This is getting to be ancient history, as this was a year and a half ago, but the first four of us were among the five core contributors on a popular java server framework in 2000, 2001, and into 2002, including the lead developer, Michael Nash. From that framework's core contributors group:

We were also joined by other developers, almost the same day we started. 
If you used the framework when it came out in version 4 in 2001, you got a glimpse of how fun it could be, and how powerful. You really could ( and still can) get the whole thing up in ten minutes, with a very complete feature set to boot. The important features are ones we would all need, and have been recreated many times to varying degrees by many different companies internally, and by other frameworks. This seemingly universal functionality set is listed below, and that framework has them all.