I'm pretty excited about the next release of the EJB3 specification. It looks like most of the things promised in the EDR2 draft back in February are coming to fruition. Native SQL support, app-server managed persistence contexts, j2ee packaging, outside of appserver support, and pluggable third-party persistence are amoung some of the features that are getting nailed down.
What particularly excites me is that persistence is will now pluggable into J2EE 5. What I mean by this is that third-party vendors that focus soley on persistence will have a standard mechanism to deploy their products into J2EE 5 compliant application servers. JMS has had this for years and I hope what happened to JMS happens to persistence: that a healthy subcomponent market materializes. This can only serve to strengthen J2EE as a whole and bring more choice to users. As usual, I'll tout a little JBoss arrogance and say that Hibernate will still continue dominate Java ORM, but strong competition keeps everybody honest and on their toes. Anyways...
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