EJB is an impressive technology, doing far more than the simple object-relational mappers Alzabo and DODS. From my experience, working with EJB is more of a managerial and logistical headache than a technical one. Learning EJB is a good idea for all web application developers; it's clear that this standard is making serious inroads in the industry, and many serious applications will be built using EJB in the future. Having certified open-source implementations will make it even easier for programmers to try out EJB, and I encourage Sun to move in this direction as soon as possible.
Next month, we'll switch gears to begin looking at Zope, a very different type of web application framework written mostly in Python. Zope has become quite popular in the last few years and is often seen as the killer app that will bring Python to the forefront of programming languages. We'll take a look at Zope and start to examine how we can use it to write our own applications.