Oracle Plans to Reunify Java for IoT Age

Michael Vizard, January 30th, 2014

Starting this spring, Oracle plans to unify its Java API strategy around the introduction of updates to Java Platform, Standard Edition (JavaSE) and Java Platform, Micro Edition (JavaME).

Speaking at the Machine-to-Machine Evolution Conference segment of the ITEXPO event in Miami this week, Peter Utzschneider, Oracle vice president of Java product management, says Oracle will upgrade both JavaSE and JavaMe to support the same Java APIs used across the rest of the enterprise.

Utzschneider concedes that the write-once, run-anywhere proposition that was the original hallmark of Java has become fractured. But Oracle is committed to unifying all the Java APIs, he says.

There is already a massive shortage of developers capable of building Internet of Things (IOT) applications, Utzschneider says. There are roughly 9 million Java developers, many of whom are looking for opportunities to apply their skills beyond traditional back-office applications, he says.

Given the lack of interoperability among the devices that make up the IoT, the opportunity thus far has been limited largely to proprietary systems. The ability to use Java across everything from embedded to back-end systems makes it possible to overcome those interoperability limitations, says Utzschneider.

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Beyond interoperability, Java will be critical in terms of reducing the amount of data that needs to be transferred across the network, Utzschneider says. Java enables more analytics to be performed locally on the embedded system. This means not every piece of raw data needs to be transferred back to a data center for processing. Instead, Java allows organizations to embrace an event-driven architecture that continuously leverages Moore’s Law to take advantage of processing power at the IoT endpoint.

That approach, says Utzschneider, ultimately allows developers to create IoT services that can be continuously upgraded via Java APIs. Those services will eventually make delivery of IoT services more profitable than the embedded systems that are the current hallmark of a machine-to-machine (M2M) market that is characterized by razor-thin margins, he adds.

Oracle, of course, is bringing to market a full suite of IoT technologies that include everything from databases to application servers. But regardless of the platform being used, Utzschneider says the rise of Java on embedded systems represents an inflection point that will make it easier to provision, manage and update these systems.

It’s expected that by 2020 there will be some 50 million devices connected to the Internet. The only question from a developer’s perspective is not so much how many devices will actually be connected, but rather what software they will be running.

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