Feed aggregator

iExpenses... things I learnt this week

Jo Davis - Tue, 2005-07-26 00:34
On 11.5.10 you can...
- display any or all of the AFF segments
- elect a percentage or otherwise of expense reports to be audited for receipts by Payables staff
- credit card charges from hotels can be itemised automatically in the upload
- policies (whilst great functionality) are a bit of a pain when trying to demo
- we can finally dispute credit card transactions on credit cards instead of just on P-Cards
- the credit card audit screen is a pain - can I go back to using the payables screen please? :)

Have a great day!

The Post Acquisition World.....

Jo Davis - Wed, 2005-07-20 23:31
Read an interesting article in the Australian CIO which raises a few points on the brave new world (post PeopleSoft acquisition) of ERP. Interesting. It might just be that the next few years are the time for everyone to sit back and have a bit of a strategic think about the world of ERP and effective strategies for managing it....

Google@moon

Wijaya Kusumo - Wed, 2005-07-20 03:51
Google map now has a branch in the moon! Google Moon, as it called, is unfortunately lacking the powerful locality search for now. Not until July 20th, 2069..... sigh!

Should we use Transparent Data Encryption?

Wijaya Kusumo - Tue, 2005-07-19 02:08
If your data requires the highest level of privacy and security, by all means, use it. However if it falls somewhere in the mid to low range, then you may want to carefully consider your options.   Transparent Data Encryption (TDE) is a new feature of Oracle 10gR2 database that provides transparent encryption and decryption of table columns. Transparent means there is no code change required,

TLA Clarifications

Denis Goddard - Mon, 2005-07-18 09:08

It has been brought to my attention that I used (and will continue to use) the term "SCM" in my blog, and that this TLA has two meanings: Oracle Supply Chain Management, and Oracle Software Configuration Manager.
Please take note: I always mean the latter, and never the former. I'm deeply involved with Oracle's Software Configuration Management system, and have nothing at all to do with Supply Chain stuff. By the way, no, I had nothing to do with choosing this name, though I confess I think it's pretty cool to work on a product whose acronym is pronouncable as "Scum".

Another common acronym in my namespace: ADE. That stands for Advanced Development Environment. No, I didn't choose this name either. ADE is the name given to the Perl-based front-end of the SCM system. My plan is to get rid of it, by which I mean, to move all (or the vast majority of) the code from the client side into middleware and server-side logic. SCM10 will take us about 75% of the way to that goal. ADE was originally envisioned by Dr. Alan Demers as a way to minimize the impact of the fact that ClearCase (which we used at the time) kept crashing. I took Al's ball and ran with it -- ADE became the technology to migrate all of our SCM data out of ClearCase and into an Oracle database. Which brings us to...

ODE, in the context of SCM and ADE, stands for "Oracle Development Environment". I would really like to get rid of "SCM" and instead use "ODE", but for some reason or other the people who make these decisions aren't with me on that one :-)
Anyway, "ODE" has come to mean, the specific database instance that holds the SCM data for Server Technologies.

Well, There's a bit of Oracle TLA trivia for ya. If you want to hear way more about all the above at length at any time, buy me a few beers and I'll be happy to yammer at length.

Google map is now in Japan

Wijaya Kusumo - Fri, 2005-07-15 03:50
Google map now covers the land of samurai. The map's look and feel is quite different from other region (US,UK, Canada). It has more info and show the building lay out as well. Too bad the satellite view is not as good as US.http://maps.google.co.jp

Fiat!

Denis Goddard - Tue, 2005-07-12 10:55
Make it so!

So... here's a blog. My own blog.
Oye am thonthorstrok, thing mud.

I thought for a bit about having a separate Blog for work (Oracle) and personal stuff.
But really, I know I'll be lucky to keep up with just one blog.

To adulterate Benjamin Franklin: "A blog... if you can keep it"

Plenty more to say, but I need to focus on work now: getting ADE 3.2 Beta tidied up,
and planning out how to transition development of 3.2 to Bangalore, while getting the
US Dev Team trained up and ready to work on SCM10 (the Next Big Thing!)

Personalisation makes it to the forms-based apps

Jo Davis - Sun, 2005-06-26 06:35
Okay, so anyone who's been subjected to my ravings at OAUG conferences knows what a big fan I am of not customising..... hold onto your hats because the personalisation functionality from the self-service web apps has a new cousin in 11.5.10 - personalisation of the forms based screens! Move over folder tools and custom.pll, now we're really cooking with gas..... Ramakrishna Goud has put together a nice white paper on it. It's definately not in 11.5.9 - maybe I can find a patch on metalink to back-port it? They're just making 11.5.10 more and more worth the hassle every day aren't they... I think it's a plot :)

Took an insane quiz and apparently I'm a caramel - who knew?

Jo Davis - Mon, 2005-06-13 03:35
This blog just wouldn't be complete unless I took some insane quiz and bored you all with the results....


cara
You're a Caramel!! You are known for your
sweetness. You are comfortable with yourself,
and help others feel the same way about
themselves. You are generally friendly to
everyone, and believe in second chances.

Which kind of candy are you?


And the nutty part... that's actually quite true, and not such a bad thing I reckon, since I happen to be a consultant for a living ;)

Name 5 integration Points between the Oracle eBusiness Suite and the Desktop.... go!

Jo Davis - Sat, 2005-06-11 22:04
Here's my ten:
1) j-Initiator launch
2) workflow and mail client (as in notifications)
3) export to excel (as in (N) File > Export)
4) attachments - loading and accessing
5) web ADI - create a spreadsheet
6) upload a journal from a web ADI spreadsheet
7) export to printer (as in (N) File > Print)
8) define and upload rates in the new currency rates manager (aka another clown suit for Web ADI)
9) every single fun thing in Client-Server ADI
10) ditto for Discoverer ;)

Don't you love sociability testing with multiple desktop SOEs?

Application metadata and annotations from beside the bandwagon

Mike Keith - Tue, 2005-06-07 18:52

For those who know me I'm sure the title was enough. You already know what I am going to run on about in this blog entry and are probably just reading on to find out exactly how vigorously I am going to spew.

The simplest definition of metadata that I can think of is data that describes other data. Like regular data it must be persisted somewhere in order for it to endure beyond the program that created it. It can appear in many forms; in some cases it can be found stored in the database, in others it may be in the file system. Back in the Smalltalk days metadata about classes was stored as metaclasses and persisted as part of the runtime image itself. To summarize, it is the function, not the form, of the data that makes it metadata.

Okay, let's move on to annotations and how JSR 175 is supposed to change the way that we program in Java.

So what is the problem that annotations solve? Well, since Java code is really just another type of data it turns out that we often need data to describe it as well. Traditionally we have used various formats for storing and associating the metadata with the Java code, and obviously the one most commonly used within the last few years has been XML files. In XML the metadata is typically structured inside of multiple levels of XML elements that include the names of the Java artifacts, and this is all in order to link the two together. The problem is that the metadata and the Java code that it describes are separated from each other. This introduces all sorts of problems, from persistent storage of the metadata to retrieving it and associating it at processing time, or runtime, or whatever time the two need to be linked. Annotations introduced a way to couple them within the language format so that they are stored in the same place, loaded at the same time and accessible whenever the Java program is. We no longer need to go out into an entirely different language, grammar and syntax and embed the metadata within a myriad of XML elements that exist solely to tell us which Java artifacts the metadata applies to.

So if annotations are so great then why am I discontented? Because I can't use them. In particular, I can't use them for anything other than their simplest and most obvious usage. I want to use them for metadata that applies to a group of classes. I want the same ease of use at the application level that I get at the class level.

It really scrapes my elbows that there was such a lame attempt at supporting annotation metadata at the level that applies to multiple classes. The so-called package-info.java mechanism is too crippled and clumsy to be usable, and the result is that it has left such a bad taste in everybody's mouth that they want to spit whenever they get reminded of anything related to annotations above the level of classes. It doesn't help that Java does not have any notion of a module, or enclosing configuration-friendly wrapper around bunches of Java code. Combine these together and it becomes hard to dispute that Java is doing a pretty lousy job accommodating application-level metadata.

The fact that Java has failed to provide a decent mechanism to support application-level annotations by no means implies that application-level annotations are a bad idea. Remember that annotations are just a way of specifying metadata. In fact, they are a preferred format than XML if the metadata is already coupled to Java code, and does not need to be portable to other platforms outside of Java, which is almost all of the time. There are lots of other reasons why people might want to use annotations instead of XML, ranging from development processes that are not geared for configuration management and version controlling of XML files to having different editing environments that are required for managing XML and Java. Some people have had such bad XML experiences that they shun it whenever possible. Regardless of the reasons, annotations are a much neater, more consistent way of adding metadata to Java programs that integrates perfectly with programming in Java. The code completion of annotations inside the Java editor, the brevity of their format and the compile-time checking that comes for free already combine to make it a superior environment for metadata programming than XML.

There are two main complaints that I have heard from critics of application-level annotation metadata. The first is that annotations should not be used for a group of application-level classes because there is no reasonable Java artifact on which to tack the annotations. This is true, of course, but quite beside the point. While the metadata ideally should be on a Java module no such module exists right now (although I believe it is being kicked off as a JSR even now). There is absolutely nothing stopping us from using whatever artifact we choose to store the metadata on as long as we have designated it as such. A class of our choosing will do the job for now... a no worse suggestion than using one for a global Persistence bootstrap point. It's no more or less a correct use for a class. The idealist may scoff at this saying that it is not the *correct* use of annotations, but my response is that just because the perfect target for the annotations does not exist does not mean that we can't adapt to the shortfall that exists in Java. The same idealist probably also criticizes the use of an interface to group a number of shared constants together, but that does not mean that it is not useful as a constant pool. When we don't see exactly what we need in Java most people won't say, "Since Java does not have what I need then I should probably not do it at all." We have a need or a design in mind and we use whatever tools are at our disposal to accomplish it. In this case we want to be able to use annotations to specify application-level metadata. We can make it work quite easily, so why shouldn't we?

The second argument that I have heard is that application metadata is not coupled to the code and therefore should not be specified as annotations on code. This is then always followed by the comment that you would have to recompile the annotated class in order to change the metadata. In the first case it is incorrect, while in the second it is both erroneous and inconsistent.

Application metadata can be divided up into two types of metadata, that which is tightly coupled to the code, and that which is loosely coupled to the code. As an example of tightly coupled metadata consider the EJB Persistence API where currently the @Entity annotation must have the access member set to FIELD if mappings are to be defined on the member fields instead of on properties. Setting this for all of the classes in the application will ease development considerably for the many people that like to use direct field access instead of the getter/setter property accessors, but changing the application level default definitely affects each and every class that did not explicitly specify the access mode. Ditto for the named queries which are defined for the entire application and referenced within classes that call em.createNamedQuery("MyFavoriteQueryName").

There can also be metadata that is only loosely coupled to the code. An example of this kind of metadata would be something like the run-as security role for a method. This could potentially change without changing the code, meaning it is not tightly coupled to the code, although some code in the method might well access resources that assume a particular user and would fail if the wrong user tried to execute it.

If you have not spotted the inconsistency yet it is that this same loosely-coupled metadata that is not supposed to be in an application-level annotation because it will require recompilation happens to already be present as a @RunAs annotation on the bean class, even though it will require a recompile of the class. The reason? First, because it is almost always the same person that does the metadata as the one that does the development, and putting it on the bean class is just easier than having to go into a separate XML file to do it. Second, (this is the erroneous part for those following along at home) in practice it makes no difference that we have to recompile the annotated class before redeploying the application. The reality of it is that there is no practical difference between clicking an IDE button to recompile and insert a class into an archive, and clicking a button to insert an XML file into an archive. Both require updating the application archive and redeploying the application. There is no justification for saying that this is okay for class metadata, but not for application metadata, though. They are equivalent in both senses.

Now if you took away from this the fact that I think Java annotations are the greatest thing since the Turing machine then I have obviously failed to get my point across. Java annotations still have problems -- lots of 'em. While they do provide a basic level of support for specifying metadata they do not support many of the things that they really ought to have. That s not the object of this rant, however, and I have already griped about those things here.

It's not chic these days to say that application-level annotations are good, and I may be added to a blacklist somewhere now that I have made my opinions public, but to me annotations are a means of specifying metadata by storing the metadata on Java artifacts. Essentially they are post-it notes for Java. Why do people insist that every post-it note I put on the fridge has to be about the freakin' fridge?

Fixed Blog Comments Settings

Jo Davis - Tue, 2005-05-31 15:43
Have fixed the comments settings to allow anonymous comments (thanks Warwick) - all right, I admit it, I didn't know how to do that.... I love learning to do these things on an as-needs basis ;) I wonder if there's anything else I should do... hmmm... (other than get on with my day... it's almost 7am!).

Dynamic Inserts - always, sometimes or never?

Jo Davis - Mon, 2005-05-30 05:17
Okay - so I used to be in the camp of "Always dynamic insert, no questions asked". I've mellowed in my old age... okay - I admit it - the clients have convinced me that sometimes the cross-validation rules just can't be defined well enough to stop rubbish combinations occuring (especially when their chart of accounts hasn't even got a passing acquaintence with ranging values) and that for some organisations it's just a better business fit to turn dynamic inserts off after the conversion load and just wear that 'bedding down' pain.... anyone with me here? Or am I alone in the wilderness? :)

Public Access Release 11i Environments!?!

Jo Davis - Fri, 2005-05-27 00:29
Am I the only one who didn't know that Solution Beacon provide public access release 11i environments?? 11.5.10, 11.5.9 and 11.5.8 - all you have to do apparently is fill in your email addy and name on the form and they send you a username and password - how cool is that?? (And no I don't work for those people - never met them actually, only know of them because they co-authored a book with Barbara Matthews who is a god-like-being in the land of Apps DBAs - I have her first book about the administering the apps aka How to Herd Cats :) ).

Running ADF applications in Debug mode

Brenden Anstey - Fri, 2005-05-13 01:22
The ADF Lifecycle occasionally handles some exceptions and doesn't propagate them anywhere useful. This can be frustrating when you are encountering some strange behaviour but can't determine the cause.

When running the embedded OC4J container with JDeveloper you can enable debug level logging mode which will cause ADF to log all SQL statements, exceptions and other info to the Embedded OC4J containers log window in JDev.

to enable debug mode, right click on your ViewController project and select properties. Then select Profiles->Development->Runner nodes. In the java options field add the following:

-Djbo.debugoutput=console

The EJB 3.0 Hibernate Fallacy

Mike Keith - Wed, 2005-04-20 13:35

I am Canadian. I have only been to Britain once, but I still know enough about Britain to pronounce Worcestershire correctly. The real question is what do I do when I hear others saying it incorrectly? Do I just ignore them and go on, inwardly laughing at them and their blunder, or do I correct them?

Well, I confess that I am a corrector. I do tell people how to pronounce Worcestershire correctly, not because I want to appear international or love to correct people, but because if I were them I would want to be told. Basic golden rule type of stuff. And, yes, I also tell people about the long pink thread stuck on their shoulder, the black mark that they rubbed on their cheek after changing the toner, and even on occasion the skirt that is caught in the pantyhose (that one is definitely a little trickier to do properly, though).

Every now and then a statement gets made somewhere that EJB 3.0 is just a copy of Hibernate, or even worse, that EJB 3.0 is Hibernate. Claims like these are typically made in innocence by uninformed people whose vision is obscured by the narrow scope of their own experience. It seems that few people actually know enough to even correct the propagation of this fallacy, and those that do know are not doing it. Rather than hanging my head and feeling guilty about this apparent inconsistency in my character I have determined to right my wrong, or at least do what is within my power to spread the truth. This blog entry is the first step in my repentance process.

The root of the fallacy is that Hibernate was the first free O/R mapping software that came even close to providing enough functionality and features to solve some of the problems that real world applications were facing. Lots of developers caught on to this and began to use Hibernate successfully for prototypes and small projects. For the majority of these developers this was their first and only experience using O/R mapping software to solve the O/R impedance mismatch problem.

Some of these people have never gone on to using the full-blown over-the-counter mapping products and do not even realize that these products exist or that they provide all of the features of Hibernate, and in some cases more. Their understanding of the O/R mapping and persistence concepts relate only to Hibernate and the Hibernate API's.

Cue the mandate to make EJB a useful and relevant specification. Linda DeMichiel, to her credit, realized that as the EJB spec lead she needed to fashion EJB 3.0 after existing and successful products instead of adopting the usual ivory tower approach to specification development. To do this she invited members from Oracle TopLink and JBoss Hibernate, the two most successful O/R mapping products ever, people from the top selling application servers, users/consultants from different backgrounds and eventually SolarMetric, the only JDO vendor with a real customer base as far as I know, to participate in the spec. All of the members are combining to produce a spec that will not only make session beans and MDBs easier to develop and use, but also proffer a persistence standard that will please the user community that had previously rejected the EJB standard in favour of the proprietary POJO persistence vendors.

As we progressed and began specifying the persistence layer it was obvious that we had similar features at the 80-90% functionality level that EJB is trying to achieve. These features include:

EntityManager - A transaction-level artifact that references, maintains identity and manages the objects in a given transaction. JDO calls this a PersistenceManager, Hibernate calls this a Session. TopLink calls this a UnitOfWork. These are all very close in scope, purpose and API.

Named queries - Queries must be able to be pre-defined and bound to a name for later retrieval and execution. These are called named queries in all of TopLink, Hibernate and JDO.

Native queries - Native SQL queries that allow the application to specify the query criteria in SQL. These are called SQL queries in all of TopLink, Hibernate and JDO.

Callback Listeners - The ability to define a class or method that will get invoked when a given event occurs. TopLink calls these event listeners, Hibernate and JDO call them life cycle callbacks.

Detaching/Reattaching objects - Objects can leave the scope of the EntityManager that controls them. They can also be reattached to the same or a different EntityManager through the use of the merge API call on the EntityManager. TopLink offers a series of merge calls, the most basic one being mergeClone. Hibernate has saveOrUpdateCopy and JDO has a couple of flavours of attachCopy call on the PersistenceManager.

O/R Mapping Types - All of the direct and relationship mapping types that are fundamental to mapping object state to relational database tables. These are all supported by Hibernate, TopLink and JDO. I won't go through all of the names (one-to-one, etc.. they are all pretty standard), but although some of the names differ a little bit from one to the other the functionality is pretty much the same and what you would expect.

Embedded Objects - Objects that have no persistent identity of their own but depend upon their parent object for identity. JDO calls them embedded objects, TopLink calls them aggregates and Hibernate calls them components.

The list could go on, but hopefully people get the idea. The important features in EJB 3.0 are stock persistence features that anybody that has used multiple persistence products should recognize. The best part is that by standardizing these features the design patterns (actually they are more like "feature patterns", but nobody has written a book about feature patterns, yet :-) will be able to be used and referenced in ways that span products.

Note that I am not comparing the different features offered by these products. That is not what this is about. The point is that there are similarities and that those similarities are getting enshrined in a specification. This is the biggest win for vendors and developers.

Having said this some of the Hibernate/JBoss customers will recognize that there are some similarities as well in some of the API names. This is not a problem for most of us since they represent the feature as well as any other name would, and Gavin happened to have been the first one to write it up and propose it. (Unless there is something actually wrong with a proposed name there is no reason to turn it down.) It doesn't mean that the feature was modelled after Hibernate, just that the guy from Hibernate happened to be the one to propose the name for the feature that everyone already had.

Hibernate 3 users may recognize more similarities than ever because Hibernate has decided to add these to the base Hibernate product and expose them within the core API. From a migration standpoint this may be problematic for them but that is certainly their perogative and I applaud any product that makes their own proprietary API's look more like the standard. So as Hibernate evolves it turns out that it is actually modelling itself after EJB 3.0, not the other way around.

Finally, and maybe this is just pride speaking here, but I also have to confess feeling just a tinge of personal insult given that I have expended a substantial portion of my own time and effort toiling over the specification issues. Saying that we simply copied Hibernate would be trivializing that time and work, especially when I know full well that the conclusions that we arrived at are in most cases either the best solution, or the best possible solution given the circumstances. The spec should look a lot like Hibernate, TopLink and JDO. If it didn't then we would not have done a very good job since the whole point of this was to make use of our experience and standardize it.

So next time somebody says or writes that EJB 3.0 is modelled after Hibernate don't just inwardly laugh at them, or roll your eyes and feel sorry for them for their naivete. Please correct them. It's embarrassing for them and they would want to you to tell them. I know I would.

Eclipsing Persistence

Mike Keith - Thu, 2005-04-14 10:58

Tools are essential for a technology to mature. Without them it stays in the realm of being accessible only to the experts and usable only by those in the upper experience echelons. I had regular arguments with a friend who repeatedly claimed that O/R mapping tools were not required. In the end he at least conceded that if a product wants to be mainstream it has to have graphical tools to enable the sorts of development that can already be done using API's and XML configuration. This is critical to being able to support the types of developers that don't like to wallow in XML, or managers don't trust their developers to do so :-).

EJB 3.0 has now reached this stage. With Oracle's recent announcement that it is leading the Eclipse project to provide the EJB 3.0 O/R mapping tools as part of the Web Tools Project a standard persistence tools platform is being formed. This will provide the infrastructure for meeting the EJB 3.0 goal of making this a technology that entry-level developers can understand and feel comfortable using. The learning curve to use EJB just got a lot shorter.

Hard to believe, but some people are still really missing the point. The EJB Persistence API is now set to be the standard for persistence. *All* of the major O/R vendors are on board and participating in the expert group and acknowledging it as the standard. TopLink and Hibernate, the two leading O/R mapping products already have support for EJB 3.0 and Kodo, the only JDO vendor that has any real market share in JDO-land, is working on it as well. The age of proprietary mapping descriptors is over, at least for the vast majority of applications.

Of course there will always be some proprietary mapping features that go beyond the spec, and the proposal discusses that these will be able to be plugged in by different vendors as they feel so inclined. There will probably always be a need for proprietary features, the trick is just to ensure that they are done in a conscious way and are harnessed in a well-defined application space. Then if the requirement to move to another vendor comes along the difficulty level will be easy to diagnose.

Any way you look at it, the Eclipse proposal is going to be good for EJB 3.0 and for developers. Having a persistence development platform for the most commonly used IDE is going to provide the support that most people want.

Of course at Oracle we are still providing the support within JDeveloper. It will be well-integrated with TopLink and expose all of the deluxe features that make TopLink the coolest and most powerful O/R mapping framework on the planet. :-)

Migration is the key

Mike Keith - Thu, 2005-03-17 12:11

After speaking at TSS on migration I have gotten a few requests from people asking me to write up the presentation in a paper format for people to be able to read and get more details on the subject. I definitely have to do that at some point, but for now Oracle is hosting a couple of webinars on EJB 3 that will help people to start picturing how this can be achieved. The first one is a basic intro to EJB 3 and the second one will be focusing specifically on migration. See the Java Online Seminar site for more details.

I really believe that migration is the key to getting to EJB 3.0. I know this sounds trite, but I mean migration in the implementation sense, not the general sense.

Most consultants/developers/practitioners have to work on and maintain existing systems, but will still want to find ways to incorporate EJB 3 practices and features. By offering a stepwise migration path from existing products towards EJB 3 then those features will be able to be integrated into legacy systems and slowly be able to become more and more EJB 3 compliant.

If EJB 3 represents freedom from vendor lock-in then if I were an IT manager (and I'm not, and neither have any aspirations to be one so that might actually disqualify my moccasin switching) and I wanted to extend the lifetime of my application then I would obviously want my application to be compliant with the standard. No self-repecting IT professional would ever take on the job of taking an application, ripping it to pieces and rewriting it entirely to a new specification. The chances of succeeding are minimal at best and the chances of regression are probably nigh on 100%. As with any successful migration, moving existing systems to EJB 3 should be done in an incremental fashion.

The granularity of the steps might be arguable, and that is the sort of stuff that I discuss in migration talks (which incidently has been accepted for presentation at JavaOne this year).

Testing EJB's outside the Container -- finally

Mike Keith - Fri, 2005-03-04 16:21

Today was kind of a long-awaited day, not because I have to speak at TheServerSide Java Symposium today, but because I along with a number of other Oracle developers have been anxious to be able to share the progress that we have made on EJB 3.0. While this work has been fun, it has been somewhat frustrating because it could not be released until the timing was right. Today the timing was right, and Oracle announced our new EJB 3.0 technology preview.

This preview is really a landmark release for a rew reasons:

1. It is the first commercial application server release that showcases the next generation of standardized persistence.

2. It enables actual unit testability of CMP entities using JUnit or any other test framework outside the server.

3. It provides support for migrating from EJB 2.x to EJB 3.0.

The preview can be downloaded for free here.

EJB 3.0 - It's new, it's hip... and it has interceptors

Mike Keith - Tue, 2005-02-08 21:46

It seems that some people have been complaining that they are in the dark about where EJB 3.0 is at and what is done/still unfinished. If you are amongst this somewhat anxious and concerned gaggle of squawkers then squawk no more. The second EJB 3.0 checkpoint has been reached and Early Access 2 Draft is available for all to read and comment on. Go to the Sun download site to get it while the bits are still hot.

The first thing that the keen observer will notice is that the spec has been split into two documents. The first is the Simplified EJB API for session and message-driven beans that exist uniquely within the J2EE container. The second is the persistence API that will be able to reside both within J2EE and in standalone J2SE mode. While the exact API for accessing stuff like the EntityManager outside of J2EE is not yet included in the spec the packages have been split off into javax.ejb and javax.persistence to accommodate the additional non-managed execution environment. We are working now on filling in the API calls for the J2SE persistence side of entities and would be really happy to get feedback, regardless of your current favorite persistence flavor.

A bunch more stuff has also been added in since the last draft including interceptors, event callbacks and native SQL queries. The O/R mappings have had some ironing as well so not only have some more mappings like LOBs been added but more default values have been added for simpler mapping.

There are lots of other things that we would like to get feedback on, though, as well, so don't keep your thoughts to yourself or your friends. Please comment either here, or to the new feedback alias that is mentioned on the spec (ejb3-edr2-feedback_at_sun.com). Note that the feedback alias has changed from the EA1 alias in an attempt to outrun the spammers. (I'm sure they will find us again, though. They are kind of like the scum in your bathroom drain. It doesn't seem to matter how clean you can get it at any given time, you know it will come back.) Some of the things that we are interested in hearing about are:

- whether the EJB system should be generating a business interface for a session bean or whether the developer should just provide it (or an IDE can generate it)

- if the approach to migration of 2.x session beans to the 3.0 API is appropriate as an adapter pattern

- whether new EJB QL enhancements and/or OR mapping annotations should be made available on 2.x entities as well

So we are looking forward to any and all feedback. Again, it doesn't matter what persistence stripe you are as long as you have a real and evidenced view.

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