I knew BEA was talking about blended, but I am not sure I had realised how far the company had internalised it. Pretty much everyone agrees that Spring and Hibernate have made enterprise Java development a lot easier. EJBs are just so much crooked nails in the eyes. I therefore found this blog by Interface 21 guy Rod Johnson quite interesting. It appears BEA has sensibly bitten the bullet and is working very closely with Spring to ensure WebLogic 10 is more useable.
BEA’s motivation for this choice was to achieve rapid time to market and base the implementation of new spec features on proven code as far as possible. The fact that Spring already did so much of what they needed helped them with their aggressive timescales. It should also help ensure a safe upgrade path. Much of the new functionality is supplied by Pitchfork on top of proven Spring code; the vast majority of the proven existing WebLogic EJB code base is unchanged. Of course, adopting this approach underlines BEA’s trust in the quality of Spring.
In the longer term, the fact that Spring is used beneath the surface should benefit Spring users running WebLogic, allowing Spring components to be managed at a deep level by the server (which already effectively “natively” understands them), and enabling the Spring component model to be used to supplement Java EE.
Expect more of this from app server vendors. disclaimers: Rod is a really good bloke, and BEA is currently, and somewhat tragically, not a client.