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JavaOne Preview: Even Bigger in 2012

The annual JavaOne conference gets underway next week in San Francisco with a new keynote venue, seven technical tracks comprising more than 500 sessions and speakers, and a new conference-within-the-conference focused on embedded Java. The nearly week-long event (Sept. 30 - Oct. 4) is being held (mostly) at the Hilton Hotel in Union Square.

One big change at this year's conference: the strategy, partner and technical keynotes are scheduled for Sunday evening (9/30), starting at 4 p.m. And they're being presented at the Mason Auditorium on Nob Hill. Last year they were delivered on Monday morning at the Hilton Ballroom. This is a bigger venue, an Oracle spokesperson told ADTmag, which was needed "to accommodate the ever-growing number of attendees," and the earlier presentations leave more room in the week for technical sessions.

The strategy keynote lineup includes Nandini Ramani, vice president of engineering in the Java Client and Mobile Platforms group, and Henrik Stahl, senior director of Oracle's product management group, among other "Oracle Java engineering luminaries." The partner keynote will be delivered by two IBM distinguished engineers: Jason McGee, Chief Architect for the PureApplication System, and John Duimovich, Java CTO. And Mark Reinhold, the chief architect of Oracle's Java Platform group, will be among the speakers during the technical keynote.

The Community keynote wraps up the conference on Thursday, as in years past; it's scheduled for at 9 a.m. at the Hilton. Attendees will hear from Sharat Chander, group director or Oracle's Java Technology Outreach group, Donald Smith, director of the company's Java product management group, and "several Java community luminaries."

A complete speakers list is available on the conference Web site

Another big change this year: Oracle has organized a special event focused on Java for embedded systems. Dubbed "Java Embedded @ JavaOne," it's a "business-focused program" that C-level executives can attend "while their IT/development staff can attend the technically-focused JavaOne conference." Oracle also unveiled two new embedded Java products this week -- the Java ME Embedded client runtime and the Java Embedded Suite of development services -- which the company plans to showcase at the Java Embedded event.

Java Embedded @ JavaOne runs from October 3-4 at the Nikko Hotel.

Since the first JavaOne conference was held in 1996, this highly-developer-focused trade show has become an annual must-attend event for Java coders around the world, an essential product showcase for vendors, and a touchstone for the larger Java community. This year's conference is the third organized by Oracle to run at the same time as that company's annual OpenWorld conference. The company's decision to hold the two enormously popular events simultaneously drew howls of protest back in 2010. This year: not so much. 

"I was pretty critical of JavaOne in 2010," said Ian Skerrett, director of marketing for the Eclipse Foundation. "The primary problem being the Hilton Hotel. However, last year they did a great job with the content and feel of the conference. I think they listened to the feedback and made a lot of improvements. From what I have heard...this year they are doing even more improvements, so I see JavaOne as, once again, a great developer conference."

"I would tend to agree that from a logistics perspective having JavaOne on its own is much more pleasant and productive," said IDC analyst Al Hilwa. "But given the unspoken competition for the largest vendor conference, I would not hold my breath on breaking JavaOne from [Oracle OpenWorld]. Of course there are advantages to having a larger conference in terms of reach with the Expo to a larger ecosystem and also for attendees who want to attend sessions from both events."

Although the two conferences are being held in separate venues (OpenWorld will take place at the Moscone Center a few blocks away), Oracle doesn't officially break out attendee numbers for JavaOne. Conference organizers expect more than 50,000 attendees at the two events.

Posted by John K. Waters on September 26, 2012