Who Is Defining The Standards ?

In the past the picture was clear.
On one hand there were “open” standards like the J2SE/J2EE maintained via the Java Community Process(JCP) and hosted by Sun Microsystems.
Other vendors participated and helped the standards evolve.
On the other hand were de facto standards, mainly set by Microsoft, for instance MFC or the .NET technology stack.

Currently the picture is changing.
In my perception the pace in the Java world has become slower. How long did it take to finish for instance the EJB2.1 specification ?
In the meantime Microsoft inceased their effort to elaborate their technologies.

Beside that new boards like WS-I to were founded to help establish the WS-* standards. If you have a look at the specifications you will notice that the key players are IBM, Microsoft and BEA.
In addition to that BEA and IBM work closely together to write Java Joint Specifications.

Quote from the announcement:
“In response to requests from customers and joint Independent Software Vendor (ISV) partners, BEA and IBM are collaborating on specifications for programming models and APIs for Java(tm) 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) application servers that provide programmers with simpler and more powerful ways of building portable server applications.”
Why not submitting proposals to the JCP first ?

Many of the upcoming standards are mainly driven by IBM, Microsoft and BEA.
In my opinion the benefit is, that it’s no more everyone against Microsoft but everyone for innovation.

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