Welcome!

Weblogic Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Michael Meiner, Michael Bushong, Avi Rosenthal

Related Topics: Apache, Weblogic, Open Source Cloud

Apache: Article

Apache Beehive - Evolution of the BEA Workshop Runtime

WebLogic Workshop 8.1 included both an application framework and an IDE to support developing enterprise applications

Overview
WebLogic Workshop 8.1 included both an application framework and an IDE to support developing enterprise applications using Page Flows, Controls, and annotated web services. This post describes some of the differences between the 8.1 Workshop runtime and the Apache Beehive project.

The Community
Since 2003 when the WebLogic Workshop 8.1 application framework shipped, it has undergone significant change. Most notably, BEA contributed the framework to the Apache Software Foundation as the Beehive project. This donation was announced in May 2004, and Beehive underwent Apache incubation until August 2005 when it was converted into a top-level Apache project. This means that the code, community, bugs, development process, and future of the project is now open to the entire enterprise Java community. The change doesn't end there, however, as Beehive has made significant technical advances as well.

The Technology
The technology in the Beehive framework has undergone significant change since Workshop 8.1. Beehive Controls are now contained in a lighter, more testable, and more flexible container while maintaining a simple, metadata-driven user model. NetUI is more feature-rich and configurable with advances made in the programming model and presentation layer. The most apparent change from Workshop 8.1 to Beehive is the switch from Javadoc metadata tags to standards-compliant, Java 5.0 annotations.

Controls
The Controls framework is now a generalized, metadata driven POJO framework. The framework has been divided into two parts -- a core framework that supports developing annotation based JavaBeans and a set of system controls and services that specialize the core framework for abstracting access to J2EE resources like JDBC DataSources, JMS queues, and EJBs as well as transaction and security services.

While Workshop 8.1 Controls ran inside of the EJB container, the Controls core framework has no dependence on J2EE. This framework is also testable outside of the J2EE container meaning that business logic and resource access can be unit tested without starting an application container.

The Controls core framework supports loose copuling between a Control interface and one or more implementations -- an implementation can be bound to an interface dynamically. The metadata applied to a Control can now be overridden at runtime to make it easy to configure a control to execute in different environments. For example, the JNDI DataSource name of a database control can be overridden at runtime through this pluggable metadata mechanism.

Controls can be instantiated both declaratively using the @Control annotation and programmatically using a JavaBeans API call. Controls can even be used in the JSP container via the tag. In Beehive, a Control method is neither implicitly transacted or secured. These functions can be optionally added by a Control developer.

System Controls
The System Controls are extensions to the Controls Core framework that provide abstractions for J2EE technologies including EJB, JMS, and JDBC. If you're familiar with the built-in Controls in Workshop 8.1, you will likely be familiar with their successors in Beehive.

For example, the Beehive database control still setting a SQL statement on a method with dynamic binding to method parameters and mapping a ResultSet to a return type, but additional features such as pluggable ResultSet mapping, batch updates, retrieval of generated keys, out of container testing, and other features are now available.

NetUI and Page Flow
Both the Page Flow and UI frameworks in NetUI have evolved as well. Page Flow has evolved to support many new features including:

The architectural difference between a Page Flow and a Control has also been adjusted so that Controls can be contained inside of Page Flows similarly to their containment inside of Web Services. For example, when the Beehive database control returns a JDBC ResultSet to a Page Flow, the Result set will not be closed.

The user interface technology provided as the NetUI JSP tags now support validatable HTML 4.0.1 and XHTML 1.0 transitional / strict rendering. The JSP 2.0 expression language is used by virtuall all of the JSP tag attributes for data data binding. This exposes the full functionality of the JSP 2.0 container's expression language, implicit objects, and JSP functions to NetUI tag users. There is a new data grid that renders arbitrary data sets such as object arrays, XMLBeans, RowSets, and ResultSets. The data grid also supports a flexible sorting, filtering, and paging model, and there is a new AJAX-enabled HTML tree.

The Project Model and Project Builds
Another significant change in Beehive is the project model -- there isn't one! Beehive source files are just that, annotated Java 5.0 without any custom file extensions. They're just pure .java. The framework doesn't make any assumptions about the structure of projects that use the framework which can be used to build web applications, web services, enterprise applications, or even Controls that might run inside of a Java Swing application. Beehive also provides a set of Ant 1.6 macros used to build Controls and Page Flows; these can be combined in arbitrary ways to support any style of project. Finally, builds of Beehive-enabled applications just require the tools available in a Java 5.0 JDK and do not require use of an IDE. Though, use of Eclipse and other tools can certainly make the development experience easier.

Testing
Some of the Beehive source artifacts can also be tested outside of the application container. In the Workshop 8.1 framework, It was challenging to practice test-driven development with Controls as they required the application container and a test framework that could integrate into EJB. Today, Beehive Controls can be tested using a JUnit test container that can run without an application server and will ship with the next version of the framework.

Conclusion
Hopefully this provides a view into how the Workshop 8.1 framework has evolved into Apache Beehive. The changes described here highlight some major advances in Beehive; of course, there are many other new features that are worth a look.

Perhaps most importantly, the community and code are now open, and the Apache Beehive community welcomes involvement in developing the project. The best way to become involved is to subscribe to our mailing lists, download Beehive 1.0, build an application, and send us feedback. More information on getting involved can be found here.

More Stories By Eddie O'Neil

Eddie O'Neil is the Apache Beehive VP / PMC Chair and a Staff Engineer at BEA Systems. While currently focusing on Beehive, he has worked previously on WebLogic Workshop 8.1 and WebLogic Portal. He holds BS and MS degrees in Computer Science from the University of Virginia.

Comments (2)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...
Nicolas Fierro is CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions. He is a programmer, technologist, and operations dev who has worked with Ethereum and blockchain since 2014. His knowledge in blockchain dates to when he performed dev ops services to the Ethereum Foundation as one the privileged few developers to work with the original core team in Switzerland.
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
Whenever a new technology hits the high points of hype, everyone starts talking about it like it will solve all their business problems. Blockchain is one of those technologies. According to Gartner's latest report on the hype cycle of emerging technologies, blockchain has just passed the peak of their hype cycle curve. If you read the news articles about it, one would think it has taken over the technology world. No disruptive technology is without its challenges and potential impediments t...
If a machine can invent, does this mean the end of the patent system as we know it? The patent system, both in the US and Europe, allows companies to protect their inventions and helps foster innovation. However, Artificial Intelligence (AI) could be set to disrupt the patent system as we know it. This talk will examine how AI may change the patent landscape in the years to come. Furthermore, ways in which companies can best protect their AI related inventions will be examined from both a US and...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Bill Schmarzo, Tech Chair of "Big Data | Analytics" of upcoming CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York (November 12-13, 2018, New York City) today announced the outline and schedule of the track. "The track has been designed in experience/degree order," said Schmarzo. "So, that folks who attend the entire track can leave the conference with some of the skills necessary to get their work done when they get back to their offices. It actually ties back to some work that I'm doing at the University of San...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science," is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings and capabilities for EMC Global Services Big Data Practice. As the CTO for the Big Data Practice, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He's written several white papers, is an avid blogge...