Products and Partnerships Rolled Out at JavaOne '07

Sun Microsystems commanded the spotlight at its annual JavaOne developer conference in San Francisco last week. The company announced a new JavaFX product line and Java SE development kit, along with an Ericsson partnership (see this week's news for full stories).

However, Sun wasn't the only company unveiling products, projects and partnerships at the show. Here's some of what others had to say at JavaOne.

Spring Woven Into Appistry's Fabric
Grid computing pioneer Appistry and Interface21, the privately held company behind the Java-based Spring application framework, announced that they are working together on a product that will combine their technologies to support large-scale Java application deployments.

Appistry is a provider of "application fabric" software, which is a kind of virtualized grid environment. The St. Louis, Missouri-based company's flagship product, Appistry Enterprise Application Fabric (Appistry EAF) is designed to run large-scale, time-critical applications across a network of commodity-grade computers.

Spring has become the dominant Java application framework. Widely recognized for its ease-of-use, the Spring framework is now used by thousands of organizations to build and deploy mission-critical applications.

The jointly developed product, called Appistry EAF for Spring, will tie the Spring framework to Appistry's fabric software. The result will be an easy-to-use solution for scaling out Spring applications with no code changes, said Appistry's CEO Kevin Haar. Spring customers will get the compute and data grid facilities required by large-scale, mission-critical apps, Haar added, including those for high-volume data processing, real-time analytics, and enterprise high-performance computing.

Nokia Enables Mondo Graphics Via Series 40
Nokia's new edition of its Java-based Series 40 platform for mobile application development had its debut at JavaOne. It's the fifth edition of one of the most widely implemented mobile device development platforms.

The new edition incorporates Java Platform Micro Edition (Java ME) technology with support for the latest version of the mobile information device profile (MIDP 2.1). Its enhanced user interface helps build richer multimedia applications and services for mass-market Nokia mobile devices.

The new edition implements the JSR-248 (Java Specification Request) Mobile Service Architecture specification, completed in 2006. Nokia and Vodafone were spec leads on the project, which aimed to provide a consistent set of Java technologies for high-volume mobile handsets. JSR-248 is also a key component of Nokia's S60 platform.

Enhancements to Series 40 allow developers to deliver streaming video, image rendering, mobile 3D graphics and scalable 2D Vector graphics to mass market mobile devices.

The enhancements to Series 40 underscore the evolving roll of the handset as a computing platform, observed long-time industry watcher Alan Penchansky, president of Pen Group Communications.

"Nokia rarely uses the term 'cell phone' anymore," Penchansky said. "And they tend to refer to the S60 line as multimedia computers."

Sun Gets a Shot From ARM
Chip designer ARM disclosed that Sun Microsystems will license ARM's graphics acceleration technology. The deal comes in the wake of Sun's acquisition of the assets of SavaJE Technologies, which had licensed ARM's technology. Sun announced in April its intention to buy the intellectual property assets of SavaJE, a mobile Java OS maker.

Under the agreement, ARM transferred its Java and graphics licenses from SavaJE to Sun. Those licenses include the ARM Swerve Client software and ARM Jazelle Java Technology Enabling Kit.

Sun is now a member of ARM's Connected Community partnership ecosystem.

During the conference keynote opener, Sun's EVP of Software Rich Green demonstrated an iPhone-like device from Taiwan's First International Computer. The device featured an enhanced version of the SavaJE GUI, and sported a 200MHz ARM 9 processor.

db4objects Navigates With NAND
db4objects, maker of the db4o open-source object database, showcased an in-car navigation system at the Java Playground booth that was powered by its DB and a NAND flash memory drive.

Db4objects' chief software architect, Carl Rosenberger, claims that the system runs up to 10 times faster than hard-drive based nav systems.

"There is no paging, and the database uses very small slots where possible, so it runs extremely fast on NAND," he said. "That translates into a much finer granularity of how data is written to the drive, which is not only much more efficient but also ideally suited for NAND drives."

db40 is designed to store both Java and .NET objects natively. The company shipped its flagship db4o 6 product, last December.

Kapow and Backbase: Mashup Meets AJAX
Kapow Technologies, the company that launched the world's first online mashup-builder community late last year, and Backbase, a provider of AJAX-based rich Internet application (RIA) software, issued an announcement that they are joining forces. The collaboration aims "to serve the growing need for Web 2.0 solutions in the enterprise, including mashups and other RIAs."

Kapow specializes in providing mashup-serving, feed-serving and Web-scraping software that enables companies to deploy content-intensive applications, such as enterprise mashups and Web 2.0 services. The company's flagship product, the Kapow Mashup Server, is designed to allow users to connect, collect and mashup virtually anything on the Web.

Backbase's Enterprise AJAX software is designed to improve the usability and effectiveness of online applications, and to increase the productivity of the developers who create RIAs. Enterprises use the software to improve the user interface of their existing applications (aka application modernization).

A solution that combines these technologies, the companies say, will allow an enterprise to integrate its critical data sources into AJAX-based RIAs, whether they are located behind a firewall, fed through a service vendor, or publicly available on the Web.

Kapow and Backbase will first target financial services companies with their new offering, said Greg Crandall, VP of business development at Backbase, because both companies have strong installed customer bases in that market segment.

About the Author

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