Life Blog One of the Google folks working on OpenSocial sent me a message via Facebook asking what I thought about the technical details of the recent announcements. Since my day job is working on social networking platforms for Web properties at Microsoft and I'm deeply interested in RESTful protocols, this is something I definitely have some thoughts about. Below is what started off as a private message but ended up being long enough to be its own article. First Impressions In reading the OpenSocial API documentation it seems clear that is intended to be the functional equivalent of the Facebook platform. Instead of the Facebook users and friends APIs, we get the OpenSocial People and Friends Data API. Instead of the Facebook feed API, we get the OpenSocial Activities API. Instead of the Facebook Data Store API, we get the OpenSocial Pers... (more)

Open Source and Open Standards

As I write this article the 2008 FOSDEM ( (Free and Open Source software Developers European Meeting) is about to start. Of course, by the time you read this the meeting will be long over (that's the name of the game with publishing deadlines). I will not be attending, but several members of Sun's OpenJDK ( team are gathering in Brussels to meet with the movers and shakers of the free and open source software world. This suggested the topic for this month's column, in which I will explore the relationship between open source and open standards. First let's define our terms. The Open Source Initiative ( (OSI) informally defines Open Source as "a development method for software that harnesses the power of distributed peer review and transparency of process. The promise of open source is better quality, h... (more)

Microsoft's Azure Bullet Points

 Alan Williamson's Blog We knew it was coming, the leafs were rustling and the wind was blowing. Yesterday Microsoft finally released their vision for their offering into the cloud space. They have published a whitepaper on Azure so with that, here are the highlights from that whitepaper. High level view: "a platform for running Windows applications and storing their data in the cloud" Four main areas; Windows Azure base, .NET services, SQL services and Live services All Azure applications run within Microsoft's data centers accessible via the Internet Applications built on .NET will only be able to run in Azure (non .NET apps possibly in 2009) Developers will use Visual Studio 2008 Azure supports background processes that run independent from the web app Access to the Azure Storage service is via REST API (which isn't MS SQL Server) Storage is not strictly SQL (R... (more)