NetBeans Day Previews EJB 3, SOA Tools

On May 15, NetBeans Day will offer devs a unique hands-on preview and progress report on a variety of cutting-edge technologies and programs including EJB 3, SOA, a new wave of refactoring techniques and the popular Matisse UI. IDN spoke with NetBeans' evangelism team manager Judith Lilienfield to get a no-nonsense preview.

Tags: NetBeans, Entity Classes, Support, Developers, XML Schema, SOA, EJB,

For more information on NetBean Days 2006, or to register, please visit the NetBeans Day 2006 website here.

An Integration Developer News Interview
With Judith Lilienfield, Manager
NetBeans Evangelism Team at
Sun Microsystems

IDN: What are some of the highlights that Sun execs will be discussing at NetBeans Day this year?

Lilienfield: Well - it has been a pretty exciting year for us. Last year at NetBeans Day, we kicked off the WorldTour and we had a "sneak preview" of Project Matisse. A lot has happened since then. We have gone around the world spreading the NetBeans gospel, released NetBeans 5.0 in late January and a preview of NetBeans 5.5 with Enterprise Pack in February.

This year, we will have a Beta of NetBeans 5.5. So, it will be a progress report of sorts. Last year we were asked about Subversion support in NetBeans and we will have a demo of that to show this year. Also, we will be providing an early look at some upcoming technologies, so attendees should be sure to check out what we will have to say about refactoring tools. And, of course there is our comprehensive support for J2EE 5.

IDN: And, this is not all coming only from Sun right? NetBeans is making some important steps in promoting community and partners support?

Lilienfield: That's right. We will have some of our partners on stage with us demonstrating why and how they use NetBeans in some pretty cool demos. Also, we will be acknowledging some of our community should be a pretty full day.

IDN: In your view, what are one or two of the key technologies that "move forward" the NetBeans platform, and why would developers find them useful?

Lilienfield: For J2SE developers the big news over the last year has been our GUI building tool, Project Matisse. We will talk about the future roadmap and show you the next generation of this innovative tool as well as upcoming features for Swing developers.

Also, The Java Persistence API is supported in J2SE as well as in web apps and EJB. You can create entity classes from DB or from scratch (and have the DB created) in J2SE project! You need to write the code for binding the entity beans to Matisse by hand, but it is still much easier then writing JDBC application.

IDN: And what about SOA support in NetBeans?

Lilienfield: The basic building block is BPEL (Business Process Execution Language) the standard for assembling a set of discrete services into an end-to-end process flow, radically reducing the cost and complexity of process integration initiatives.

The Web Services Orchestration (BPEL) allows developers to author, build, deploy, and test BPEL processes. It Includes a full two-way editor; BPEL runtime engine integrated with Sun Java System Application Server 9; creation of loosely coupled, service-based composite applications for SOA; full two-way round-trip designer; full process debugging integrated into NetBeans debugger.

In addition to the UML and SOA tools that have received a lot of attention, we have also included an exciting set of new Visual tools for working with XML schema, another key building component of building loosely coupled SOA applications. The NetBeans Visual XML tools offer a unique and easy-to-use interface for creating and editing XML Schemas, and visualizing the relationships between Schema elements.. This way, developers can focus on the semantics of the schema while leaving the syntactical details of the XML Schema language to the NetBeans tools.

IDN: Will any portions of the NetBeans 5.5 "preview" be highlighted at NetBeans Day or JavaOne?

Lilienfield: Absolutely. Ludo Champenois and Pavel Buzek (two of our J2EE/NetBeans engineers) will be showing off the NetBeans 5.5 features at the JavaOne session: "Java EE 5 Platform: Even Easier with Tools." Click here for a list of NetBeans related talks and BOFs at JavaOne.

IDN: Can you discuss any of NetBeans' cutting edge support for EJB 3.0? How does the NetBeans team envision how development might change with these new technologies?

Lilienfield: Suppose you already have an existing database with data and you just want to create a web application to display and edit the data. NetBeans can generate entity classes for this database (Entity From DB wizard) and then generate a JSF application for these entity classes (JSF from Entity Classes wizard).

If you are starting a completely new project, just create the entity classes -- it is plain Java programming, no XML descriptors needed. Then you select where the entity classes should be stored (JDBC connection or a server data source) and the server will automatically generate the DB tables for you. Use the same wizard to create the web pages: JSF from Entity Classes. You do not need to use EJB module, all this can be done in web module and NetBeans supports ORM.