Java EE 7 Backend Features

The Java Enterprise Edition 7 offers new features for enhanced HTML5 support, helps developers being more productive and further helps meeting enterprise demands. As a developer you will write a lot less boilerplate code and have better support for the latest Web applications and frameworks. There are a couple of new features in Java EE 7 and Arun compiled a list of the top ten most prominent ones a while ago already and you can see the complete slide-deck as part of the Java EE 7 samples project on GitHub. This is a quick recap of them:

  • App Provided Administrative Objects:
    Java EE has long had the concept of an “administrative object”. This is a kind of resource that is defined on the application server instead of by the application. For some classes of applications using these is a best practice, for others it’s not such a good practice.
  • Default resources:
    In the case of a default resource, the Java EE platform provides a ready to use resource of a specific type. Java EE 7 introduced defaults for a data source, the platform’s default JMS connection factory, and the default thread pool.
    What characterizes these defaults is that they can’t be further configured in any standardized way. You have to do with whatever is provided by your server.
  • App provided and portable authentication mechanisms:
    The Servlet spec does define 4 standardised authentication mechanisms that an application can choose from via its web.xml deployment descriptor (FORM, BASIC, DIGEST, CLIENT-CERT), but did not standardise the actual classes or interfaces for these and subsequently didn’t standardise any API/SPI for custom authentication mechanisms.
  • CDI based @Transactional:
    Before Java EE 7, high level declarative transactions were the domain of EJB. In this model, EJB was intended as a universal facade for a lot of functionality that the platform offers. While EJB evolved from an arcane heavyweight spec in J2EE 1.4 to something that’s actually quite lightweight in Java EE 6, the model of one spec functioning as a facade was not seen as ideal anymore.
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