Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Azzyzt JEE Tools 1.2.0 are available

We are definitely making progress.

Release 1.2.0 brings some basic validation of entity classes and embeddable classes. Embeddables are used as embedded IDs in those cases where we have to model a many-to-many association with extra attributes on the join table, and where the join table has no explicit ID from a sequence. In such cases we lump all foreign keys together into a class annotated with @Embeddable, and the entity class for the join table gets an instance of such an embeddable class as @EmbeddedId. See section " A complicated association" of the Azzyzt tutorial for details.

Embedded IDs are a special case of IDs, thus they have to be passed from client to service in cases like a lookup by ID. They get serialized by JAX-B like any other DTO, and today we had an interesting case:

A developer had defined a mis-matching pair of getter/setter on a property of an embedded ID. The getter was getidPerson() and the setter was setIdPerson(). The problem is, that if we don't explicitly specify serialization rules with annotations, JAX-B just serializes all properties of an object, and it decides that something is a property, if there is a pair of matching getter/setter. Of course the difference between a lower case i and an upper case I is not that big and is easy to miss. The effect was, that only one of the two foreign IDs comprising the embedded ID got serialized.

Although I am quite confident by now, that the basic code in Azzyzt is working and stable, I am still in a phase where I tend to search for the error on my side. When I finally found the problem, I decided to solve it once and for all times. From now on all entity classes and all embeddables get verified. If any of the expected getters/setters for non-internal fields is missing, code generation fails with a precise log message telling you where the problem is.

Other than that, Azzyzt 1.2.0 introduces some configurability. There is a new class Azzyztant. It gets generated into the user source folder of the EJB directory at project creation time, and if it does not exist at code generation time, it gets generated as well. You can modify this class in two ways:

Set properties that get evaluated at runtime, or annotate the class to influence code generation. There is a new chapter "6 Customization of the generated code" in the Azzyzt tutorial that explains the details.

Currently Azzyzt offers one runtime hook (changing of portal-supplied user names) and two code generation options. They allow you to omit "@Remote" on service interfaces (thus I suppose we now support the JEE 6 web profile and therefore JBoss AS 6.0) and/or to omit "@WebService" on service beans. If you use both options, the application is exclusively available via REST.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Azzyzt JEE Tools 1.1.1 are available

This is mostly a bug-fix release. Changes in 1.1.0 had broken support for entities with string IDs. Now everything works again.

If you already have seen the tutorial, you might like to have another look at it. The cookbook application has got one more table, this time it's a simple key/value lookup table.

Other than that, the name of the HTTP header used for determining the calling user (expected to be set by a portal in front of the application) is now configurable via JNDI lookup of a string resource in the server. Just define the resource and the generated application will use the header of your choice.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Azzyzt JEE Tools 1.1.0 are available

Actually version 1.0.0 has been available since end of March, but I had not announced it. Thus 1.1.0 is the first version that's really open to the public.

As I've already mentioned in the first post, Azzyzt JEE Tools is a collection of software tools helping software developers to create software using Java Enterprise Edition 6. It is designed to be integrated into popular Java IDEs, and at the moment this means it is an Eclipse plugin.

Azzyzt JEE Tools is a set of Eclipse plugins for creating a so-called azzyzted project, and for creating code from a model. Azzyzt uses Java JPA entities as a model, and from that model it creates an enterprise application, ready to be deployed in a Java EE 6 application server like GlassFish 3.1, ready to be accessed via CORBA, SOAP and REST. Thus the generated application is a set of web services, providing all that you need in a typical CRUD application. 
Generated enterprise applications have separate source folders for generated and developer-supplied content. Add your own functionality to a well-engineered base project.
Azzyzt JEE Tools is not about user interfaces. It is expected that the generated application is accessed by a RIA frontend (Flex/Flash, Silverlight, Java FX, ...) or by a fat client.

If you just want to use Azzyzt JEE Tools (as opposed to modify and build them), the recommended way to install the software is via an Eclipse update site. As of release 1.1.0, there are two update site URLs, one for the edition used by the Municipiality of Vienna, Austria, the other a generic version. The URLs are



If you want to look into the source code, modify Azzyzt JEE Tools for your own use or if you even want to contribute, then you can fork the project from GitHub under the URL


So far the project lacks reference documentation, though a tutorial under


should give you a fairly good impression of what Azzyzt JEE Tools are about, how to get started and how to go on. The process of building/modifying the tools and of how to contribute to the code base currently lacks documentation.

All announcements of new versions will be published here on


Discussion of the architecture, of interesting details of the implementation, and in general of things I've learned in the process, will happen on my programming blog


If you want to be kept up-to-date, I suggest that you subscribe to the feeds of both sites, azzyzt.org and programming.manessinger.com, in the feed reader of your choice.

Azzyzt JEE Tools are based on my Eclipse / GlassFish / Java EE 6 Tutorial and on a subsequent internal class that I held in October/November 2010 and that was based on the tutorial as well. The code generated by Azzyzt JEE Tools is basically a refinement of the code presented in the tutorial, with some very interesting features added.

Azzyzt JEE Tools are copyright (c) 2011, Municipiality of Vienna, Austria, licensed under the EUPL, version 1.1 or subsequent versions.