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JavaBeans™ is proving to be a popular technology. As more people embrace JavaBeans™ and the Java™ platform, some of the environment’s shortcomings are brought to light. JavaBeans™ was meant to satisfy needs in builder and development environments but its capabilities fall short of those needed to deploy stand alone components as content editing and creating entities.
Neither JavaBeans™ nor the Java™ platform define a consistent strategy for typing data, a method for determining the supported data types of a software component, a method for binding typed data to a component, or an architecture and implementation that supports these features.
Presumably with these pieces in place, a developer can write a JavaBeans™ based component that provides helper application like functionality in a web browser, added functionality to an office suite, or a content viewer in a Java™ application.
This document describes the JavaBeans™ Activation Framework (JAF). The JAF implements the following services:
It determines the type of arbitrary data.
It encapsulates access to data.
It discovers the operations available on a particular type of data.
It instantiates the software component that corresponds to the desired operation on a
particular piece of data.
The JAF is packaged as a Standard Extension to the Java™ platform.
3.0 Architectural Overview
The Java™ platform (including JavaBeans™) already provides some support for a modest activation framework. The JAF leverages as much of that existing technology as possible. The JAF integrates these mechanisms.