This post visualizes changes between Java EE Standards 5 and 6. The comparison of standards is listed in four sections Web-Services, Web-Container, Enterprise Application technologies and Maintenance. Hope this helps someone.

Spec Java EE 5 (JSR-244) Java EE 6 (JSR-316)
JSR-101 JAX-RPC v1.1 v1.1
JSR-109 Enterprise Web Services v1.2 v1.3
JSR-181 Web Service Metadata v1.0 v1.0
JSR-173 Streaming API for XML v1.0 v1.0
JSR-224 JAX-WS v2.0 v2.2
JSR-222 JAXB v2.0 v2.2
JSR-67 APIs for XML Messaging v1.2 v1.3
JSR-311 JAX-RS - v1.1 new!
JSR-93 Java API for XML Registries (JAXR) - v1.0 new!

The new redesigned Java API for XML Web Services (JAX-WS) is the underlayer or a middle part of new Java EE 6 Web service stack. The new stack includes JAX-WS 2.0, JAXB 2.0, and SAAJ 1.3. and is also called “integrated stack”. JAX-WS was designed to take place of JAX-RPC. Due this also JSR-109 was updated because it describes run time architecture of JEE Web Services Stack. JAXB which provides an easy way to bind an XML schema to java and vice verse, was updated to.

The SOAP with Attachments API for Java (SAAJ) (also known as Java APIs for XML Messaging (JAXM)) provides a standard way to send XML documents over the Internet from the Java platform and was updated slightly containing now other consolidated standard.

New Standards are JAX-RS, that provides support for RESTful Web services and JAXR that enables pull-parsing API for reading and writing XML documents, also available in Java SE.

Spec Java EE 5 Java EE 6
JSR-52 JSTL x x
JSR-252 JavaServer Faces v1.2 v2.0
JSR-245 JavaServer Pages v2.1 v2.2 + EL 2.2
JSR-154 Java Servlet v2.5 v3.0
JSR-45 Debugging Support for Other Languages - v1.0 new

In JEE6 we have updates of all technologies of the Web Container except JSTL. Servlet 3.0 improves Servlet concept in pluggability and some ease of development. It’s also introduces Async Servlet and long waited File Uploading!. Also now configuration can be done by annotations.

Newcomer is a specification of Debugging Support for Other Languages 1.0. This describes standardized tools for correlating Java virtual machine byte code to source code of languages other than the Java, so it would guarantee debugging possibility of everything what runs is JSR-45 certified container.

Enterprise Technologies changes

Spec Java EE 5 Java EE 6
JSR-250 Common Annotations v1.0 v1.0
JSR-112 JCA 1.5 v1.6 JSR-322
JavaMail v1.4 v1.4
JSR-112 JMS v1.1 v1.1
JSR-907 JTA v1.1 v1.1
JSR-220 EJB v3.0 v3.1 JSR-318
JSR-220 JPA v1.1 v2.0 JSR-317
JSR-299 CDI - v1.0 new
JSR-330 Dependency Injection for Java - v1.0 new
JSR-303 Bean Validation - v1.0 new
JSR-316 Managed Beans - v1.0 new

In the Enterprise section we see some important changes and new specifications. The probably most prominent one is the introduction of the Context and Dependency Injection (CDI) that is there to unify the JavaServer Faces-managed bean component model with the Enterprise JavaBeans component model to simplify the programming model and architecture of web-based applications. Take a look an Weld Framework as reference implementation to this.

The similar sounding Standard Dependency Injection for Java JSR-330 just define a standard and common known DI like in spring and other frameworks. Look at popular Guice DI-Framework from Google which implements JSR-330.

Bean Validation introduces a very cool annotation based and architecture layer independent Java Bean validation.

There are also some interesting improvements in EJBs. Singleton is a new type and can be only one per container, it is also possible to use @Local Beans (Same VM) without interface. Furthermore JPA 2.0 has advanced query possibilities and validation.

Management Standards

Spec Java EE 5 Java EE 6
JSR-88 J2EE Application Deployment v1.2 v1.2
JSR-925 JAF v1.1 v1.1
JSR-77 J2EE Management v1.0 v1.1
JSR-115 Java Authorization Contract for Containers v1.1 v1.3
JSR-196 Java Authentication Service Provider Interface for Containers - new!
JSR-206 JAXP (JavaSE) - v1.3
JSR-221 JDBC (JavaSE) - v4.0
JSR-255 JMX (JavaSE) - v2.0

Java EE 6 Certified Application Servers

  • Oracle (former Sun) GlassFish AS 3.0.1 Full certified
  • JBoss AS 6.0.0 Web Profile certification
  • IBM WebSphere Application Server V8.0 (in development, Beta available)

Please feel free to correct me or provide additional information.