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OpenWorld and JavaOne Round-Up: Third-Party Products

The San Francisco-devouring tandem tech shows, Oracle's OpenWorld and JavaOne, attracted more than 60,000 attendees last week -- and bunch of vendors displaying new and improved tools and toys. Here are a few announcements that caught my attention, though not many headlines, as I scurried back and forth between the two:

Azul and MS Open Tech Launch Zulu
One announcement that did grab some press attention concerned a development in the evolving partnership between Java runtime maker Azul Systems and the Microsoft Open Technologies group (MS Open Tech). The two companies launched Zulu, an OpenJDK build for Windows Azure. The free, open source JDK is integrated with MS Open Tech's Windows Azure Plugin for Eclipse Java tooling. It's Java SE 7-compliant, verified using Java SE 7 OpenJDK Community TCK (Technology Compatibility Kit). And it works with Jetty Java and Tomcat servlet containers. The two organizations first announced the collaboration back in July. Azul is best known as the maker of Zing, a 100 percent Java-compatible JVM. MS Open Tech is an independent subsidiary of the software giant focused on open source.

Oracle Partners with Freescale on the IoT
Great attention was paid at this year's events to the Internet of Things (IoT). Arguably, the biggest news to come out of either show in that category was Freescale Semiconductor's announcement of a team-up with Oracle to support Java as the IoT standard. Freescale plans to join the Java Community Process (JCP) and work with Big O to "drive standard technical specifications for the Java platform." The semiconductor maker will focus initially on Java for resource-constrained processing platforms, the company said -- that's things like the low-cost, small geometry microcontrollers that provide the embedded intelligence for IoT-enabled products. Nandini Ramani, vice president of development in Oracle's Java Platform group -- one of the execs who's deeply into embedded systems (pardon the pun) -- said that "Freescale has the expertise and insight necessary to help Java evolve and thrive in the IoT era."

Engine Yard Supports Java
Engine Yard, a provider of Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) for Ruby on Rails, announced new support for Java at the show. The San Francisco-based company founded on the Merb open source framework for Ruby development offers its customers the option of deploying their applications in Ruby, PHP, Node.js, and now Java. The company also revealed that Oracle will become one of its Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) providers. The company cited recent findings published in the August 2013 Forrester Research, Inc. report entitled "Who Are The Enterprise Cloud Developers?" to support its decision to add Java to its list of supported languages. Forrester researchers concluded that Java is the most popular programming language for corporate app development and for cloud app developers.

CloudBees Provides for the 'Cloud-Extended Enterprise'
Java Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) company CloudBees unveiled a new set of capabilities at this year's show that will support its "cloud-extended enterprise" strategy. As industry buzz phrases go, this one isn't bad. It well characterizes the notion of taking "full advantage of the public cloud to accelerate application development and delivery, while continuing to make use of existing on-premise IT assets in a secure manner." The list of enhancements included a new ability of CloudBees-hosted Jenkins users to connect via a VPN to on-premise development resources (source code repositories, test databases, and other dev artifacts). Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) support for enterprises ID and access management. And a new data migration and sync service called WEAVE@cloud, which has been extended to further simplify the RUN@cloud deployment PaaS.

Tomitribe Supports TomEE
A Santa Monica-based company you might not have heard of, Tomitribe, launched a set of enterprise services for the Apache Foundation's TomEE application server at the show. TomEE (pronounced "Tommy") is a lightweight and "nimble" version of Apache Tomcat aimed at the Java Enterprise Edition (Java EE) Web Profile, a subset of Java EE APIs focused on web app development. The Tomitribe website describes the company as "a dedicated Apache TomEE support company." The company was founded in 2013 by TomEE co-creator David Blevins. "Our goal is to help developers build on what they already know and shine on new projects using Apache TomEE," said Tomitribe VP of sales and marketing Theresa Nguyen, in a statement.

Universal SDK Uses 'Build Cloud'
IntraMeta Corp. unveiled "nuvos," a one-and-done universal software development kit (SDK) at the show, along with its associated subscription-based cloud build and test service. The "build cloud" makes it possible to write an app in Java using your favorite development environment with no additional SDKs. The nuvos cloud builds and tests the app for multiple platforms, and you upload a fully native app to popular app stores. The company says nuvos users can leverage pre-integrated connectors to such services as Facebook, Twitter, and Twillio. And they can create their own adapters to existing web services, such as enterprise applications. The promised result of this build-cloud strategy is a system that allows devs to publish to native mobile, native desktop, smart devices, or HTML5 from one codebase.

Terracotta Announces JCache Java Spec
JSRs don't usually spend much time on the front page, but news that JSR-107 has made it through the public review stage should have. This is the spec request for Java Temporary Caching API (JCache), which specifies the semantics for the temporary, in-memory caching of Java objects. Apparently, the JSR languished for years until Terracotta and Oracle began funding it recently. Terracotta is probably best-known for its commercial development of Ehcache, a widely deployed open-source Java caching solution. Terracotta also announced that BigMemory, its flagship in-memory platform will be fully compliant with the spec early next year.

JFrog Snags a Duke's Choice
JFrog earned a second Duke's Choice Award at this year's show for its Bintray social platform for storage and distribution of software libraries. The San Francisco-based maker of the cloud-based Artifactory binary repository manager may be the only software company to snag a Duke's Choice twice. (JFrog won in 2011 for Artifactory.) The company's Bintray is a cool system designed to allow developers to publish, download, store, promote, and share open source software packages. It's billed as a fully self-service platform, which gives developers full control over their published software and how it's distributed. It currently hosts nearly 70,000 software packages, the company said. JFrog Bintray was also named Community Choice winner, an honor bestowed by developer community votes.

The DukePad
The JavaOne technical keynote featured a two-inch thick tablet device based on the credit-card-size, single-board Raspberry Pi computer running Java SE Embedded 8. The interface is powered by JavaFX on top of Oracle's Raspbian (a Debian remix custom built for the device), and apps built for the device are exposed as JavaFX OSGi modules. It's not an actual product yet, but rather a set of free plans. It's not ready for prime time, but Oracle says it's working on pre-made kits. The device isn't exactly pretty, but it is a cool innovation to put in the hands of do-it-yourselfers.

Posted by John K. Waters on October 2, 2013