Oracle Pushes Embedded Java with New Products

Oracle announced Tuesday two new products aimed at Java developers working in the mobile-and-embedded space. The new Java ME Embedded 3.2 is a client runtime optimized for microcontrollers; the new Java Embedded Suite 7.0 is a collection of services for developing apps for embedded systems in a range of devices, from home gateways and routers to healthcare devices.

Based on the Java Platform Micro Edition, Java ME Embedded is designed specifically for small, low-power, resource-constrained devices -- embedded devices with no screens or interfaces. (Think hardware with as little as 130 kilobytes of RAM/ 350 kilobytes of ROM.) The new runtime provides a commercial implementation of Java for small-footprint devices based on the ARM architecture, including Cortex-M and Cortex-A embedded processors. It supports things like remote operations and on-the-fly application downloads and updates.

The Java ME Embedded 3.2 release is built on the same codebase as Oracle's app runtime for mobile handsets, Java Wireless Client, the 3.2 version of which the company also released today. Oracle also released the 3.2 version of the Java ME Platform SDK, which it bills as a "state-of-the-art toolbox" for developing mobile applications.

Oracle's new Java Embedded Suite is based on the Java Standard Edition (Java SE) Embedded 7 platform for embedded systems. It combines that platform with Oracle's distribution of the open-source Apache Derby database known as Java DB, a version of the open-source Glassfish app server, and the open-source JAX-RS Java API for RESTful Web Services (known as "Jersey"). The reduced-footprint Java runtime also comes with structured data storage and SQL support. And it's fully compliant with the Java Servlet 3.0 spec.

"Oracle Java Embedded Suite allows customers to use standard middleware components to more quickly develop applications that can aggregate, store, and transmit data securely to and from these resource constrained devices and helps ensure timely and low cost data concentration for M2M [machine-to-machine] or M2M-like systems," said Nandini Ramani, vice president of engineering in Oracle's Java Client and Mobile Platforms group, in a statement.

These new products give Oracle a position in the so-called "Internet of Things," the concept of a network of everyday objects/devices connected via embedded sensors -- everything from pacemakers in a patient's chest to shipping crates in a Wal-Mart warehouse. The growth of this network is "increasing demand for the delivery and deployment of standard based applications which are capable of collecting and managing data and data traffic from numerous embedded devices," Ramani said.

The company has even announced a special embedded event at next week's JavaOne conference. Dubbed "Java Embedded @ JavaOne," the event is a "business-focused program," which C-level executives can attend "while their IT/development staff can attend the technically-focused JavaOne conference."

The "Java Embedded" event takes place at the Nikko Hotel in San Francisco. The annual JavaOne 2012 conference gets underway on Sept. 30.

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].