|By Patrick Curran||
|November 9, 2009 04:15 PM EST||
For several months now a subset of the JCP's Executive Committees has been meeting as the Java ME Working Group to address Java ME-specific matters. In this column I'll focus on Java ME and on some of the issues that the Working Group has been discussing. (To follow our activities, check out our bulletin board at jcp.org.)
Not surprisingly, the fragmentation problem is high on our list. In the Java ME space - much more so than in Java SE or Java EE - differences between implementations make it difficult to Write Once Run Anywhere. Developing an application that will run on many different cellphones requires very careful programming and extensive testing.
There are a number of reasons for this. Firstly, the Java ME specifications are much more modular than those for Java SE and Java EE, allowing many combinations and permutations of APIs. Even where two devices implement the same APIs, the implementations may differ for a variety of reasons: because the specifications are imprecise (either deliberately or through omission), because of different capabilities between devices, or simply because of bugs in the implementations.
Umbrella specifications such as JSR 249: Mobile Service Architecture (MSA) 2 address specification problems by reducing optionality and tightening requirements, but this is not sufficient. More comrehensive testing - above and beyond that performed by the TCKs - is also required.
Recognizing this fact, a new organization was recently formed by Orange, Sony Ericsson, Sun Microsystems, and Vodafone. JATAF (Java Application Terminal Alignment Framework) seeks to gather information about differences in Java ME implementations (whether or not these differences are caused by bugs), and to develop an open-source test suite that can be used by device manufactures and others to identify and hopefully eliminate these differences.
This effort can only succeed with the active participation of all Java ME developers. If you work with Java ME, please participate. Join the JATAF project at java.net, and report on your experiences with Java ME implementations. Implementation differences will be addressed by the development of tests and the clarification of specifications. Collectively we can all help to improve the quality of the platform.
Feature Phones and Smartphones
Another concern expressed by members of the ME Working Group was the widespread perception that Java ME is primarily a technology for low-end cellphones. While it's true that many (2 billion!) such phones are powered by Java ME, this is by no means all that the platform can do. Two JSRs that are expected to make their final releases soon intend to change this perception.
The Mobile Information Device Profile (MIDP) 3.0 specification adds new capabilities such as concurrency, inter-application communications, background processing, shared libraries, events, and improved user-interface components to enable the creation of Java applications that meet and exceed the capabilities of the most advanced smartphones..
Although JSR 249: MSA 2, addresses the fragmentation issue as discussed above, an equally important goal is to define a complete stack of APIs that will provide all of the functionality necessary to create fully-featured applications. The specification actually defines three profiles, for entry-level, mid-level, and high-end devices. Component JSRs include APIs for messaging, Bluetooth, contactless communication, user-interface development and deployment, graphics and multimedia, cryptography, and web services.
Cellphones implementing these two specifications will indeed be state of the art.
While Java's role in powering cellphones is widely recognized, we should not forget that the name Java ME stands for Java Mobile and Embedded. In addition to cellphones, Java can be found in printers and network devices, in vending machines and automobiles, and in consumer devices such as TV sets, set-top boxes, the Livescribe smartpen, and Amazon's Kindle. One of the most interesting and potentially influential uses of Java ME is in Blu-ray disc players.
Now that Blu-ray has won the standards battle with HD-DVD we can expect to see all optical-disc players migrate to the new standard within a few years. While the advatages that Blu-ray offers in storage capacity and high definition are well known, it's less widely understood that all Blu-ray disc players incorporate a fully programmable Java Virtual Machine with network connectivity. The Blue-ray disc Java (BD-J) specification is built on a combination of Java ME and Java-based TV sepecifications. BD-J provides a complete environment for the development of interactive and network-based video content. We don't yet know where this will lead, but the possibilities are endless. (Neal Young's Archives project is beginning to exploring this territory.)
Finally, a completely different application for Java ME is provided by Sentilla, who provide energy-management solutions for data centers by gathering data from tiny Java ME-based sensors that measure energy consumption and environmental factors such as temperature and humidity. This is a more focused approach than they originally adopted ("sensors everywhere") but it does suggest the way things will be done in the future. When it's possible to embed a Java VM with wireless communication capabilities in a device the size of a quarter then all sorts of possibilities open up.
For more news about Java ME and the variety of ways in which it is being used, visit the Mobile & Embedded Community at java.net.
Recent JSR Changes
JSR 316, the Java EE 6 platform specification, is almost complete. The Proposed Final Draft specification was published in October, and the spec leads hope to go to Final Ballot before the end of the year. Releasing a platform specification always requires careful choreography of the component JSRs, since all must be brought to completion simultaneously. One component of Java EE 6 that required particular attention is JSR 330: Dependency Injection for Java, which made its Final Release in October. Since this JSR was approved only in May, it holds the record for the fastest passage through the process. Congratulations to Google and SpringSource, the Spec Leads, and thanks to the members of the Java EE 6 team and to the Expert Group of JSR 299: Web Beans for their efforts in coordinating the two JSRs.
Congratulations are also due to Star Spec Lead David Nuescheler of Day Software, whose JSR 283: Content Repository for Java Technology recently made its Final Release. This update to JSR 170 defines an abstract model and a Java API for data storage and related services commonly used by content-oriented applications such as content-management systems and other applications that manage a mixture of structured and unstructured information.
For full details of other JSR chanages please see the jcp-announcements bulletin board on the new jcp.org web site, which replaces the previous JCP-interest mailing list. (Sneak preview: we'll soon be introducing RSS feeds at jcp.org, so you'll be able to have the latest news delivered to your mailbox.)
By the time you read this article the annual elections for the Executive Committees will be complete. Any changes in membership will be effective on 17 November 2009, and the first meeting of the new Executive Committees will be on 8 December. Finally, within the next few weeks we plan to roll out a new version of the jcp.org website. We haven't quite decided on the final feature-list, but please vist the site, and register if you haven't already done so.
Until next time...
There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate a...
Jul. 1, 2016 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,015
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm ...
Jul. 1, 2016 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 644
"There's a growing demand from users for things to be faster. When you think about all the transactions or interactions users will have with your product and everything that is between those transactions and interactions - what drives us at Catchpoint Systems is the idea to measure that and to analyze it," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York Ci...
Jul. 1, 2016 12:32 PM EDT
Apixio Inc. has raised $19.3 million in Series D venture capital funding led by SSM Partners with participation from First Analysis, Bain Capital Ventures and Apixio’s largest angel investor. Apixio will dedicate the proceeds toward advancing and scaling products powered by its cognitive computing platform, further enabling insights for optimal patient care. The Series D funding comes as Apixio experiences strong momentum and increasing demand for its HCC Profiler solution, which mines unstruc...
Jul. 1, 2016 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 655
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 19th Cloud Expo and 6th @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Interne...
Jul. 1, 2016 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 628
In addition to all the benefits, IoT is also bringing new kind of customer experience challenges - cars that unlock themselves, thermostats turning houses into saunas and baby video monitors broadcasting over the internet. This list can only increase because while IoT services should be intuitive and simple to use, the delivery ecosystem is a myriad of potential problems as IoT explodes complexity. So finding a performance issue is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.
Jul. 1, 2016 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 541
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to imp...
Jul. 1, 2016 10:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,064
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
Jul. 1, 2016 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 484
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...
Jul. 1, 2016 09:49 AM EDT Reads: 228
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...
Jul. 1, 2016 09:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,169
Ask someone to architect an Internet of Things (IoT) solution and you are guaranteed to see a reference to the cloud. This would lead you to believe that IoT requires the cloud to exist. However, there are many IoT use cases where the cloud is not feasible or desirable. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, will discuss the strategies that exist to extend intelligence directly to IoT devices and sensors, freeing them from the constraints of ...
Jul. 1, 2016 09:12 AM EDT Reads: 225
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. He cited examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He also highlighted how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable ...
Jul. 1, 2016 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 665
IoT offers a value of almost $4 trillion to the manufacturing industry through platforms that can improve margins, optimize operations & drive high performance work teams. By using IoT technologies as a foundation, manufacturing customers are integrating worker safety with manufacturing systems, driving deep collaboration and utilizing analytics to exponentially increased per-unit margins. However, as Benoit Lheureux, the VP for Research at Gartner points out, “IoT project implementers often ...
Jul. 1, 2016 08:45 AM EDT Reads: 778
When people aren’t talking about VMs and containers, they’re talking about serverless architecture. Serverless is about no maintenance. It means you are not worried about low-level infrastructural and operational details. An event-driven serverless platform is a great use case for IoT. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Animesh Singh, an STSM and Lead for IBM Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, will detail how to build a distributed serverless, polyglot, microservices framework using open source tec...
Jul. 1, 2016 08:30 AM EDT Reads: 777
The idea of comparing data in motion (at the sensor level) to data at rest (in a Big Data server warehouse) with predictive analytics in the cloud is very appealing to the industrial IoT sector. The problem Big Data vendors have, however, is access to that data in motion at the sensor location. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Scott Allen, CMO of FreeWave, discussed how as IoT is increasingly adopted by industrial markets, there is going to be an increased demand for sensor data from the outermos...
Jul. 1, 2016 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 547
CenturyLink has announced that application server solutions from GENBAND are now available as part of CenturyLink’s Networx contracts. The General Services Administration (GSA)’s Networx program includes the largest telecommunications contract vehicles ever awarded by the federal government. CenturyLink recently secured an extension through spring 2020 of its offerings available to federal government agencies via GSA’s Networx Universal and Enterprise contracts. GENBAND’s EXPERiUS™ Application...
Jul. 1, 2016 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 574
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
Jul. 1, 2016 07:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,315
"delaPlex is a software development company. We do team-based outsourcing development," explained Mark Rivers, COO and Co-founder of delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jul. 1, 2016 07:15 AM EDT Reads: 719
"We work in the area of Big Data analytics and Big Data analytics is a very crowded space - you have Hadoop, ETL, warehousing, visualization and there's a lot of effort trying to get these tools to talk to each other," explained Mukund Deshpande, head of the Analytics practice at Accelerite, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jul. 1, 2016 12:30 AM EDT Reads: 762
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Andi Mann returns to 'DevOps at Cloud Expo 2016' as Conference Chair The @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo will take place on November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "DevOps is set to be one of the most profound disruptions to hit IT in decades," said Andi Mann. "It is a natural extension of cloud computing, and I have seen both firsthand and in independent research the fantastic results DevOps delivers. So I am excited t...
Jul. 1, 2016 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 625