Technical Terms and Definitions

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J2EE - Programming

The JavaTM 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) software specification describes a collection of server-side application programming interfaces (APIs) that provide the functionality for server-side delivery of data and for thin-client software that interacts with users throughout the enterprise. Many Java application vendors have been delivering implementations of the server-side APIs for the last three years, as the individual API specifications have emerged.

The Java technology group at Sun recently (re-)organized many of the Java APIs into three major categories:

  • Java 2 Standard Edition (J2SE)
  • Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE)
  • Java 2 Micro Edition (J2ME)
  • Other APIs, for example, the various consumer and embedded technologies

Note that all enterprise-related functionality is not located in the J2EE API group; for example, Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) support, the Java Interface Definition Language (Java IDL), and JDBC are part of the J2SE group.

The J2EE specification includes the following:

  • JDBC 2.0 extensions - Row sets, connections via JNDI, connection pooling, and distributed transactions
  • RMI-IIOP 1.0 - Traditional RMI-style interface designs, accessed via IIOP
  • EJB 1.1 - Session and entity EJBs, deployment issues, and so on
  • Servlets 2.2 - Application-specific functionality
  • JSP 1.1 - Dynamic HTML via embedded Java
  • JMS 1.0 - API definitions only, not an implementation
  • JNDI 1.2 - EJBHome objects, JTA UserTransaction, JDBC DataSource (JNDI service providers provided by implementations)
  • JTA 1.0 - UserTransaction interface
  • JavaMail 1.1 - Email services from applications (implementations provide message transport)
  • JAF 1.0 - MIME data types, filename extension mapping

An acronym legend follows:

  • EJB - Enterprise JavaBeans
  • IIOP - Internet Inter-ORB Protocol
  • JAF - Java Activation Framework
  • JMS - Java Message Service
  • JNDI - Java Naming and Directory Interface
  • JSP - Java ServerPages
  • JTA - Java Transaction API
  • ORB - Object request broker
  • RMI - Remote Method Invocation

The Java Technology Products & APIs site provides complete coverage of the Java-related technologies, some of which are beyond the scope of this article. The Object Management Group site provides complete coverage, including many tutorials, for IIOP- and ORB-related topics.