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Oracle announces the general availability of Java EE 7

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June 13, 2013

Oracle is announcing the availability of Java EE 7, the first major release of enterprise Java since the company took control of the platform in 2010.

The last version shipped more than four years ago. Support for HTML5 and its related technology is one of the key themes of this new release. Among the new APIs included with Java EE 7 are version 2.0 of the Java API for Asynchronous Web Services (JAX-RS) and new APIs to support WebSockets and JSON processing.

Backend enterprise applications will also benefit, Oracle says. Java EE 7 now allows several batch operations to be split into manageable chunks for improved OLTP processing, and it includes a new API that allows developers to define multithreaded concurrent tasks more easily. Java Message Service has also been improved.

A full list of the features that made it past the Java Community Process final approval ballot, the results of which were announced on April 30 is available on the Oracle site.

But equally notable are some of the planned features that didn't make it into this release. As is becoming a pattern for the Java development process under Oracle, a number of technologies that were originally slated for Java EE 7 were pushed forward to the next version.

Originally, Oracle had said Java EE 7 was going to be "the best application server for the cloud," complete with built-in support for platform-as-a-service (PaaS) environments and multitenancy.

In September 2012, the Java EE 7 Expert Group agreed to defer these capabilities until Java EE 8, claiming that implementing them properly would hold up the current release for at least a year.

"Partially, this has been due to a lack of maturity in the space for provisioning, multi-tenancy, elasticity, and the deployment of applications in the cloud," said Java EE 7 specification lead Linda DeMichel.

"And partially, it's also due to our conservative approach in trying to get things right in view of limited industry experience in the cloud area when we started this work," she added.

In January, JCache, a highly anticipated technology which was designed to provide a standard caching API, was also dropped from Java EE 7, says Oracle.

Those features are still expected to make it into Java EE 8, but anything could happen between now and then. The next version of Java EE isn't expected to arrive until 2015.

In the meantime, developers who want to begin working with Java EE 7 can do so immediately. Concurrent with the final release of the Java EE 7 spec, Project GlassFish has also released GlassFish 4.0, the latest version of the open source reference implementation of the Java EE standard.

Additionally, Oracle's NetBeans IDE has been updated to version 7.3.1, bringing full support for Java EE 7 development and deployment to GlassFish 4.

The Java EE 7 SDK, complete with code samples, API documentation, tutorials, and a bundled version of GlassFish Open Source Edition 4.0, is available for download from Oracle's Java developer website.

In other IT news

Western Digital has confirmed this morning that it's now shipping the thinnest hard drive ever, giving thin and light notebook makers and users 143 GB of storage capacity per millimetre of drive thickness. The new drives offer a full terra byte of storage.

The WD 'Blue Drive' is just 0.28 inch thick and has either one or two 500 GB platters inside depending on the capacity levels offered.

These range between 250 GB, 320 GB, 500 GB, 750 GB and 1 TB, with up to two platters being needed for the 750 GB and 1 TB levels.

The slightly larger model has the usual list of standard features to deliver the data bits needed:

  • ShockGuard to help data integrity in case of physical shocks
  • StableTrac with the motor shaft secured at both ends
  • Dual stage actuators for better positioning of the head
  • Ramp load to prevent the head touching the disk's surface
  • It has a 3 Gbit/s SATA interface and spins at 5,400 RPMs. Blue is now the company's mainstream brand, with Green being reserved for its cooler and quieter drives. Its Black series of HDs are for higher performance solutions.

    Both Acer and Asus are probably going to ship products using WD's new drives, judging by supporting statements from them in WD's press release.

    Intel comments positively about how good Blue is for Ultrabooks with Haswell processors. Roger Bradford, its capabilities marketing manager says-- "The release of the WD Blue 7mm hard drives offers a new level of storage capacity that further enriches the computing experience for users of Ultrabooks and other thin PCs."

    WD's new Blue drives feature a 2-year warranty and the company says it's good for 600,000 load/unload cycles. You can get the 1B model for a suggested list price of $139.00 and it's shipping now.

    In other IT news

    Amazon Web Services 'sort of' confirmed to the media that it's getting ready to build a very large cloud for the CIA.

    But meanwhile, IBM is still in the running, after the company's protest at the choice of Amazon was recognized by the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

    Amazon Web Services confirms the existence of a contract between it and the Central Intelligence Agency.

    AWS then reserved several barbed comments for IBM's protest.

    The statement in full follows.

    Providing true cloud computing services to the intelligence community requires a transformative approach with superior technology. The CIA selected AWS based on its superior technological platform which will allow the Agency to rapidly innovate while delivering the confidence and security assurance needed for mission-critical systems. The Agency conducted a very detailed, thorough procurement that took many months to award. We look forward to a fast resolution of the two issues raised by the GAO so the Agency can move forward with this important contract.

    Big Blue attempted to get the contract as well, and when it lost out to AWS it lodged protests with the government. Federal and government contracts are a huge business for IBM, and considered home turf by the company.

    Source: Oracle.

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