Overview of Sun Java Studio Enterprise 8

By Prakash Narayan, with contributions from Robin Smith and Marina Sum, October 18, 2005  

Sun has released Sun Java Studio Enterprise 8 (henceforth, Java Studio Enterprise 8), the premier enterprise development platform for the Java Enterprise System and Java System suites, which are the infrastructure for deploying Sun's strategic service-oriented architecture (SOA)-enabled Web services. Enhanced from its award-winning predecessor, Java Studio Enterprise 7, Java Studio Enterprise 8 is ideal for developing, debugging, testing, deploying, and tuning portal components and Web services.

Java Studio Enterprise 8 supports Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EE platform) 1.4 and integrates the latest NetBeans 4.1 integrated development environment (IDE). NetBeans 4.1 offers a rich set of features with which you can create state-of-the-art Java applications, including stand-alone, Web-tier, mobile, and J2EE applications. To learn the advantages of NetBeans 4.1 and the reasons for migrating to that IDE from others, see the Switch to NetBeans IDE hub.

Also, NetBeans 4.1 supports application development on the J2EE 1.4 Platform and deployment to Sun Java System Application Server 8.1 Platform Edition. Java Studio Enterprise 8 goes miles beyond and delivers the following over NetBeans 4.1:

  • Integrated modeling with Unified Modeling Language (UML)
  • Instant developer collaboration
  • Enterprise Application Profiler
  • Portlet Builder
  • Java Application Verification Kit
  • Sample blueprints for J2EE applications

This article highlights the capabilities of Java Studio Enterprise 8, with special emphasis on the migration of applications from NetBeans 3.6 and on the above enhancements over NetBeans 4.1.

The diagram below illustrates the Java Studio Enterprise-Java Enterprise System-NetBeans relationships:

Java Studio Enterprise - Java Enterprise System - NetBeans relationships
Java Studio Enterprise - Java Enterprise System - NetBeans relationships

Note: For details on migrating applications from Sun Java Studio Enterprise 7 to Java Studio Enterprise 8, see the article, Why Migrate From Sun Java Studio Enterprise 7 to Sun Java Studio Enterprise 8?.

Migration of Applications From NetBeans 3.6
Integrated Modeling With UML
Instant Developer Collaboration
Enterprise Application Profiler
Portlet Builder
Java Application Verification Kit
Migration of Applications From NetBeans 3.6

Built on NetBeans 4.1, Java Studio Enterprise 8 delivers a concurrent shift to the new Ant-based projects system—one that is based on Apache Ant. This system uses an Ant build script to compile, run, execute, and test applications and to store project metadata.

In addition, Java Studio Enterprise 8 includes a set of standard project templates that meets all the requirements for developing applications. You can configure the basic compilation and runtime options in the project's graphical interface. For details on the settings to be imported in migrating from NetBeans 3.6 (the basis for Sun Java Studio Enterprise 7), see the section, " Importing NetBeans IDE 3.6 Settings," in the paper, " Transitioning From NetBeans IDE 3.6 to 4.1." The paper's next section, "Common Project Tasks," explains how to perform those tasks in NetBeans 4.1.

Integrated Modeling With UML

In Java Studio Enterprise 8, you can embed a new UML project type in the project tree. The supported Java project types have UML information embedded directly into the same project tree as the Java projects. Since the UML project is a NetBeans project type, you can open multiple UML projects at the same time. Consequently, application architects can attain a pure modeling perspective with Java Studio Enterprise 8. You can also reference model elements between UML projects.

In addition, UML now supports Java 2 platform, Standard Edition (J2SE platform) 5.0 for code generation and reverse engineering.

The project types supported by UML are as follows:

  • Platform-independent model — This model creates a platform-independent modeling project in the system with empty containers for the model and elements. As the model is created and populated, Java Studio Enterprise 8 applies only UML modeling (business) rules to the model. Also, Java Studio Enterprise 8 does not generate code and applies no language-related rules for this project type.
  • Java platform model — This model creates a platform-dependent modeling project in the system with empty containers for the model and elements. As the model is created and populated, Java Studio Enterprise 8 applies Java modeling (business) rules to the model. Optionally, you can enable source code generation for this project type. Two modes are supported:

    • Design mode, an architect's mode, in which no source code is generated.
    • Code-generation mode, a developer's mode, in which the model and code are synchronized.
  • Project derived from the reverse-engineering of a Java Project — Java Studio Enterprise 8 populates this type of project with elements that are reverse-engineered from an existing Java project.
  • Project derived from an import of an IBM Rational Rose model — Java Studio Enterprise 8 populates this type of project with elements that are imported from a Rose model.

Here is an example of UML modeling.

Figure 1: Example of UML Modeling
Figure 1: Example of UML Modeling (Click to enlarge)

Furthermore, you can reference model elements among projects with the element import mechanism. That is, you can import a model element by dragging and dropping it from one project onto the diagram of another project. Any changes in the imported element are then automatically reflected in the project that defines that element. The UML project properties dialog box lists all of the referenced projects.

Through the Web report facility, you can create automatically generated, detailed documentation and export both text and embedded graphics to HTML. That way, you can effectively communicate to your team members the details, properties, and relationships in your system.

Instant Developer Collaboration

The developer collaboration capability in Sun Java Studio Enterprise 8 takes you further: You can now connect to a bundled collaboration server or to the one at share.java.net and converse with others, wherever they are, by means of the familiar chat capabilities. Those capabilities in Java Studio Enterprise 8 are far superior than regular instant-messaging because you can send messages in plain text, XML, HTML, or Java code format. Moreover, the message composition window is a full-fledged source editor with code-completion and syntax-highlighting functions and line numbers.

You can also share projects and files in real time. All conversation participants can make edits that are instantly represented to the other participants with appropriate visual cues. Any participant can compile a shared project. All the participants can view the resulting build output in real time.

See this example of developer collaboration:

Figure 2: Example of Developer Collaboration
Figure 2: Example of Developer Collaboration
Enterprise Application Profiler

Enterprise Application Profiler enables you to tune J2EE applications. Java Studio Enterprise 8 collects performance data from the multiple components and containers associated with the application and presents them in tabular or graphical form. Also, Java Studio Enterprise 8 displays metrics on all aspects of the application, including HTTP traffic, Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB) container statistics, and memory heap.

Remember that you have choices, too. You can select methods in an application that you would like to examine specifically and analyze the exact method execution times. By taking advantage of an internal load generator, you can load systems from within Java Studio Enterprise 8 and view the performance profile of your application in the presence of the load.

This diagram shows the data analyzed and displayed in Enterprise Application Profiler:

Figure 3: Example of Enterprise Application Profiler Data
Figure 3: Example of Enterprise Application Profiler Data
Portlet Builder

With Portlet Builder, you can do the following:

  • Create custom providers and portlets.
  • Test the channels in a sandbox environment without any configuration, administration, and authorization requirements.
  • Facilitate development with Sun Java Enterprise Portal Server by means of packaged portal elements, such as Java Specification Request (JSR) 168-compliant portlets, providers, and channels.
  • Create, test, and package portal elements in Portlet Builder, which you can then deploy to the local portal server.

When you create a portlet, Portlet Builder generates two files: a Java class file and an XML file that contains an element. You can edit both of those files according to the JSR 168 Specification. Later on, when you simulate or package a deployer Web archive (WAR) file, Portlet Builder seamlessly updates the portlet.xml file on the basis of the XML file that contains the element.

Developing portlets is similar to developing Web modules or Web applications. The portlet-specific information resides in a portlet.xml file, which is located in the WEB-INF directory of the Web module. Rather than tackling individual portlets, you can test or package the entire set of portlets.

Portlet Builder tests portlets through the simulator by means of the test harness. When you package a portlet, you create a WAR file, which the deployer can deploy on a portal server.

Here is a snapshot of Portlet Builder:

Figure 4: Portlet Builder
Figure 4: Portlet Builder (Click to enlarge)
Java Application Verification Kit

Java Application Verification Kit (AVK) for the Enterprise has two verification modes:

  • Static verification, which validates the packaging of WAR files, checks method signatures, and reports any inconsistencies. This type of verification has been available since earlier versions of Java Studio Enterprise.
  • Dynamic verification, which validates the correct execution of Web and EJB components through introspection and instrumentation. This type of verification is available for the first time in Java Studio Enterprise 8.

You start AVK by right-clicking a project node and choosing Verify Project from the context menu. A dialog box is then displayed, prompting you to advise whether you desire dynamic verification. If you answer yes, AVK instruments the Application Server instance. Subsequently, after executing your application, you can choose Generate Report from either the server instance node's context menu or the Tools menu to view the verification report.

You must instrument AVK before deploying your application. After executing the application, you can generate an HTML report that is displayed on the IDE's default browser. Below is a sample report.

Figure 5: Sample Report from AVK
Figure 5: Sample Report from AVK

Impressed? Download and acquire a trial license for Java Studio Enterprise 8.

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