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Make the Most of J2EE Enterprise BluePrints (Continued)

J2EE Guidelines
The J2EE blueprints' goal is to allow J2EE developers to manage complexity, leverage community experience, and reuse proven approaches and designs. Sun provides the contents of several books about J2EE architecture and design as part of the blueprints—not just a few sections or chapters, but entire J2EE books written by the J2EE's creators. The most significant of these are Designing Enterprise Applications with the J2EE Platform, 2nd Edition and Designing Web Services with the J2EE 1.4 Platform (see Resources).

These books are important because they describe how the J2EE technologies work, how you should use them along with the design principles behind the J2EE component frameworks, and how those principles drive the interactions among the components. The overall J2EE framework is so complex that it's difficult to know how to use it without understanding the underlying reasons. The Enterprise BluePrint guidelines, in the form of these books and other online articles, provide both the how and the why of J2EE technologies.

J2EE 1.4 Tutorial
Another set of guidelines is the J2EE 1.4 tutorial, which covers a wide range of the technologies in J2EE, including JAXP; JAX-RPC; SAAJ; JAXR; servlets; JSP; JSTL; JavaServer Faces; internationalization; session, entity, and message-driven beans; EJB query language; transactions; security; and JMS.

These technologies are presented with step-by-step instructions on how to get a J2EE sample system running, how to use the specific technologies, and the roles of each technology within a J2EE-based enterprise application. The tutorial is important for both beginning J2EE developers and experienced Java developers who want to learn more about a specific new J2EE technology (such as Web services or JavaServer Faces) or the new features of an existing technology (such as EJB).

Core J2EE Design Patterns
Design patterns play an important role in software design (and thus development) because they provide proven solutions to common design issues and outline the tradeoffs of various design decisions. Further, they are reusable across any field or specialty in design because rather than provide a specific "solution" to a problem (such as a library, component, or object method), they instead provide a set of design criteria for solving the design problem. Design patterns have become widespread because they do an excellent job of describing specific software designs and their associated information (such as intent, motivation, structure, participants, consequences, known uses, and related patterns) succinctly, using simple terms such as "Factory Method," "Iterator," and "Strategy" (from Design Patterns).

As part of the blueprints, Sun provides a catalog of J2EE design patterns (also available in Core J2EE Patterns). These design patterns serve as the basis for the software design and architecture documented in the guidelines and expressed in the sample applications. The core J2EE design patterns provide a strong base for designing numerous types of enterprise applications and are applicable to enterprise software design in general, outside J2EE-specific solutions.

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