JBoss has recently released version 1.1 beta of the Seam product.

As JBoss puts it, Seam is:

JBoss Seam is a powerful new application framework to build next generation Web 2.0 applications by unifying and integrating popular service oriented architecture (SOA) technologies like Asynchronous JavaScript and XML(AJAX), Java Server Faces(JSF), Enterprise Java Beans(EJB3), Java Portlets and Business Process Management(BPM) and workflow.

Seam has been designed from the ground up to eliminate complexity at the architecture and the API level. It enables developers to assemble complex web applications with simple annotated Plain Old Java Objects (POJOs), componentized UI widgets and very little XML. The simplicity of Seam 1.0 will enable easy integration with the JBoss Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) and Java Business Integration (JBI) in the future.
In my words, Seam is a wrapper around JSF, EJB3, Hibernate, and also provides a bunch of additional functionality around things like scoped components, inter-component references, and AJAX support.

I’m coming at it from a slight disadvantage, as I’ve been so heads down in ATG for the last 8 years, I don’t know much about JSF, EJB3, etc… So my learning curve is pretty steep and long. However, the component structure is pretty similar to how ATG handles components, component scope, and inter-component references. I’ve long been wishing there was an ATG license that was attainable for for my personal development, and I’d even started writing my own infrastructure on JBoss to provide many of the ATG functions I like so much. Then I found Seam, which covers a lot of what I was trying to create, so there we go.

In my opinion, Seam is still in a development phase, the documentation and examples leave some gaps, however the forums are pretty active and many questions can be answered there. However, once it gets a little more polished and the documentation gets a little more complete, I think it’ll be one of the most effective and powerful frameworks for web development.

Some links to get started with Seam: