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J2EE Blueprints Unrolled

by Vijay Ramachandran

Blueprints is a developer outreach program from Sun Microsystems' Java Software division. This program provides architectural recommendations and design guidelines that help Java developers most effectively use the J2EE platform and its various technologies. This article will explain

Where are the J2EE Blueprints?

The J2EE Blueprints program details and all its offerings are available at Sun's J2EE Blueprints site.

Developers can also send their comments and questions via email to j2eeblueprints-feedback@sun.com.

What are J2EE Blueprints

The J2EE Blueprints program is part of Sun Microsystems' effort to encourage J2EE developer education in the following ways:

Why use J2EE Blueprints?

Sun knows that if the J2EE development platform is to succeed, the developer community must accept and learn to implement it. Developers need to know how and where to use the J2EE technologies for maximum advantage, as well as the types of architectural and programming models that are the best choice when developing and implementing applications.

The J2EE Blueprints program fulfills the important role of addressing and answering these issues and questions that arise when developing applications on the J2EE platform. Members of the J2EE Blueprints program work closely with the J2EE platform specification and reference implementation groups, so we can support the developer community by offering suggestions on the best architectural and application programming models. The J2EE Blueprints program also offers recommendations and design guidelines for using various technologies and features of the platform, as well as for dealing with issues of scalability, portability, interoperability and other topics related to the platform.

For Whom is Blueprints meant?

J2EE Blueprints primarily serves experienced Java developers who are already familiar with Enterprise Java and are ready to build applications with the J2EE platform. Such developers can be divided into two categories:

How does Blueprints achieve its goals?

The program helps intermediate developers

The program helps advanced developers by

The program maintains a free J2EE Blueprints web site, where we publish white papers, recommendations, and articles. Develop can ask questions through the site, and we expect to generate discussions between them and the J2EE Blueprints team members.

Since the site's first release, the program has updated the sample code and published a catalog of J2EE design patterns. The site includes a sample application, the Java Pet Store Demo, which we've refined to demonstrate the design guidelines. We've also added modules that show interaction of applications like Sun's Star Office and Microsoft Excel spreadsheets with the J2EE platform.

On the site, we show a sample MIS application by introducing an administrator's view of the Java Pet Store. We also introduce the the concept of componentization, and showcase better packaging methods, as well as better ways of exception handling across application tiers

The J2EE Blueprints program also publishes books. In June 2000, we published Designing Enterprise Applications with the Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition. The book explains an application programming model and best practice guidelines based on J2EE Reference Implementation version 1.2.1. This book, along with the Java Pet Store Demo sample code, are available at the web site.

Future Plans

We plan to build a section for intermediate developers showing them how to build and deploy complete applications on the J2EE platform following the design guidelines. This effort will also help intermediate developers with an introduction to J2EE design patterns

Other plans include:

We believe that J2EE Blueprints offers an excellent guide -- complete with sample code -- to understanding, architecting and building better J2EE applications. Since the future of J2EE Blueprints program is driven by the needs of the J2EE application development community, its success depends on the value it provides to that community.

Vijay Ramachandran is a Member of Sun Microsystem's J2EE Blueprints Team.

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