Java Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) startup CumuLogic has released a public beta of its flagship offering with the same name that offers application infrastructure software for enterprises, cloud provider and ISVs building and managing Java PaaS in public, private and hybrid cloud environments. The CumuLogic solution is essentially a platform for developing and deploying Java applications in any type of cloud environment.
The CumuLogic PaaS software is designed to provide support for multiple clouds, which makes it possible to support clouds from different vendors at the same time. It currently supports EC2, Cloud.com, Eucalyptus and VMware. The company also expects to add OpenStack to that list soon.
Posted by John K. Waters on 08/10/2011 at 1:43 PM0 comments
Java has the potential to emerge as a dominant language supporting platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and will continue to provide the underlying enterprise runtime for a new generation of dynamic languages -- if history doesn't repeat itself.
So says Red Hat's Mark Little, senior director of engineering in the company's JBoss group. Little has been active in the Java Community Process (JCP) for about six years, the last four of which he's served on the Executive Committee (EC). He's also a visiting professor in the computer science department at Newcastle University in the U.K.
Posted by John K. Waters on 08/08/2011 at 3:29 PM1 comments
If you've been watching the Java SE 7 release news, you know about the bug reported by the Apache Lucene community last week. The long-awaited release of a new version of standard Java apparently contains hotspot compiler optimizations that miscompile some loops, which can cause the JVMs in some Apache projects to crash and even result in incorrectly calculated results leading to bugs in some applications.
"It is strongly recommended not to use any hotspot optimization switches in any Java version without extensive testing!" Apache Lucene's warning (here, scroll down to "news" section) concluded.
Posted by John K. Waters on 08/02/2011 at 3:30 PM0 comments
EnterpriseDB, the commercial distributor and supporter of the open source PostgreSQL object-relational database system, has launched the latest version of its Postgres Plus Advanced Server. The new version (9.0) comes with new support for the HP-UX operating environment and better compatibility with Oracle, among other enhancements.
I talked with Robin Schumacher, EnterpriseDB's director of product strategy, about the release, and he acknowledged that it includes a lot of new stuff from the community. He was especially enamored of three community-generated enhancements: Streaming Replication, Hot Standby and Upgrade In Place.
Postgres has been criticized for not having its own built-in replication capability. Now users can replicate from a single master to one or more slaves using the tried-and-true write-ahead log technology that has been in Postgres forever. Hot Standby acts as a failover mechanism, standing at the ready should the primary DB server fail, but as the name implies, it's not just a cold machine. People can actually use it to query the data and offload reporting and business intelligence functions, for example, to that Hot Standby server. Schumacher likens the capability to Oracle's DataGuard product's Active Option, but its freely bundled in with the server. Upgrade In Place frees users from the "dump-load" methodology. So it's a lot faster; in EnterpriseDB's own tests, Schumacher says, gigabyte upgrades that used to take hours now take minutes.
PostreSQL 9.1 is currently in its third beta. If you're interested, there's a link to a beta testing how-to and links to release notes and documentation on the PostgreSQL community Web site.
The list of enhancements in this release also includes a couple of standouts:
- New support for Oracle's embedded SQL programming language, Pro*C. "People can basically take their Pro*C applications and aim them at our database instead and they'll function just fine," Schumacher said.
- New support for replicating Microsoft SQL Server data to Postgres Plus through a new graphical replication console, dubbed xDB, which allows users to point and click their way through creating replication policies. The company already supported Postgres to Postgres and Oracle to Postgres replications.
- Support for the HP-UX operating environment on Itanium-based HP Integrity servers. File this one under "Seizing an Opportunity." Oracle announced earlier this year plans to stop developing new versions of its DB and software for the Itanium chips. "Lots of people like their HP hardware, they're happy with HP support, and don't want to switch it out," Schumacher said. "And so we're adding this support. If you're looking for an alternative to Oracle, we've got a nice story here."
I also like a new piece of built-in intelligence called the Index Advisor. A developer or a DBA can pass the Index Advisor a SQL workload that contains SQL statements, and it will come back and recommend indexes that they should build on the underlying tables to improve performance. It makes those recommendations, forecasts performance improvements based on those indexes, and even provides the code to create them. There's also a new Code Profiler designed to allow developers to find an analyze performance bottlenecks.
It's been interesting to watch the evolution of this company, which emerged from stealth mode six years ago o launch its first product, EnterpriseDB 2005, at a LinuxWorld conference in San Francisco.
PostgreSQL, of course, has been around in one form or another for about 20 years. It emerged from the POSTGRES project, a database research effort directed by Prof. Michael Stonebraker at the University of California at Berkeley in the mid-1980s. Stonebraker had also lead the groundbreaking INGRES (Interactive Graphics and Retrieval System) project, which, along with System R from IBM, revolutionized database systems by allowing data to be accessed through a high level language. ("POSTGRES" essentially stands for "post-INGRES.")
With its fledgling flagship product, EnterpriseDB set out to improve on the venerable open-source DBMS with enterprise-targeted features, including compatibility with many applications written for Oracle and SQL Server databases.
"We're standing on the shoulders of hundreds of staff years of work," Andy Astor, founder and then CEO of EnterpriseDB told me at the time. "And it's important for us to be cognizant of that heritage -- and we are. Our job is to enhance that technology to compete in a commercial environment." (Astor is currently serving as vice president of the Asurion Mobile Applications group, which develops and supports that company's digital protection products.)
Today the company bills itself as a provider of "enterprise-class PostgreSQL," and I'd say that's a fair label.
Posted by John K. Waters on 07/15/2011 at 2:44 PM0 comments
Adobe recently unveiled an update to its Flash Builder and Flex tools designed to enable developers to build apps for iPhone, iPad, and BlackBerry's PlayBook tablet. (Support for Android devices was released in April 2011.) As the company put it, Adobe Flash Builder 4.5 and Flex 4.5 give developers "a single platform for building highly expressive mobile applications that can be distributed via the Android Market, Apple App Store, and BlackBerry App World."
Adobe's senior technical evangelist Christophe Coenraets demoed the new tools for me, and I talked with him about Adobe's strategy.
"People are facing the reality of a fragmented market that no one owns, and in which they have to deliver their applications on multiple platforms," he said. "It's a problem for which we now have a solution."
Adobe sidesteps the fact that Apple doesn't allow runtimes on iOS devices by creating a self-contained executable that links to the runtime library, Coenraets explained. "This creates a totally legitimate application that doesn't rely on the Flash Player at runtime, because we linked the Flash Player libraries as part of the application," he said.
If the crackling blogosphere buzz accompanying this announcement is any indication, the prospect of building apps on a single platform for on these devices -- including iOS gear -- is enormously appealing. But skeptics remain to be convinced that the performance will be there. Cross-platform tools exploit common denominators and sometimes fail to make the most of the native platform.
Coenraets claims that the performance is good, of course, and his demo of two applications -- the PolitiFact Mobile application and a two games from HD Interactive: a spin-based matching game called Mr. Mixit and the Pyramix word game -- supported that claim. The PolitiFact app took about three weeks to build and runs on Android, BlackBerry Tablet OS and iPhone. The two games are available on Android, BlackBerry, Tablet OS and iOS devices.
You can check out those apps and several more on the Adobe Developer Connection Web site.
Flash Builder 4.5 and Flex 4.5 are being offered as standalone products, but also as part of Adobe's Creative Suite 5.5 Web Premium and Master Collection.
Posted by John K. Waters on 06/30/2011 at 2:06 PM2 comments
As I reported on Wednesday, the Eclipse Foundation launched its sixth annual Release Train this week. I spoke with the Foundation's executive director, Mike Milinkovich, as I have for each release, and we got to talking about this thing that started out as an experiment back in 2006.
The Foundation's first Release Train, code-named "Calisto," comprised 10 projects. It was then the largest ever simultaneous release of multiple open-source projects, and during the run-up no one was absolutely certain the then two-year-old Foundation was going to pull it off. "Herding cats" was a phrase that came to mind at the thought of coordinating so many OSS releases. But they did pull it off, and its success proved to be a significant milestone in the evolution of this community. More
Posted by John K. Waters on 06/24/2011 at 2:13 PM0 comments
Since 1985, Japan has recognized innovators in science and technology from around the world with its annual Japan Prize. But the ferocious, earthquake-spawned tsunami that struck the island nation in March and the subsequent nuclear crisis put this year's award ceremonies on hold.
That is, until Vint Cerf stepped in.
Google's chief Internet evangelist, co-progenitor of the Internet and the Silicon Valley's dapper-est technologist brought the event to his company's Mountain View, Calif. headquarters last month. The Japan Foundation's chairman, Prof. Hiroyuki Yoshikawa, traveled to California to present this year's award in person to Dr. Ken Thompson, a distinguished engineer at Google who co-created the Unix operating system with Dr. Dennis Ritchie, Distinguished Member of Technical Staff Emeritus at Bell Labs. Dr. Thompson received his award during a simple ceremony at the Googleplex; a separate event was scheduled for Dr. Ritchie in New Jersey. More
Posted by John K. Waters on 06/20/2011 at 2:47 PM0 comments
Chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) is probably not the first company you think of when it comes to software developer conference organizers, but the company's Fusion Developer Summit, wrapping up today in Bellevue, Wash., really brought it with three days of keynotes, breakout sessions and hands-on labs -- all designed to help codederos make the most of its evolving technology.
AMD explained the impetus for the conference on the event Web site:
"Heterogeneous computing is moving into the mainstream, and a broader range of applications are already on the way. As the provider of world-class CPUs, GPUs, and APUs, AMD offers unique insight into these technologies and how they interoperate. We’ve been working with industry and academia partners to help advance real-world use of these technologies, and to understand the opportunities that lie ahead. It’s time to share what we’ve learned so far."
AMD's Fusion APUs (Accelerated Processing Units), which were unveiled in January, combine a multicore CPU, a DirectX 11 video and parallel processing engine, a dedicated Universal Video Decoder 3 (UVD3) HD video acceleration block, and a high-speed bus for carrying data among the APU's cores. More
Posted by John K. Waters on 06/16/2011 at 1:30 PM0 comments
Java toolmaker ZeroTurnaround has broadened its "attack campaign against redeploys, the natural enemy of Java developers," says its says CEO David Booth, with the release of JRebel 4.0, the latest version of a JVM plug-in designed to allow developers to make on-the-fly code changes in Java class files.
ZeroTurnaround claims that Java developers spend an average of 10.5 minutes of every coding hour redeploying their apps to see changes. The company bases that claim on its own recent survey of 1,000+ Java EE developers on turnaround time, tools, and application containers in the Java ecosystem. The company's raizon d'etre is to reduce that time, Booth said.
"When Java developers want to see the effects of new code (or make changes to existing code), they have to redeploy their entire application -- even to see the smallest changes," Booth said in a statement. "We'd like to enable Java developers to start up their container when they start working, and know that's the last time they'll have to do it all day. With JRebel 4.0, we're 95% of the way there."
The JRebel plug-in is designed to integrate with the JVM and app servers on the class loader level, so it doesn't create new class loaders, but extends existing ones.
Version one of the plugin was released more than three years ago. This latest version supports reloading changes to Enterprise JavaBeans 3.x, anonymous class reloading, the Instrumentation API and HotSwap, and Full Seam 2.x. This version is also expands support to 35 frameworks. The company emphasizes that JRebel uses the Instrumentation API to instrument the application server class loaders and other basic classes, "…but the API does not play part in the actual reloading process…."
JRebel supports Java 1.4 and Java 5+. It also supports a number of application servers, including, among others: WebLogic, WebSphere, Tomcat, JBoss, GlassFish, Google's App Engine, Apple's Web Objects, Jetty, and NetWeaver.
The company has also integrated JRebel with the Eclipse IDE. JRebel for Eclipse is available from the Eclipse Marketplace.
The company sells the JRebel plug-in on an annual subscription basis, but it's offering a 30-day eval download.
Posted by John K. Waters on 06/09/2011 at 10:13 AM0 comments