Wireless world embracing embedded Java: Sun
- By John K. Waters
A slew of vendors, including host Sun Microsystems Inc., used the JavaOne
platform to pushed to extend the Wireless Revolution. Among other
announcements, Sun debuted a new edition of its Forte for Java developer
tools specifically designed for creating applications to run on wireless
The two-year old IDE (based on technology developed through Forte's
NetBeans open source project) is described as a modular
application-programming environment that lets developers plug in a
range of tools, such as debuggers and compilers, to be used in a single
environment. Sun focused the new Version 4.0 of Forte for Java project
on adding features for building software for cell phones and PDAs.
Lots of developers are apparently creating Java apps for the burgeoning
wireless market, according to industry observers at JavaOne. Approximately
30 devices from 15 manufacturers, many of whom displayed wares on the
SunOne exhibition floor, are currently available with embedded Java,
according to Sun, the keeper of Java. Nokia, Motorola, Sony, and
Ericsson all report adding Java runtime environments to some devices.
In all, about 15 million Java-enabled mobile devices shipped in 2001,
according to Sun, which expects about 100 million of the devices to
ship by the end of 2002, and nearly 700 million by the end of 2004.
The early release of Forte for Java Version 4.0 was made available to
developers on Sun's Web site earlier this month. The final version is
expected to be available mid-year on the site.
Sun also introduced a wireless developer portal, http://wireless.java.sun.com, which it hopes will become "the
authoritative, central resource dedicated to helping Java technology
developers successfully develop, deploy and make money from wireless
Meanwhile, officials from Sun's iPlanet unit said support for the J2EE
Connector Architecture (JCA) has been added to its Portal Server. The
addition should make it easier to extract data from back-end systems,
said Sanjay Sarathy, an iPlanet product marketing manager. Developers
using JCA connectors from SAP, Siebel, and PeopleSoft will have a standard
way to link from a portal back to business applications from those
vendors, he says.
John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached