Let's talk about Java EE since this is the topic of this book and it is relevant in enterprise systems.
Java EE and J2EE are being used heavily, especially in bigger companies. One of the advantages was always that the platform consists of standards that guarantee to be backwards compatible with older versions. Even old J2EE applications are guaranteed to still function in the future. This was always a big benefit for companies that are planning for the long term. Applications that are developed against the Java EE API can run on all Java EE application servers. Vendor-independent applications enable companies to build future-proof software that doesn't lock it into a specific solution. This turned out to be a sound decision that ultimately led to a mindset of the enterprise industry that standards, or de facto standards which everybody agrees upon, improve the overall situation.
Compared to the J2EE world, a lot has changed in Java EE. The programming model is totally different, much leaner, and more productive. This was drastically changed when the name switched from J2EE to Java EE 5, and especially since EE 6. We will have a look at the modern way of developing Java enterprise in Chapter 3, Implementing Modern Java Enterprise Applications. We will see what architectural approaches and programming models are being used and how the platform leverages development productivity much more than in the past. Hopefully, the idea of why Java EE now provides a modern solution to develop enterprise applications will become clear.
Right now, bringing this message out to the industry is actually more of a marketing and political challenge than a technical one. We still see tons of developers and architects who still consider Java EE to be the cumbersome, heavyweight enterprise solution of the J2EE age, which required a lot of time, effort, and XML. Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB), as well as application servers, have a particularly bad reputation due to their past. This is why a lot of engineers are biased toward that technology. Compared to other enterprise solutions, Java EE never saw much marketing targeted at developers.
In Chapter 4, Lightweight Java EE, we will see why modern Java EE is actually one of the most lightweight enterprise solutions. We will define the term lightweight aspects and see why the Java EE platform is more relevant than ever, especially in modern cloud and container environments. The impression the IT industry has of a particular technology is important for its success. I hope this chapter will shed some light into this topic.
Companies have usually chosen Java EE mostly because of its reliability and backwards compatibility. I personally favor Java EE because of its productivity and ease of use. In Chapter 4, Lightweight Java EE, and Chapter 5, Container and Cloud Environments with Java EE, we will cover more about this. In this book, I would like to show the readers why Java EE is a solution well-suited to today's enterprise demands. I will also show the technologies and standards, not in every detail, but rather how they are integrated with each other. I believe that focusing on the integrational part leads to a better understanding in how to effectively craft enterprise applications.