One Java to rule them all

JavaOne opens with IoT hype and promises of unification

Lucy Carey

Conference keynote pinpoints Internet of Things as major game changer for platform and highlights Java 8 as “huge step” towards platform unification

Somewhat paradoxically,
this year’s JavaOne theme, “Make the Future Java”, is a repeat of
last year’s event. That’s not to say that this year’s strategy
keynote speech didn’t offer any glimpses of how the platform has
evolved over that past twelve months. Emphasising that, with more
than nine million developers around the world, “Java remains the
number one development platform in the world,” the focus was very
much on just how relevant the Java remains going forward,
especially in light of analyst forecasts for the industry as a

Aside from the announcement that
JavaScript service provider Avatar is to go open
, there weren’t any huge surprises. The
speeches began with an address from Peter Utzschneider, Vice
President, Java Product Management, who outlined Oracle’s goal of
making Java stronger, more robust, and relevant for decades to
come. Utzschneider put a good deal of emphasis on IoT, noting that,
whilst it’s really anyone’s guess as to just how many machine to
machine connected devices there will be in 2020, it’s pretty fair
to say that a figure in the billions isn’t too far off. Oracle is
hedging their bets on super smart technology – and, as evidenced by
the hardware sponsors of the event, there’s clear industry support
for this thinking.

He also highlighted just how essential Big Data
has become in driving the work of developers, asserting that
dealing with the data itself has become “a whole new paradigm”. He
commented:  “The combination of mobility and social have
created an incredible amount of new data, of people interacting,
sharing and producing things with new services and new
applications, all being driven by massive infrastructure, mostly
running on Java”.

Nandini Ramani, Vice President of Engineering,
Java Client and Embedded Platforms, also painted a picture of an
evolving Java. Ramani outlined the ways in which, through
straddling a broad range of devices, with multiple implementations
across different vertical networks, Java has become more and more
silo ridden. Moving forward, Oracle wants to unify languages and

Should their initiative prove successful, in the
future, Ramandi – who said that the company believes “it’s
important to unify the platform, not just from an API perspective,
but from a language perspective” – envisions that there will be
just one Java developer, able to leverage their skill set across
the entire Java spectrum, rather than settling for choosing between
being a Java ME or Java SE developer.

According to Ramani, “Java SE 8 is a huge step
towards platform unification”. She noted that, with SE 8, Oracle
will release the Compact Profile and will replace CDC, reducing
implementations. Commonality will also increase from both from an
API and a language perspective. In line with this move towards
unification, Oracle has also been working with manufacturers of
embedded partners with a view towards resolving fragmentation
problems within the embedded development industry.

Echoing Utzscheider, she highlighted the
increasing suitability of Java as a key pivot for the IoT, saying,
“Everyone believes that there is a need for an open standard
platform for the Internet of Things space that is coming – Java is
the logical choice to address this market”.

Photo (from JavaOne 2011) by Oracle


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