The Java platform has become a mainstay of enterprise IT development since the introduction of the Enterprise Edition in 1998, in two different ways:
Through the coupling of Java to the web server, the Java platform has become a leading platform for integrating the Web with enterprise backend systems. This has allowed companies to move part or all of their business to the Internet environment by way of highly interactive online environments (such as highly dynamic websites) that allow the customer direct access to the business processes (e.g. online banking websites, airline booking systems and so on). This trend has continued from its initial Web-based start:
The Java platform has matured into an Enterprise Integration role in which legacy systems are unlocked to the outside world through bridges built on the Java platform. This trend has been supported for Java platform support for EAI standards like messaging and web services and has fueled the inclusion of the Java platform as a development basis in such standards as SCA,XAM and others.
Java has become the standard development platform for many companies' IT departments, which do most or all of their corporate development in Java. This type of development is usually related to company-specific tooling (e.g. a booking tool for an airline) and the choice for the Java platform is often driven by a desire to leverage the existing Java infrastructure to build highly intelligent and interconnected tools.
The Java platform has become the main development platform for many software tools and platforms that are produced by third-party software groups (commercial, open source and hybrid) and are used as configurable (rather than programmable) tools by companies. Examples in this category include web servers, application servers, databases, enterprise service buses, BPM tools and content management systems.
Enterprise use of Java has also long been the main driver of open source interest in the platform. This interest has inspired open source communities to produce everything from simple function libraries to program development frameworks (e.g. the Spring Framework, Wicket, Dojo, Hibernate) to open source implementations of standards and tools (e.g. Apache Tomcat, the Glassfish application server, the Mule and ServiceMix ESBs).