What’s Really New?
CFML, Allaire ColdFusion’s markup language has also become a part of its parent company’s Java strategy. And last but not least, there are a few open source scripting languages like PHP or PERL. Indeed, PHP has been extremely successful and appears to be a real contender.
Scripting tools are often considered entry-level application servers because they lack built-in load-balancing and failover features; nonetheless, they often get the job done.
J2EE-based solutions target enterprise class projects and applications because J2EE’s distributed and object-oriented capabilities tend to be better suited to large-scale projects.
As a result, J2EE-compliant application servers seem to capture the most mind share. (Unfortunately, however, the definition of “compliant” varies among vendors.) We believe that enterprises that adopt J2EE are making a move in the right direction because such adoption brings the industry one step closer to standardization.
Since application servers are becoming standard at their core level, the whole notion of the application server is becoming a standard part of enterprise information systems, much like an operating system. J2EE plays an important role in this standardization process.
Open Source Software, which is particularly strong in the Java application server field, is another force fueling this evolution. A handful of important Java OSS projects, such as Enhydra, Apache JServ & Tomcat, and Jonas, are making it easy for every company to have a J2EE application server.