Java 1.0 quickly became popular after it was released in early 1996. The timing was perfect for
the introduction of a new language that would remove the complexity of memory management,
pointers, and the syntax of C/C++. Java offered a gradual learning curve that allowed many
developers to adopt it quickly and to start programming in Java. However, there was something
else that accelerated the shift: applets. An applet is a small application that runs in a website in
a separate process from the web browser and adds functionality to the website that would not
be possible with HTML and CSS alone. An example would be an interactive graph or streaming
With the rapid growth of the Internet, static web pages soon became archaic and uninteresting. The
web user wanted a better, faster, and more beautiful suri ng experience. Along came applets, which
offered unbelievable interactivity, effects, and action to the then‐static World Wide Web. Soon,
dancing Duke (the symbol of Java) became the trend among modern websites. However, nothing
remains still for long on the Internet. Users wanted even more, yet applets failed miserably at adapt-
ing to those wants, so they did not maintain their popularity.
Nevertheless, applets were the driving force behind the Java platform's fast adaptation and popular-
ity. Today (as this topic is written) Java is still among the two most popular programming languages
in the world. 2
Java to Enterprise Java
Following the release of the Standard Edition of Java, IBM introduced Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB)
in 1997, which was adopted by Sun in 1999 and formed part of the Enterprise Java Platform (J2EE)
1.2. In 1998 and prior to the release of J2EE, 3 Sun released a professional version of Java labeled
JPE. However, it wasn't until after EJB was released that vendors and developers became interested
in adopting enterprise Java. With the release of J2EE 1.3 in 2001, Java became a key player in the
enterprise world, and its position was sealed with the release of J2EE 1.4 in 2003.
Version 1.4 was one of the greatest milestones in Java's history. It was widely adopted and main-
tained its popularity for many years even though new versions were released. Vendors and corpo-
rations were slow to adopt the newer versions, even though many had reasons to complain about
J2EE1.4. Using it was like driving a monster truck to the shops instead of a family sedan. It was
dei nitely powerful, but it was simply too complicated and bloated with XML i les, and neither the
frameworks nor the containers were lightweight.
Yet J2EE became the most popular enterprise development platform. It had a set of features that
made it a great choice for enterprise development.
Portability —The JVM let Java code run on any operating system. Developers could develop
on Windows, test on Linux, but go into production on a UNIX system.
Security —J2EE offered its own role‐based security model.
Transactions —J2EE offered built‐in transactions.
Language features from J2SE —J2SE offered easy syntax, garbage collection, and great object‐
oriented programming features.