Chapter 2. Enabling Technologies

I get by with a little help from my friends.

Paul McCartney and John Lennon

There’s a common misconception that the goal of a standard specification is to address every problem. This couldn’t be further from the truth: creating a standard is meant to address the 80% case in a manner that’s been proven through experience in the field. The Java Enterprise Edition and its subsystems, governed by the Java Community Process (JCP), is no exception.

By its very makeup, the JCP is designed to strive for consensus among all participants in an Expert Group on a given technology. Where corporate sponsors and individual contributors disagree or determine that a feature is not yet mature enough to be adequately standardized, latitude is given to specification implementors. This helps to foster creativity and provides differentiation between vendors. In fact, on a discussion regarding the Java EE7 Roadmap, Expert Group member David Blevins succinctly addressed the dynamic: “Vendors innovate, collectively we standardize.”

Though it’s not the goal of this book to provide exhaustive instruction on the complete featureset of Java EE, it is absolutely our intent to unify the development experience. Helping us along the way are a set of enabling technologies intended to smooth the rough edges of the EE platform and fill the gaps left open by its specifications.

The following open source projects are all made freely available for you to download, use, and modify (be sure ...

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