Java Platform Enterprise Edition (EE) 6, featuring a capability for function-based profiles, has been approved by the official Java standards body, with an implementation of the specification to follow from Sun Microsystems in about two weeks.

Sun's enterprise Java implementation has dominated the industry. The official specification for Java EE 6, Java Specification Request 316, received final approval by the Java Community Process's Executive Committee for SE/EE. Deliberations on the proposal had been in progress for about three years.

With the profiles capability, profiles can be built for specific functions such as a web profile for developers. Other profiles, such as one for telecommunications, have been anticipated. Other features in Java EE 6 include a pruning process for making parts of the platform optional, as well as backing for scripting languages and REST (Representational State Transfer).

"In the past eight  years, the Java EE platform has grown and matured and is now able to cover a wide range of enterprise and web application development needs," the official description of JSR 316 states. "In addition, the Java EE platform has fostered a vibrant community and marketplace for additional technologies, frameworks, and applications that work with the platform. Some of these provide facilities that are missing from the platform. Others provide alternatives to platform facilities. A major theme for this release is to embrace and support those technologies as part of the overall Java EE landscape while also continuing to simplify the platform to better target a wider range of developers. To that end we propose two goals for this release - extensibility and profiles."

The vote to approve JSR-316 passed with 12 yes votes, one no vote, one nonvote and two abstentions.

Voting in favor of the measure were companies such as Sun, Oracle, IBM, Google and Red Hat. The Apache Software Foundation, citing a longstanding dispute with Sun over a technology compatibility kit for its Harmony version of Java, voted against the specification, while adding its vote was not reflective of the technical merits of the proposal.

IBM also said its vote was based on the technical merits of the JSR but not on the licensing terms. IBM did, however, express concerns about injection programming support defined by the platform and pledged to continue to support development of a single integrated, extensible injection programming model.

"We remain concerned that the injection support defined by the platform will create unnecessary difficulties for the community," IBM said.

SAP and Intel abstained, while SpringSource did not vote.