Java IoT Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Roger Strukhoff

Related Topics: Adobe Flex, Java IoT, ColdFusion, Machine Learning , Silverlight

Adobe Flex: Article

Can You Use Flex Communication Protocols for Mission-Critical Trading Applications?

Answering James Gosling's Flash Player Comments

Redmond Developer News has published an interview with Dr. James Gosling, creator of the Java language, where among other things, he talks about JavaFX and  competing technologies. And he made a comment I can’t agree with. Here’s the quote from that interview:

As organizations think about building rich Internet applications or rich client applications, when should developers look at JavaFX over competing technologies? If you look at something like Flash, when you get to the much more advanced stuff -- richer interfaces, more complex network protocols, more complex APIs -- it really falls short. We've had a platform for years that can build rich Internet applications that are extremely sophisticated.”

Before even going into technical details explaining why this statement is wrong,  let me tell you that if someone would ask me to name a dozen of the most respected people in the industry, James Gosling would be one of them. Because of him, I live in a nice house and drive a nice car – I’ve been doing Java for the last 10 years.  If James had not invented Java, I’d be probably still working with PowerBuilder, writing that it’s the best thing since sliced bread. 

But let’s go to the essence of the accusations. Dr. Gosling does not attack the presentation and delivery abilities of Flash Player because Flash Player is today’s leading delivery mechanism  for rich Internet applications. He addresses network protocols, something that may not be as easy to argue. So let’s talk protocols.

In 2007, my colleague and I were invited by a financial company (a Java shop) to assess if they could create an Internet version of their trading application using Flex. They did not have any doubts the GUI part should be done in Flex and delivered to their customers by Flash Player. Using AJAX for such an application would be crazy.

Sun’s long history of ignoring Java as a platform for delivering Internet applications ruled Java applets out. A dancing Duke made his short appearance in 1995 and was forgotten by Sun for the next 10 years. Can you imagine Amazon or Google using Java as a front end for their applications? It’d be insane – they’d lose half of their customers trying to persuade them to use Java applets - each of them has different version of JRE and installing the right one requires a college degree in computers.  I hope this situation will change with the introduction of the Consumer JRE later this year, but we are not there yet.

Anyway, this financial company was not sure if the communication protocols offered by Flex were robust enough to provide reliable and guaranteed message delivery and could be extended to accommodate the specific needs of this application, such as adding the application-specific quality of service (QoS) information right to the packets sent over the network from the Flash client to Java server-side application. They wanted some other things too, such as message throttling in case of network congestion and more.

Flex offers a server-side piece called LiveCycle Data Services ES, which comes  with a couple of fast communication protocols: AMF – a binary protocol that makes calls over HTTP from client to server (polling), and RTMP – real time messaging protocol that supports real time push from the server to the Flash client.  By the way, AMF goes open source in a month or so (see BlazeDS).  Security is similar to Java applets (sandbox) and you can use RTMPS instead of RTMP. Java offers RMI protocol for RPC and JMS for messaging.  RTMP is easy to integrate with other messaging systems via JMS. RTMP is built using Java non-blocking IO and it supports the data push needed in most Web applications.

Under the hood,  AMF and RTMP protocols implement object serialization,  so an instance of a Java object gets serialized on one end and is re-created as an instance of the ActionScript object on the client inside Flash Player, which is nothing else but a VM. On the way back, an ActionScript object is serialized on the client and gets re-created in the server’s JVM as a Java object.

One of the most important features of the Flex framework is that it’s extendable. The server side of the implementation of these protocols is written in Java, and the client side in ActionScript 3. To make the story short, we were able to extend the communication channels, end points, message consumers and producers to enrich RTMP protocols to the client's specification. Now the messages about trading orders and executions travel happily between the Flash client and Java server.  We've also added a two-way RPC-over-messaging in a symmetrical way. 

This project was an example of a nice marriage between  Flex and Java in a Wall Street application. If Flex has weak spots, it’s slow compiler and a mediocre (by Java standards)  Eclipse-based IDE. Since Flex is open sourced now,  I hope that some third-party company will create a better IDE and improve the compiler.

But as of now, I’m pretty happy with using both Java and Flex technologies, and the good part is that it’s not an either-or situation – just use the right tools for the job. There is no need to lobby for any particular language. As for JavaFX, I wish it would start competing with Flex and Silverlight as soon as possible. The more the merrier.

Some time ago I said to my kids, “Even if, God forbid, you commit a crime, Mom and I will still love you and will try to protect you to the very end. You are our kids and we love you regardless of your achievements and personal qualities.” It seems that James Gosling has the same principles and protects his baby no matter what. I respect this but have my reservations.

James Gosling's fan,
Yakov Fain

More Stories By Yakov Fain

Yakov Fain is a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and the product company SuranceBay. He wrote a thousand blogs (http://yakovfain.com) and several books about software development. Yakov authored and co-authored such books as "Angular 2 Development with TypeScript", "Java 24-Hour Trainer", and "Enterprise Web Development". His Twitter tag is @yfain

Comments (4) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

Most Recent Comments
steve ballmer 01/12/08 09:28:25 PM EST

PopFly+Silverlight makes Flash Obsolete!
At the web 2.0 thingy we gave a preview of "Microsoft Online Composition Media Aggregation Layout Toolset", at the time I wasn't exactly 100% so I couldn't remember the name, so I just told them it was named PopFly. I don't know what made made say that name, but it has gone over well.
So, PopFly! PopFly! PopFly!
Adobe has been an annoyance to me for years, we have tried everything we could to dislodge them but they just keep cranking out good products. We even tried a few sabotage .dll's, but they always figure it out in no time at all and issue a patch.
But I think we now have the right Combination, PopFly and Silverlight. Here's my plan:

Those companies who will not adopt these technologies will be "downlisted" at MS.
IE8 will require it's installation.
The booby-trap .dll's will come out weekly.
Adobe will be marginalized!

It's a beautiful day at Microsoft!

John Bailo 01/08/08 07:50:36 PM EST

Gosling is absolutely right! I have thought the same thing myself. Flash does not make "rich applications", it is useful for very graphically rich applications. To me, a rich application is one where the whole space is available for interaction. Yeah, you could make the page one gigantic Flash "graphic", but that's not the point. I want all the elements at my disposal, from the lowliest HTML element, to the most magnificent control -- but I want absolute programmer direction of each thing.

Java is good enough to do it all -- I think we'll see some real consolidation (and some real needed growth for Sun Microsystems (JAVA)) in the coming ten years.

ByStander 01/08/08 03:37:40 AM EST

> I've been doing some variation of AJAX for over 4
> years now and can say that aside from vector
> graphics, AJAX can do anything that Flex can.

An AJAX vs Flex dicussion at AJAXWorld would be cool, are you giving a session, Dave?

DaveS 01/07/08 06:26:25 PM EST

Surprise, surprise, Yakov disses on AJAX again. I've been doing some variation of AJAX for over 4 years now and can say that aside from vector graphics, AJAX can do anything that Flex can. Based on Yakov's prior comments regarding AJAX, he has very little experience with advanced JavaScript and DOM scripting.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups.
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
The standardization of container runtimes and images has sparked the creation of an almost overwhelming number of new open source projects that build on and otherwise work with these specifications. Of course, there's Kubernetes, which orchestrates and manages collections of containers. It was one of the first and best-known examples of projects that make containers truly useful for production use. However, more recently, the container ecosystem has truly exploded. A service mesh like Istio addr...
Predicting the future has never been more challenging - not because of the lack of data but because of the flood of ungoverned and risk laden information. Microsoft states that 2.5 exabytes of data are created every day. Expectations and reliance on data are being pushed to the limits, as demands around hybrid options continue to grow.
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
As IoT continues to increase momentum, so does the associated risk. Secure Device Lifecycle Management (DLM) is ranked as one of the most important technology areas of IoT. Driving this trend is the realization that secure support for IoT devices provides companies the ability to deliver high-quality, reliable, secure offerings faster, create new revenue streams, and reduce support costs, all while building a competitive advantage in their markets. In this session, we will use customer use cases...
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
DevOpsSummit New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of bus...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, we provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading...
DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that ICOHOLDER named "Media Sponsor" of Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO. ICOHOLDER give you detailed information and help the community to invest in the trusty projects. Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO has opened its Call for Papers. The two-day event will present 20 top Blockchain experts. All speaking inquiries which covers the following information can be submitted by email to [email protected] Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO also offers s...
DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
The IoT Will Grow: In what might be the most obvious prediction of the decade, the IoT will continue to expand next year, with more and more devices coming online every single day. What isn’t so obvious about this prediction: where that growth will occur. The retail, healthcare, and industrial/supply chain industries will likely see the greatest growth. Forrester Research has predicted the IoT will become “the backbone” of customer value as it continues to grow. It is no surprise that retail is ...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that "Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO" has announced that its Call for Papers is now open. The two-day event will present 20 top Blockchain experts. All speaking inquiries which covers the following information can be submitted by email to [email protected] Financial enterprises in New York City, London, Singapore, and other world financial capitals are embracing a new generation of smart, automated FinTech that eliminates many cumbersome, slow, and expe...
Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo have announced the conference tracks for Cloud Expo 2018. Cloud Expo will be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, and November 6-8, 2018, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DX Expo within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive ov...