Choosing your J2EE weapons

When Sun finally shipped J2EE in December 1999, Java was already well-established as a platform for serious enterprise applications. The features that Java app server vendors were already delivering -- transaction and session management, clustering, role-based security -- would now, it seemed, coalesce into a standard. But the dizzying complexity of that standard touched off a debate that continues to this day. It boils down to robustness vs. agility. In theory, J2EE can combine both by cleanly separating plumbing from business logic. In practice, the means of achieving that separation are subtle, varied, and controversial. [Full story at

This story ran alongside a review of four J2EE servers (WebLogic, WebSphere, JBoss, and EAServer) whose authors, Oliver Rist and David Aubrey, deserve congratulations for a job done thoroughly and well.

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