Wednesday, June 29, 2005

JavaOne 2005 - Day 1 - Afternoon Sessions

Java Business Integration - A Foundation for SOA
Ron Ten-Hove and Peter Walker, Senior Staff Engineers with Sun Microsystems

This session (which I found out this morning was the most attended session from yesterday) went into the SOA concept and where the new Java Business Integration (JBI) standard fits into it. It ended up being more of an SOA description than really getting into the details of JBI. It was a very buzz-word centric talk. It basically ended up rehashing what was mentioned in the keynote regarding this technology.

Some links regarding it:

Groovy = Java Technology + Ruby + Python for the JVM
Rod Cope, CTO and Founder of OpenLogic
Groovy Project Page

This session was definitely the best one I saw from the day. Rod Cope was an exceptional presenter of material and very funny to boot. I would highly recommend checking him out if you get a chance.

Groovy is yet another scripting language. The beauty of this one is that it is fully available inside Java and actually Java code is Groovy code...

The scripting language provides a concise powerful scripting language that gets compiled down to good old Java classes. It was begun in August 2003 and has a thriving community built around it.

Some of its features are:
Dynamic and Static (Optional) typing
Native Syntax for Lists, Maps, Arrays, and Beans
Closures (which are nice little methods defined on the fly)
Built-in RegEx support
Operator Overloading

The technology fully integrates with Ant, and can actually be used to replace much of what Ant does. It can also be used inside Ant scripts to give a bit more programmatic control (such as If statements and loops, etc).

Groovy provides very, very simple methods to read and write XML, HTML, and interact using SQL. There is a wrapper that allows Groovy to use COM automation to automate things like Word, Excel (and it is super easy too). It also has a scripting shell that can be used interactively (for those of you that love a good shell).

All in all, great little quick and dirty scripting language. Low barrier to entry for Java programmers. Really can provide great utility in writing test cases in your unit tests. Not yet ready for mission critical apps, but version 1.0 should be out by September and Rod apparently has a book in the works on Groovy so I will be looking forward to that.

A Hitchhiker's Guide to SOA - Orchestrating Loosely Coupled J2EE Services with BPEL and BPMN
Charles Beckham, Todd Fast, Mike Frisino, Sun Microsystems

This session was a quite entertaining overview of the ideas and concepts involved with SOA, including descriptions of BPEL, ACDC worker services and BPMN. It of course followed the layout of the Hitchhiker's guide from starting with the phrase Don't Panic to including witty definitions from The Guide for each of the topics.

Basically the jist of what we are shooting forward is a collection of loosely coupled services. The problem is how to describe the services in ways that the business analysts can understand and how to make all of this fancy new fangled XML easy to work with.

BPEL - Business Process Execution Language - XML based language that specifies processes. It describes long running stateful transactional conversations between two or more partner services

Now BPEL itself doesn't really do any work, he is more of the coordinator of things and controls the exchange of messages back and forth amongst the various partners. BPEL relies on ACDC (no, not the band, though they are quite good) Worker Services to do the actual work. ACDC stands for Async, Conversational, Document Centric services. These perform the actual actions that our traffic cop (so to speak) BPEL does.

BPMN - Business Process Modeling Notation - BPEL unfortunately is difficult to write (being XML and all), and even more difficult to visualize (being XML and all). BPMN is a standard notation format (developed by BPMI) that is a kind of flowcharting language with special considerations for BPEL. BPMN can be mapped to BPMN (and vice versa)

Of course here is then where everything drifted off into the marketing world. As luck would have it, Sun's Java Studio Enterprise has a set of tools to handle all of the creation of BPMN, BPEL, mapping between formats, managing the partners of various services, etc, etc. So off we went into Marketing-land to view what Java Studio Enterprise can do to handle all of this fancy stuff :-)

But overall quite informative even though they diverged a bit at the end. Plus the Charlse, Todd, and Mike show was very humorous.

Visualizing Gizmos, Gadgets, Whatchamacalits
Mike Brown, Boeing Corp

This session talked about using Java3D to do some very interesting real time modeling and physics type modeling. A bit over my head since I'm not really a graphics guy, but it was entertaining to watch Mike's virtual shirt thrower he built go to town on his computer based on the physics rules he defined.

And thus ended the sessions for day 1. We spent some time chatting at the Sybase booth (since we are big Sybase fans) checking out their new product Workspace (based on Eclipse, very cool. Check it out

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

JavaOne 2005 - Day 1 - Keynote

The Keynote went quite well this morning. They had a pretty interesting band called Magnetic Poetry playing prior to the event. John Gage of Sun was the MC for the session. Jonathan Schwartz spoke and thanked the community for a great 10 years. His focus was on openness and community as the real driver of technology and adoption. He also spoke about the concept of technology as a social utility which was a very interesting idea. He mentioned Brazil's health system as a great example (said it put our CDC to shame).

There was a presentation by Yasushi Nishimura, Director of Panasonic R&D about the new BlueRay DVD technology. One cool thing they mentioned was that the BlueRay standard had chosen to use Java for the menu system and API on the disc. So every BlueRay DVD player will include a JVM and also...drum roll please....a network port. Let the hackers get ready for what they can come up with with those tools available.

Sun has made nice with IBM and they renewed their partnership for 11 more years (10% better than the previous 10 year agreement so they said). Also IBM will be providing support across their entire software suite for Solaris 10 (which is open source now).

Java = Participation and FOSS. Schwartz made a nice compelling case for the free open source software movement. Free is the perfect price, there is no downside from FOSS, community is where it is at, etc, etc.

They announced Java Business Integration (JBI) as defined in JSR-208. Looks like everyone is doing SOA these days...and this also moves into my Business Integration Engine type system. So I'm very interested in checking this out.

Open Sourcing of Sun's Application Server (Project Glassfish) with a CDDL license.

Whole set of new features for the Java Studio Creator product line, including integration with their application server and the JBI spec, BPEL, BPMN, Mapping, Routes, etc, etc....

The T-shirt hurler of the day was based on an Angle Grinder, but really didn't do much flinging. The shirts just sort of fell out of the launcher.

Graham Hamilton announced that they are finally dropping the stupid 2 from the product names J2SE, J2EE, J2ME goes to JSE, JEE, JME. About time. Also they will go to whole numbers with no decimals. So after JSE 5.0 it will move to JSE 6, JSE 7, and so on.

Java development themes for the future - Become more open. Weekly snapshots available of the Java 6 development. Contributions can even be made to the code line from the community. Couple of new licenses to facilitate this access - Java Distribution License (JDL), Java Research License (JRL), Java Internal Use License (JIUL)

Bill Shannon announced details of the Java EE Roadmap for the future. Simplification is the main thing for Java EE going forward. A shift to allow POJO development with Java EE, extensive used of annotations to reduce the need for deployment descriptors.

The release schedule is Java EE 5 final draft spec Q3 2005, SDK Beta Release Q4 2005 and Final Release Q1 2006.

Will post about the sessions from day 1 a bit later. Currently I'm in the keynote listening to how Mobile is going to conquer the world :-)

Monday, June 27, 2005

JavaOne Day 1 - Pre-Keynote

OK, so less than 30 minutes into the morning of JavaOne and I am sorely not impressed with the organizational planning. Keynote begins at 8:30am, around 5,000 people will be attending, there is a drizzling rain outside, so what did the planners decide....have everyone line up outside until they open the doors at 8:30. Bad idea.

Breakfast is served inside the exhibitor pavilion, but there is also a line for 5,000 people waiting, and they ran out of pastries and bagels. So if I were ready to wait till 9:00am I would get some coffee, but I've got to go stand in the rain so I don't miss the keynote.

So far Sybase's TechWave 2004 is beating the pants off of JavaOne 2005 in terms of organization and good planning. Hopefully the content will make up for these little annoyances.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

One day till JavaOne 2005 begins

Spent my first full day in San Francisco and boy are my legs tired. Quite a bit more geography here than where I'm from (plus you can't really walk to get anywhere in Mobile, AL. Cars are definitely required). Went by the convention center and got registered, so now I definitely have a spot at the conference. We skipped the NetBeans Day Session (since we are die hard Eclipse faithful), but Tim Bray blogged about it.

One thing that struck from a social networking point of view is the conference badge. It consists of a neck strap attached to a plastic sleeve that holds a paper printout of what level of access you have to the conference. It also holds a plastic smart card with you name and company listed on it and an embedded chip. The chip is used for keeping track of attendance to sessions and also to use the internet terminals at the conference.

Now the social networking part, the name and company listed on the smart card are in quite tiny print. You wear this around your neck during the conference, so anyone talking around you should be able to see you name on the badge (in case they have forgotten or just to strike up a conversation with you by name). But from the font size of this thing, I don't think anyone without perfect vision is going to be able to read this thing from more than a few feet away. Also missing from the conference badge is where you are from. This is another way for people to strike up conversations if they see a location that is familiar to them or interesting, but alas, it is not listed on the badge. Kathy Sierra would probably agree with me on this point (and by the way she will be signing books along with Bert Bates tomorrow at 3:00pm, hopefully I can say hi). Am I the only one that has this idea about the use of the badge for social networking??? I think not.

Sybase got it exactly right last year at TechWave 2004 in Orlando, FL, where a coworker and I presented a great session if I do say so myself. :-) The TechWave conference badges very, very prominently (and in large font) displayed your name, company, and where you were from. This made it very easy to strike up conversations with people on a variety of things. We'll see how they do for TechWave 2005

Case in point, one person I made the acquaintance of at the conference had the name Don Clayton. Now having worked in high school at a Putt-Putt Golf and Games, I knew that Don S. Clayton created Putt-Putt in 1954 (actually met him in 1994), so I walked up to this individual and asked if he knew who the other famous Don Clayton was...interesting conversation ensued. So Strke One against Sun. Computer people as a general rule need as much help as possible socializing, so please give them every nudge and edge you can.

Well tomorrow my official coverage begins. We start at 8:30am with a keynote from Jonathan Schwartz (who is a prolific blogger). Can't wait to get started.

If you are out here at the conference and want to get together, give me a ring on my cell or send an e-mail. It is listed in the top right corner.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

BIE (Business Integration Engine) - Part 1

As I mentioned previously, I have been looking for an open source BizTalk like product and one of the solutions I wanted to evaluate was the Business Integration Engine from the Brunswick Corporation.

I finally got around to downloading and installing BIE and wanted to write about the experience so far. The main function I would like this product to provide for us is for it to manage the receipt and exchange of files from our trading partners. The promise of tools like this is for the tool to present a documented view of the file exchanges and file formats being used and prevent one from having to write a new parser each time a new trading partner comes on board with their own custom file format (or changes their format).

So far after a little bit of tinkering, I'm pretty impressed. The product is built on top of JBoss and the installation is very straightforward. Download the latest install from the SourceForge project page, extract and install.

After installation you may start the BIE service via the start menu menu item. You can then browse to the product dashboard on localhost:5803

From here one of the shortcoming shows up. The product does not come with any documentation. The company that originally wrote BIE offers documentation for a small fee (couple hundred bucks), but it would be nice to have a little bit more information to get a feel for the product (that's where I come in I suppose).

BIE breaks processes into WorkFlows. A WorkFlow is a set of actions that can be triggered, such as parsing a file into XML, mapping that XML into a different format, and then updating a database with the resulting data.

When parsing a file into XML it does this via a MessageFormat. You can define various message formats for your files. They come in different flavors such as (MS Excel, Comma Delimited, Fixed Width, XML, etc). You enter the criteria for your file and save it with an identifiable name. For example, with a fixed width file, you enter what row the data starts on (in case there are header rows), enter a comma delimited list of the field names, and then a comma delimited list of the length of each field and save it. That is all that is required to teach it how to parse a new fixed width file. Pretty spiffy, no code required.

WorkFlows can be triggered by a variety of listeners. The built in set of listeners includes a JMS listener, a directory watcher, an FTP directory watcher, a mailbox watcher, and a scheduled listener that can execute workflows on a periodic basis.

The listener that interests me the most is the directory watcher. When receiving a file from a trading partner, they push the file to us. The directory watcher scans a directory and takes action when a file appears.

When a file is found, BIE looks at the filename and reads everything in the filename up to a period (.) or underscore (_) character. Then it takes that text and looks for a WorkFlow by the same name.

You construct WorkFlows using a graphical editor that allows one to drag and drop and connect various actions together to perform your process. These can consist of logging operations, database operations, XML translations, XSLT transformations, sending Email, File operations, etc, etc, etc.

Enough for now, next time I'll post some screen shots and go into more nuts a bolts of stringing a WorkFlow together.

Here are some links that were extremely useful (once I found them all that is):

BIE SourceForge Project Page
Brunswick WDI BIE Page
BIE SourceForge Mailing List Page
BIE FAQ through Adaptive Dynamics
Brunswick WDI BIE Discussion Forum

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Voice Driven Eclipse Based IDE

I had the opportunity last night to be a tester for my friend Julie's CIS Master's degree thesis project at the University of South Alabama. It is a voice driven IDE based on Eclipse and using IBM's Via Voice software.

Now of course whenever anyone gives me a headset with a microphone attached to it to put on a couple of things happen. First I have flashbacks of my days doing tech support which causes me to break into a cold sweat. Then I become the control tower scene in the movie Airplane - Roger, Roger, what's our vector, Victor... etc. But after that I finally got focused and began to test the app.

Let me just say that the application is a very nice piece of work. I have encouraged her to get a project page up on the web so I can link to it, and also for her to hopefully release the source code under an open source license if the University will allow it.

The project deals with allowing the creation and manipulation of an SWT GUI using only voice commands. It does not deal with populating the code in the events on the visual objects just creating the GUI, its layout, and the properties of the visual objects.

A couple of things that stood out to me. The voice recognition stuff was very nice but still has a long way to go. Unfortunate, but that is just the fact of the times we are in right now.

Also I must have either a speech impediment or a crazy accent, because the Via Voice software really couldn't understand when I said the words "clear", "back", and "two". Of course I only trained it using a 5 minute passage from Treasure Island, but still it has me paranoid now that maybe I don't know how to speak the Queen's English.

As for the outcome of the road trip last weekend, all was as it should be. Def Leppard, contrary to my expectations, really put on an awesome show. I couldn't have asked for more (well except for my friends picking a better spot to stand than right behind a big tree). From my vantage point, I can tell you that the guitar players on either end of the stage were great. Not sure about the guys in the middle of the stage since the tree was right there :-)

It was truly a great send off to Rob. We will wish him well in his new position on the West Coast. Of course I'll see him there in a week since I'll be out in San Francisco for JavaOne. Not enough time left to get everything done before I leave this weekend, but I will manage somehow.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Weekend Road Trip

Today I'm heading up to Birmingham, AL to hang out with my friend Rob in his last weekend as a resident of the great state of Alabama. He has accepted a job with Intel and will be trekking out to Sacramento, CA. That will actually work out well for me, since I'll be out in San Francisco, CA (a bit south and west on the picture) for 2 weeks starting a week from this Saturday. So I'll get to check out his new stomping grounds.

Saturday some friends from here in Mobile will be driving up to Birmingham so we can all attend City Stages and rock out to the one and only Def Leppard. We saw them a year or two ago when they came to Pensacola, FL. Awful show. It was like they really didn't want to be there but had to pay the bills. Probably be more of the same Saturday (since they have gone from playing civic centers to outdoor festivals), but in their day they made some great 80's rock so I can hope they put on a decent show (do it for all the hair bands that have come before you)

Some links for today:

Going to JavaOne? Like free T-Shirts? The Eclipse group will be giving out free t-shirts at JavaOne if you visit 6 of the Eclipse project's supporting companies' booths (of course Sybase is now a contributing partner).

Release 1.1 for jTDS is out. Very nice opensource JDBC driver for SQL Server and Sybase databases.

Awesome DHTML/JavaScript calendar definitely need to get this incorporated into our work websites. Found from a link in a post on Brian Bailey's Leave it Behind blog

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Chicken Tortilla Soup

The GF, Casey, asked me to make her some of my famous Chicken Tortilla Soup passed down from generation to generation in my family over the years. So first I had to find the recipe (which really came in the newsletter that comes with my power bill, not from Grandma's kitchen).

I always have a bit of a problem tracking down the recipe, so I thought I would post it here so I can find it later. The recipe is posted on the Alabama Power website here, but the details are as follows.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

* 4 cups fat-free chicken broth
* 4 cups water
* 3 boneless chicken breasts
* 1 can 98% fat-free cream of chicken soup
* 1 can Rotel tomatoes
* 1 cup skim milk
* 12 oz. Velveeta Light cheese
* 1/4 cup sauteed onions
* 1 teaspoon garlic powder
* 1 teaspoon chili powder
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
* 3 low-fat flour tortillas, torn into small pieces

Boil chicken in water and broth until tender. Cut chicken into bite-size pieces and return to boil. Add remaining ingredients, except tortillas. Boil 10 minutes and then add tortillas. Boil until tortillas are soft - about 10-15 minutes, stirring often to keep from sticking.

Now I don't add the tortillas anymore because they get very soggy (kind of like a dumpling), but you may like them. Also go easy on the chili powder because that stuff packs a pretty good kick, and this recipe already turns out quite spicy. It is also good with turkey substituted for the chicken in case that is more your style.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Arlene Cometh

Well looks like it is going to be a very wet day here in Mobile today. We have Tropical Storm Arlene coming towards land, and she should make landfall this afternoon. Of course the sad thing is that 70 mph winds from a mere tropical storm just don't get too many people excited around here.

Weather Channel Update

If you watched the projections of this storm, from the beginning it has been expected to head right up Mobile Bay. Hopefully this is not how the whole season is going to shape up.

One good thing that I can see from starting our hurricane season this way is that at least people will go ahead and grab their hurricane supplies now so they should be ready later if we get any more big storms dropping by.

My phone number has now officially ported to my new cell phone. My good friend Horst had the distinct honor of being the first phone call received on my new communications medium. Of course he was in complete shock when I told him were talking on a cell phone (since he knows how much I have resisted these things).

So begins the great experiment, I have trusted the great and mighty Scoble's opinion and posted my cell number up on the site. We'll see if any interesting interactions result from that level of accessibility.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Idea Overload

So these days I'm having a problem that comes and goes for me. It is an idea overload. I have so many different ideas running through my head that I end up not really focusing on any of them. So I'll enumerate them here so that I can at least look back later and see what I did or didn't focus on further.

The ideas I have are broken down between things that I would like to work on personally and things that can benefit the company I work for.


J2ME Schedule App for JavaOne 2005
Now that I have received my cell phone (still waiting for my number to be ported), I see that it can run J2ME apps. I would love to be able to load all of the sessions for JavaOne 2005 onto the phone. That way I can see where I am supposed to go next, plus have the ability if a session is full to find quickly my next favorite choice or a list of all of the other sessions at that time.

I have never written a J2ME app so this should be interesting with about 18 days to go till JavaOne. I have created some handheld stuff in C# for the .Net Compact Framework, so it will be interesting to see how the Java side compares.

Unified List Server
I would like to see a server application that can encapsulate all of the following into one dataset that can be added to our retrieved in whatever format the user likes:
NNTP - Newsgroups
Mailing List
Web Forums

Example: I really like the content available at, but I really hate going to a website and looking through the web forums to try and find things that are new that I have not read yet. What I would prefer is to retrieve the forums as newsgroups. That way my newsgroup reader presents everything to me in a nice threaded format with an easy way of seeing what is unread for me. I, personally, like newsgroups (thanks to the fantastic Sybase Newsgroups getting me hooked), but others may want it in mailing list format or RSS format with the ability to reply with comments.

I would like to see an app that does all of this but keeps all data in a central repository, so if you receive it in mailing list format, you reply to the message and it gets updated and is viewable by everyone in their respective preferred formats.

I really think that Apache James is the perfect platform for something like this to be built upon since it encapsulates most of those items already.

Open Source OFX Class Implementation in Java
Implement the OFX standard using something like Castor or JAXB and put it out on SourceForge for all to use. I've implemented a subset of the standard by hand (before I learned of tools like Castor) but would like to have the whole standard done.

Work Related

Open Source BizTalk like application
Microsoft's BizTalk while being extremely powerful also comes with an extremely powerful price tag. Sybase also has a similar product but it comes with a similar price tag as well. There is an existing app called BIE (Business Integration Engine), but I'm not sure how well maintained this product is or will be in the future. The forums on their site are fairly dead (of course it is GPL'd so I could maybe run with it and branch and fix myself).

Rules Engines
This is a solution looking for a problem for me. I'm positive this could be incorporated into our business, but just not sure exactly where it would fit. Drools has just released version 2.0 so I'm very interested in checking it out.

BPM (Business Process Management) and Workflow Engines
Another solution in search of a problem. There are a couple of open source products out there (jBPM, Java Workflow Editor, Open WFE) but I need to figure out where they would fit.

JBoss Application Server
JBoss looks pretty interesting and there are a couple of different things they are doing with it, need to see what it has to offer. This is a good question for the Cynergy Systems guys. Have you guys done much with JBoss?

(Sidenote with small plug: Got to meet some of these guys out at TechWave 2004 and have interacted with them in the Sybase newsgroups. They are definitely some sharp individuals and aren't afraid of hard problems, so if you need some consulting or training done you may want to give them a call.)

Oh well that is enough about things I want to work on, how about some neat links.

Very cool applications up at that take advantage of the new AJAX paradigm (all the cool kids are doing it, why aren't you?). Check it out.

Also if you were just about to get around to registering for the free Sun Certified Java Associate Beta Exam...well, you snooze you lose. They have had enough people register for the exam, so they have closed registration.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

The end of an era

So it is with great regret that I must confess to you all that the end of an era is here. I feel like a small part of me has died inside. After standing firm for oh so many years I have finally given in and I have a confession to make...

My name is Doug Porter, and I have signed up for cellular service.

Those of you that know me know that this is a very big move for me. I have always had a love/hate relationship with the telephone in general. The cost of basic telephone service always seemed absurd to me, especially with the monopoly of the Bells in days gone by. So about 2 years ago I ditched my home land line and signed up with a VoIP service.

The VoIP provider I have used is Like I tell people, VoIP is not for everyone. For me it worked pretty well for the way I use the telephone. It was cheap ($20 per month for unlimited local and long distance), and it worked fairly well accept for a couple of issues. Such as:

Whenever there were bandwidth or network issues the call quality suffered. Some people on certain cell phone services could not reach me at my VoIP number. And of course Murphy's law always prevailed and whenever I was waiting on or trying to make an important call the service went down.

But other than that, I was happy with it.

But I finally have come to accept that I really need a bit more connectivity these days, so I finally bit the bullet and signed up. I had my good friend Rob (who is the wizard when it comes to these things) help me find a great deal on a phone and service that would fit my needs. He set me up with a service deal (and a nice discount coupon) from

So, supposedly next Tuesday I will receive my new phone and become a proud member of the Cingular network (which from the looks of the coverage map should cover me just about anywhere). Then it will be goodbye to Packet8. They have served me well but it is time to move on.

On another note, I have just tried out a password protected wiki called PbWiki (which of course being a Sybase user I thought would stand for PowerBuilder Wiki, but alas it stands for Peanut Butter. Because it is as easy as making a PB&J sandwich...get it..). Very simple and easy to use. I'm using it to collaborate with my friends on getting together information for our upcoming trip to JavaOne and San Francisco. If you need something simple then this fits the bill nicely.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

San Francisco May Never Be The Same

As part of my professional development for the year, my company DailyAccess Corporation has decided to send a coworker and myself out to Sun Microsystems' JavaOne conference in beautiful San Francisco, CA.

I am absolutely excited to be able to attend this conference. The environment we use at work is Sybase PowerBuilder for internal applications used by our employees, Sybase EAServer as our application server (housing components written in Java and PowerBuilder), Java Servlets and JSP's for our website, and a nice Oracle database for the backend to round it all out.

So I am hoping that the knowledge I'll gain from JavaOne will help me improve the code I write for the components in our application server along with other server side processes we have written in Java. I'm also looking forward to some of the sessions on various web frameworks. We will soon be deciding on a new web framework for our sites and this should help us have more information to make an informed decision.

I am going to try (we'll see how it works out) to give a day by day post of the goings on at JavaOne along with pictures of the event and city. So stay tuned to this space.

Once I decide on the sessions I want to try and attend, I'll post that here also, so you can play along at home.

The conference runs from Monday, June 27 - Thursday June 30. I will be arriving into San Francisco the evening of Saturday, June 25. I have decided to take some vacation time after the conference, so I will actually be in San Francisco the following week, leaving to come back to Mobile on Friday, July 8.

If you are going to be at JavaOne or in the area and want to try and get together, let me know. A la the great Scoble, I am going to be posting my contact information in this space soon. We'll see how it works out. So check back and you will be able to find out how to reach me if you want to get together during the conference.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Sun Certified Java Associate Beta Exam

Sun has created a new entry level certification exam (Sun Certified Java Associate) for those with around 6 months experience with Java. They have just released the beta version of the exam which can be taken at no charge from Prometric testing centers from June 20 - July 15, 2005.

Unfortunately for me here in Mobile, AL, the closest testing center that is offering this test is Triangle of Technology Academy over in Pensacola, FL.

Of course, this is where I took and passed the Sun Certified Java Programmer exam, so maybe that place is good luck for me.

I think I am going to sign up and take it. In theory I should be able to pass with flying colors (and if I don't pass I may have to step out into traffic) but it is also good to take the beta to be able to provide valuable feedback to the test designers.

Here are the Exam Description and also the Exam Objectives pages. You can sign up through Prometric's website. The exam number is 311-019 (it is at the very bottom of the Sun exam list on Prometric's site)

Good luck. After taking it, it will be around 2 months before results are published. A great forum for help in preparing for the Java exams is JavaRanch. This site was started by Kathy Sierra and Bert Bates (the wonderful creators of the Head First series). You can read a collective blog from them and a couple of their cohorts at Creating Passionate Users