Java EE hasn’t been receiving the same amount of attention its open-source brethren have over the past year. While the JCP and the OpenJDK focused heavily on nailing down the plans for Java SE 7 and 8, as well as plans for the OpenJDK itself, Java EE 6 has quietly been moving toward implementation within IBM and Oracle.

And while Java EE 6 brought initial modularity changes along with the addition of REST support, Java EE 7, which began life as JCP standards proposals in April, looks to repair many of the historic problems with the platform.

Rich Sharples, director of product management at Red Hat, said that the Java EE 7 proposals created by his company are initial ideas for the future of the platform. The work ahead will first involve forming expert committees around these new ideas, then formulating and formalizing specifications for the future of Java.

Sharples said the vision for Java EE 7 includes four main goals: ease of deployment, support for HTML5, support for the cloud, and the deprecation of unused portions of the framework. The first and last of these goals were also pursued, to a small degree, with Java EE 6. In EE 7, he, they should receive a lot more attention.

“Because of Java EE’s focus on compatibility, there is a feeling it’s grown rather large,” said Sharples. “We’ve added a lot to the Java EE platform. With Java EE 6, a number of APIs were announced to be pruned or deprecated, and they will be pruned in Java EE 7.”

Among all of those proposed areas of improvement is one major proposal that caught the eye of John Rymer, a Forrester vice president and primary analyst. That improvement is a standardized cache API for Java EE.

“They’re proposing to standardize the elastic caching APIs,” he said. “Oracle has Coherence, which has a lot of usage, and it has an API. This is an important capability for scaling Web applications, not only in Java, but in .NET as well. There’s no standard API.

“This will be an interesting test to see how the new regime under Oracle works; they’ve got the leading product. I think it’s going to be an interesting test to see how the JCP handles it.”