Well, whether EJB becomes the defacto standard for application servers is really a question for the scholars. However, I would say that the adoption of EJB will increase, and has increased due to a number of factors including:
1.) The improvement of the specification with EJB 2.0. Many of the portability issues, specification ambiguities and the previously woeful state of the Entity bean spec are much improved.
2.) The availability of inexpensive EJB alternatives. With the introduction of a number of low cost and free implementations, EJB has become a much more cost-effective option.
3.) The availability of better tools. They are getting there. But the fact is, much EJB programming is the mindless repetition of patterns that could be handled by a tool. As the tools get smarter and the busy work lessons, EJB will be a much better option.
This was first published in December 2001