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Thursday, November 8, 2007

A Crazy night; Seam 2.0 Sold out!

In one of my most crazy hysteric nights, playing with my balls oops my bits and listening to the great Katatonia band, as the sun shined and the nearby coffee shop open I got my hot espresso and decided to take a look at the already downloaded and installed new version 2.0 of JBoss Seam application stack framework.

Yes Seam 2.0 was sold out yesterday. The announcement was made on Seam forum and thought it didn’t yet found it’s way to the dedicated Seam web site in.relation.to. Oh no too late! It’s already there! And even InfoQ.com has picked Gavin King for a Seam 2 interview.

For the new comers JBoss Seam is an application stack (not simply a web framework) framework that features “a one kind of stuff”. Hence when using Seam you have a consistent development model throw your entire application layer. In fact Seam integrates jsf + facelets at the view layer with EJB3 as actions handlers and JPA for persistence layer. Some of Seam unique features include:

- A component event driven model: we all missed it with action based frameworks like oops SHUT-UP HERE!

- Out-of-box Ajax support with Richfaces UI.

- Ability to run your EJB3 project in a simple servlet container like Apache Tomcat with Embedded JBoss.

- Business process management and integration throw jBPM.

- Declarative state management with an extensive context model including the servlet spec big missing: Conversation and business process contexts.

- Workspace management and multi-window browsing thus eliminating the multi-window and tabs problems you always have to deal with in regular web based projects.

- Seam is POJO: Seam components are POJOs! Easy to test in simple unit tests BUT don’t miss the bitter sweet taste of easier out of container Integration tests!

- Less XML configuration! Even thought you can override configuration annotation with XML but this is a vendor customization facility.

- And much more to cover here…

Seam come bundled in an extensive package with nice clear documentation and running applications example about almost everything that can be done with this beautiful peace of code. Although it already has fore books!

Now what’s exciting about this version release? Seam 2.0 is a big milestone release. With this version come a completely new mavenized build process and packaging layout for Seam. Seam-core got decoupled from Seam-UI not a minor task if you’ve got once to extract base class.s or a bare bone framework from your code and realized the dependency hell you have to resolve throw your code!

A more detailed list of the new features includes:

- WebServices: now you can expose a conversational web service that makes use of a Seam components throw a POJO or an SLSB that acts as a facade to the component.

- Groovy support: Seam component can be written in Groovy. I can’t comment on this as my Groovy skulls are poor :)

- Seam components Hot Deploy! Wow this is really *HOT* In fact Seam support different deployment profiles dev, prod, and customized profiles. Seam manage the class loading and references for it’s components and can hot swap them as needed during development cycle resulting in a light weight process. Agile folks will be excused here :)

- Decoupled from JSF: now Seam core has no dependency on JSF, you can use it with your favourite web framework. An experimental support for GWT.

- JFS 1.2 and JBoss EL: Seam switched from MyFaces to JSF RI for my big personnel pleasure! I’ve never got in comfort with MyFaces :s (sorry Apache folks try make it faster next time) completed with the JBoss extended EL for better flexibility.

- Maven based build process: a long requested feature very welcomed :)

- Eclipse (jbossIDE), Quartz, Hibernate Search, Hibernate Validation, iText, JFreeChart, Drools, mail, and everything you need to accomplish your task!

- Support for: Tomcat, GlassFish, OC4J (with limitations for versions earlier to 11) and WebSphere 6 (with some limitations too). That’s all I know about there’s probably more here.

- “In fact, I took the time to count out 301 new features in Seam 2. (Really - take that Steve Jobs and your puny 300 new features in Leopard)” Norman Richards :)

Seam-gen is a nice RAD tool, using it you get up and running with few cmd lines inputs. It sets for you the dependencies the few static configurations files, and even an eclipse and netbeans project and an ant build script.

I would like to acknowledge the extremely knowledgeable team behind this project and the already large and responsive community around it just takes a look at Seam forum to judge by yourself about the height quality yet free support.

What would a JEE developer expect more from a framework? For my personnel actual projects this cover -in a well designed and clean architecture- all my needs.

Seam 2 is out now let your code flow Seamlessly :)

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