New dawning

Java ME 8 goes live, setting a new landmark on the road to the IoT

Lucy Carey

Embedded technology takes a step forward with speedier, secure and scalable Java ME update.


Just over a month after the launch of Java 8, it was announced yesterday that, after a massive two year effort, Java ME 8 is now officially GA (click here for a full feature tour, courtesy of Steve Meloan and Oracle senior technologist and product manager Terrence Barr).

Java ME 8 constitutes a major update to the existing embedded technology, bundling in a significant number  of updated and new features, including  Java language and API alignment with Java SE 8, a comprehensive application model, sophisticated security features and standard APIs for power management and interaction with an extensive set of standard peripherals.

It wouldn’t be hyperbolic to call this release epoch making for the Internet of Things (IoT). Within Java ME 8, developers will find the tools they need for terraforming the fragmented foundations of the IoT as it is into a cohesive movement. Designed to provide a bespoke, flexible, secure, and highly scalable development and deployment environment for the embedded space, the nine million plus international Java community is now “poised to help facilitate what many predict will be a third IT revolution.”

Figure 1 An overview of the Java ME 8 platform.

At the forefront of Java ME 8’s design is a series of careful calibrations to ensure speedier application performance – a critical factor when you consider the billion strong network of low-power devices that will make up the fabric of the IoT. This release also brings Java ME and Java SE together, which Oracle has described as “the most significant upgrade to the Java Programming Model ever.” The warders of the platform reckon that will help facilitate a smoother developer experience, as well as easier code replication across the platforms.

Potential use case scenarios have been widened, with the platform now customisable for devices with as little as 192 KB RAM and 1 MB of Flash/ ROM. There’s also improved networking and connectivity, including wireless support (3GPP, CDMA, WiFi) and restyled access to peripheral devices through Device Access API, as well as new APIs for RESTful programming (JSON, OAuth2, HTTP client). You can get an official “Introduction into Java Micro Edition (ME) 8″ here.

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