Apache TomEE Web stack gains approval

Oracle gives certification to stack that features Tomcat servlet container, other middleware technologies

The Apache Software Foundation's enterprise Java Apache Tomcat stack has obtained certification as compatible with the official Java EE (Enterprise Edition) 6 Web Profile specification, Apache said this week.

Called Apache TomEE, the stack has been certified by Oracle via the Java Community Process. The stack can be used for deploying Web applications. Developers using the stack are ensured portability across Java EE-compatible solutions, Apache said. Components of the stack include the enterprise edition of the Tomcat Java servlet container, along with several other Apache projects: OpenEJB (Enterprise JavaBeans); OpenWebBeans, for Context and Dependency Injection (CDI) capabilities; OpenJPA (Java Persistence API), for data access; and MyFaces, for server-side Web applications.

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The stack is geared for Tomcat users who require a bare minimum of software for their stack and do not need to install additional, unnecessary software, said David Blevins, vice president of Apache OpenEJB, in an interview at the JavaOne conference in San Francisco. "We want to provide a different choice for these people. That's why it's focused on Tomcat, [to] try and meet the demands of this unmet market."

CDI's inclusion in the stack could lead to TomEE displacing some Spring Framework deployments, given that CDI provides similar capabilities, said Blevins. "I think who people who are currently happy with Spring might decide they want a standard implementation." Spring is a "proprietary framework," Blevins said.

Apache's gaining approval for TomEE sharply contrasts with the open source organization's experience with its Apache Harmony implementation of Java Standard Edition, which has not been able to gain certification for years because of a dispute over field-of-use restrictions. "Apache and Sun [which was acquired by Oracle last year] have been in agreement about the Java EE TCK [Technology Compatibility Kit] since 2004," said Blevins. "Java SE has been the problem."

Apache TomEE still is in a beta release stage, but that did not affect its certification, Blevins said. In developing TomEE, Apache wanted to keep Tomcat unaltered, maintain simplicity, and avoid architectural overhead. The stack is about 24MB for the entire Web profile.

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