Sun's Java Solutions

At its annual JavaOne conference Sun gave developers a first look at applications based on its JavaFX rich client development platform.

While Deutsche Post AG might be bridging Java and .NET, Sun Microsystems Inc. is looking to make its programming platform a conduit to Web 2.0 apps.

At its annual JavaOne conference earlier this month, Sun gave developers a first look at applications based on its JavaFX rich client development platform, which the company sees as a bridge between Java-based applications and Web-based systems, mobile phone devices and CE devices. JavaFX is Sun's alternative to Adobe's AIR and Microsoft's Silverlight rich client development and runtime environments.

JavaFX Debut
Rich Green, executive vice president of Sun's software business, demonstrated several multimedia projects developed with JavaFX, including a collage of high-definition videos called Movie Cloud, photo-rendering capabilities deemed PhotoFlocker, and Connected Life, a collection of rich Internet applications (RIAs) designed to run on Web browsers, social networks, desktop OSes and mobile devices.

Green said Sun will release the JavaFX Desktop SDK Early Access Program in July. Sun plans to ship JavaFX Desktop 1 in the fall, and JavaFX Mobile in the spring of 2009, Green added.

Also at JavaOne, Sun outlined features of the next version of its Java Enterprise Edition, dubbed JavaEE6. Robert Brewin, CTO of Sun's software business, said JavaEE6 will be scaled down with a simpler API structure than prior releases.

"By rightsizing, we want to increase the flexibility that you have in implementing, using and deploying the platform," he said.

Brewin said Sun will make that happen by allowing developers to create new profiles that share a common foundation for functions such as resource injections, naming and security.

New Developments
Sun plans to offer a pruning process that will allow JavaEE6 to be utilized without certain features, such as Enterprise JavaBeans 2.1 Entity Beans. JavaEE6 will also add usability improvements for developers by introducing an annotation-based programming model across all the Web APIs such as servlets and JSF.

"We also want to reduce the need to manually edit the Web XML descriptor," Brewin said.

Also forthcoming is a new API for RESTful services, he continued.

Finally, Sun used JavaOne to talk up the next release of its OSGi application server. Dubbed OSGi R4, Brewin described it as much more modular, with a smaller footprint than its predecessors.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.

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