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Scalable Application Access with J2EE Connectors

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Until recently, there has been little in the way of standardization as it relates to application connectivity. B2B expert Andre Yee discusses how the Java 2 Enterprise Edition Connector Architecture will enable connectivity in a consistent, scalable, and secure fashion.
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When it comes to integrating your e-business, what really counts is getting to your application data. Accessing and integrating your enterprise applications is crucial to success. That's why adapters or connectors, though seldom regarded, are highly important technologies to consider. Until recently, there has been little in the way of standardization as it relates to application connectivity. That's about to change with the introduction of the Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) Connector Architecture.

Why J2EE Connectors?

The J2EE platform consists of a set of service specifications such as Java Messaging (JMS), Java Native Directory Interface (JNDI), and Java Database Connectivity (JDBC). The J2EE Connector Architecture (J2EE-CA) specification may be one of the least known elements of the J2EE platform, but it is important nonetheless. J2EE-CA proposes a common mechanism for J2EE application servers to manage application connectivity in a consistent, scalable, and secure fashion. In practice, this will equate to the following benefits:

  • Application developers will have a common way of accessing various enterprise applications.

  • Application servers will supply rich services to support enterprise application connectivity.

  • Instead of the proprietary application adapters that proliferate today, the J2EE-CA will provide a basis for interoperable connectors running within a J2EE platform.

In short, J2EE-CA makes it easier to provide connectors by providing system-level interoperability between the J2EE application server and the enterprise information system (EIS). EIS is simply a J2EE moniker for enterprise resources such as applications, databases, or even transaction monitors. Without J2EE-CA, connectors today are developed linking a specific application server to a specific EIS. On the other hand, with J2EE-CA, connectors for a given EIS will work with any number of J2EE-compliant application servers.

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