I was now talking with some people and they told me that if i was intrested in a job in the future for Java programming i should not spend too much time only learning Java SE i should spend time learning Java EE instead.. Now that brought me to some questions..

Java Enterprise Edition why use this ? What can i make with this that i can't make in Java SE?, And what kind of applications is this good for?

Is there any good books out there that i can read to learn the Java EE?

If i know Java SE well is it easier to learn Java EE ?

Thanks! I will keep browsing the web for some anwears for theese questions.. And if i find anything i wil update this question.


5 Answers 5


I suspect they have been pulling your leg. Java EE is nothing but a Java SE running a container application (like JBoss) that supports the additional Java EE frameworks. Not knowing the SE would be a major problem for your future in Java coding.

  • So if i know Java SE its much easier learning Java EE?, But is there some site i can read more about this or is there some books i can read to maybe get started learning more about Java EE ?
    – User
    Commented Aug 15, 2011 at 20:07
  • At the stage, I suppose you are on, I think it would be best to ignore the EE for now and first grasp the basics of Java. Then take on EE one framework at a time.
    – nfechner
    Commented Aug 15, 2011 at 20:10

To clarify some things:

Java - a programming language.

JavaSE - a term that refers to Java, and a collection of standard libraries and utilities.

JavaEE - a term that refers to Java, and a collection of libraries used for building "enterprise applications" (usually web applications).

There is nothing you can do in JavaEE that can't be done in JavaSE, but if you need to build an enterprise application, JavaEE will make your life easier.

By definition, you must learn Java (the language) and and some JavaSE (the libraries - though you could skip things like Swing and SWT which could be included in JavaSE but aren't necessary for JavaEE) to work in JavaEE, because it doesn't make any sense to learn JavaEE and not know Java and JavaSE.

  • 4
    Anyone who's ever used EJB would cringe at the "make your life easier" assertion.
    – MattC
    Commented Aug 15, 2011 at 21:09
  • @MattC: I don't know if rolling one's own EJB-like system would be worse (I admit I haven't had the chance to try it in any serious way). I imagine that it would start off better, but by the time I got to the some of the nastier bits, I'd wish I'd stuck with EJBs. Commented Aug 15, 2011 at 21:11
  • 2
    @MattC: Doesn't it depend on the version of EJB too?
    – Darien
    Commented Aug 15, 2011 at 22:09
  • 2
    @Darien yes, EJB 3 was much better than 2.x, but overall I found it to be overkill for most of the things I wanted to do.
    – MattC
    Commented Aug 15, 2011 at 22:19

Here you can see a list of features or technologies that the Java Enterprise Edition 6 includes. I think, you cannot "learn" all these framework parts, if there is no appropriate-sized project, where you could apply them. So in my view, it is good to know about them, but not necessary to know all the details.

The Java Standard Edition covers on the one hand much more basic features (like Collections, Threading and I/O), which every Java developer should really know and on the other hand specialized APIs (for example to create GUIs), which again you only need to know about their existence, but not detailed.


Keeping it simple, SE(Standard Edition) doesnt deal with any application server detail implementations like web components, EJB, security, webservices, messaging etc while EE(Enterprise Edition) deals with all these.

I am not sure how one could directly get into higher studies (EE) without knowing the basics (SE)


I think java EE is much more than just javax.* packages. Many framworks depend on them and this is a huge field to be in. There are a lot of concepts that are different from Java SE. I suggest you look into it for some time using a book like head first servlets and then decide where you wanna head to.

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