Wireless world embracing embedded Java: Sun

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 devices.

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,, which it hopes will become "the authoritative, central resource dedicated to helping Java technology developers successfully develop, deploy and make money from wireless Java applications."

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.

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at


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