Thursday Oct 29, 2015

What’s Inside Oracle Cloud for You

By Roger Smith

Cloud Services for Developers

“Time is the greatest savings that you get from moving your development environment to the cloud,” said Oracle’s Bruno Borges, in his JavaOne presentation “Cloud Services for Developers: What’s Inside Oracle Cloud for You?” “If you have had to set up an on-premise Oracle database, or any other database, you know that it takes time to do that and you always ask yourself ‘Is these production-ready?’”

In his fast-paced, hands-on demo, Borges showed how developers can quickly get up to speed using Oracle’s pooled, shared, and elastically scalable software development platform, which gives organizations the ability to develop new applications in a quick and cost-effective way. He explained how developers can use their favorite IDE (Oracle JDeveloper, Eclipse, NetBeans) and build systems like Maven and Gradle to develop and deploy applications to the cloud.

Target different JDK Versions

Developers also have the option of choosing either Java SE 7 or 8 to leverage the particular language and JVM features their applications need. Since Oracle Java Cloud is an open platform, developers can also use any available open source or commercial Java library or framework in their applications.

Database Integration

Borges next walked through how to connect to Oracle Database Cloud Service to persist and manage application data as well as how to use Oracle Messaging Service to message between Java Cloud applications, on-premises applications, and Java EE and Node.js applications deployed in the Oracle Cloud. He then demonstrated how you can profile Java applications using Java SE Mission Control and Flight Recorder, in addition to the Oracle Application Performance Monitoring Cloud Service.

He also announced a new Docker Container Service that will soon be available from Oracle to help developers deploy applications into Docker containers.

In response to an audience question about Oracle Cloud scalability, Borges said that you can choose to run your application on your choice of compute size (i.e. the number of cores), and it will scale out dynamically on demand. He said they were also working on giving developers the capability to add scale programmatically using business logic, for example, in an e-commerce application that needs to scale up during the holiday season.

A New Way to Program in Java EE 8

By Roger Smith

Cloud Services for Developers

I sat in today on an engaging session with Java EE expert David Blevins, who is a newly crowned Java Champion for his work in Open Source and Java EE for more than 10 years. As a member of the EJB, CDI, JMS, Java EE Security JSRs, and Java EE 6, 7 and 8 Expert Groups, he’s worked hard to make Java EE as simple, testable and lightweight as Java SE.

The next Java EE 8 edition, due in 2017, will focus on HTML5, cloud enablement, use of the model-view-controller framework and improved security. Another important selling point will be ease of use, which was the theme of much of Blevins's talk.

According to Blevin, the first era of Java EE was XML-driven where we used "tons and tons of deployment descriptors." The second era of Java EE, brought about by Java 5, was annotation-driven and very declarative by nature. With the advent of Java 8 features such as lambdas and method references, "we'll have the opportunity to take a look at all the Java EE APIs again and rewrite them to fundamentally reduce the ceremony we have to deal with when we write applications," he said. "I have some predictions: Java EE will shift from declarative to the programmatic since annotations are very declarative approach. With lambdas and method references, the approach is more to do it all at runtime."

He walked through a code example that highlighted a security example where one EJB was annotated as a Manager and another as Employee. "With lambdas and method references, you'll be able create a Manager EJB and an Employee EJB, and to test and run your code under many different security identities."

The impact of these kinds of capabilities in the new Java EE release means that there will be a shift in emphasis in Java EE programming from the Component-side to the Caller-side and that logic will become more mobile, Blevin concluded.

He also said that Java Community Process is a now an open process, which it wasn't a few years ago, and developers can now have an open say in the Java EE specification in JSR 366.

"If you don't vote, don't complain."

Wednesday Oct 28, 2015

3D Printing with a Java Rockstar

By Roger Smith

Controlling a 3D Printer with Java and VRL-Studio

I chatted with Java Rockstar Michael Hoffer on Tuesday at the Java Hub in the Exhibit hall about VRL-Studio, an innovative visual programming environment he created in Java that combines visual and text-based programming. Currently doing his PhD at the Department of Computer Science and Mathematics at the University of Frankfurt, Germany, Hoffer works at the Goethe-Center for Scientific Computing in Frankfurt. His research interests are in developing visual programming concepts in the field of modeling and simulation of highly complex physical processes including those modeled by medical scanning equipment.

VRL-Studio uses the Java Reflection API and Groovy to automatically generate interactive user interfaces, and has a powerful plug-in system that allows for easy integration of Java libraries, such as the 3-D modeling library JCSG. Hoffer demonstrated how he created a lightweight drone with four arms that are modeled on a complex structure found in the bones of birds. (see images below) "These drone parts can also be optimized to remove vibration. This structure cannot be created via milling, but it's a very easy task for a 3D printer."

It's also easy it is to turn a Raspberry PI board into a fully functional robot, Hoffer said, using 3D geometries created with the open source JCSG library and his VRL-Studio IDE. He then demonstrated his 'Pi on Wheels' bot, an affordable open source Do-It-Yourself robot, which he uses to teach Java-related technologies in the context of the Internet of Things.

Hoffer blogs about Java, JavaFX, and related technologies at Find out more at VRL-Studio here:

Lightweight drone with four arms modeled on a complex structure found in the bones of birds

Close up picture of drone arm printed by 3D printer.

'Pi on Wheels' bot, with 3D printed body and wheels

Tuesday Oct 27, 2015

Robots Look for Human Companions at JavaOne

By Roger Smith

Humaoid Robots Are Big in Japan

I spent part of this afternoon at the MakerZone, which is part of the Java Hub at this year's JavaOne Exhibit Hall, where I had a brief, enjoyable chat with Pepper, a 4-foot tall humanoid robot. Created by Aldebaran Robotics, Pepper is a social robot able to recognize and react to human emotions and carry on simple conversations in as many as 28 different languages. (I met and wrote about Nao, Pepper’s androgynous older sibling, in a recent JavaOne4kids workshop that showed how Nao could be taught to walk, talk, catch small objects and even dance). Besides being almost twice as tall as Nao, Pepper moves around on three omnidirectional wheels rather than feet like Nao. The Nao robot has been in development since 2006, while Pepper only has been around for a little over a year. Pepper’s added wheels give him greater range and almost 14 hours of battery life, which is three times the amount Nao has. The additional battery life was a requirement, said Nicholas Rigaud, Developer Community Leader for Aldebaran, since he was designed to greet and interact with customers in retail stores owned by Japanese mobile phone operator SoftBank Mobile, Aldebaran’s parent company.

Aldebaran has participated in three JavaOne conferences and keeps coming back each year because it's a great way to engage with a global community of software developers. "There is a great deal of entrepreneurial energy at these shows, which is what we're looking for," Rigaud said. "We want to get the word out about the programming resources and simulation tools we have to help developers create, fine tune and monetize their applications on the Aldebaran robotic platform." These resources include Choregraphe (the company's graphical drag and drop programming interface) that lets developers create applications with sample code containing dialog and behavior for the robots. The development environment includes a SDK simulator so that programmers can view their apps on a virtual 3D robot. Rigaud said there are currently 4,000 developers actively participating in the free developer program, of which roughly 25% are robot owners. 104 countries are represented, including 2,400 developers in Japan, 350 in the US and 300 in France. Find out more about Aldebaran's global developer program here:

Monday Oct 26, 2015

New Java Releases Will Tackle Developer Pain Points

By Roger Smith

JavaOne 2015 Keynote Focuses on Future Java Platforms

The half-dozen presentations in the opening JavaOne keynote featured a few looks in the rearview mirror to honor Java's 20-year rise to become the dominate general-purpose computer programming language, but otherwise it was a pedal to the metal focus on new features in the various Java ME, Java SE and Java EE platforms. A familiar face from Java's past also made a brief and humorous video appearance to cap an eventful 2-hour session on Sunday, October 25, 2015 at Moscone Center in San Francisco.

Host Georges Saab (VP Java Platform Development at Oracle) welcomed Michael Greene (VP Software and Service Group at Intel) who discussed Intel's history with Java. "Two important things happened in 1995," Green said, "I married my wife of 20 years and Intel acquired its first Java source license. I was one of the first Intel engineers dedicated to insuring Java works best on Intel hardware and that transformed my career. Twenty years later, I'm glad to say we haven't missed a beat."

The bulk of Green's presentation covered what Intel has done since joining the OpenJDK community in 2014 to promote open source implementations of Java. He announced that the Intel IoT Developer Kit now supports Java, which will make it easier for Java developers to address sensors, stream data and work with data on the web, He also said that Intel's Quark, a new embedded low-power processor designed for small mobile devices like wearable computers, will now run Java ME.

Mark Reinhold (Chief Architect, Java Platform Group) took the stage to discuss features in the next Java 9 SE release, now scheduled for 2016. He explained that Java has evolved over the years by tackling pain point that Java developers complain about through the Java Community Process. "In Java 5, we introduced generics; in Java 8, we introduced lambdas, and in Java 9, we'll be introducing modularity to create a scalable and more secure platform." Reinhold explained that modularity is intended to ease the pain of constructing, maintaining and distributing large applications by removing the "JAR hell" developers currently experience when trying to install software packages that have dependencies on specific versions of other software packages. He noted that 'JAR hell' is such a common developer complaint that it has its own Wikipedia page to describe all the various ways in which the classloading process can end up not working. Modularity will not have the same impact on the average developer as lambdas have had in Java SE 8, Reinhold said. "Modules are more like seat belts than lambda expression jet packs."

Brian Goetz, Java Language Architect, then talked about what's in store for future Java SE releases beyond Java 9. Project Valhalla will add value types, which are highly-efficient small 'objects' that do not have an inheritance property, and Project Panama builds a bridge between Java and C/C++ by providing a native interconnect between code managed by the JVM and APIs for non-Java /C++ libraries. Both of these projects are intended to provide more efficient access to data and better control over data layout in memory to achieve higher performance.

Engineering VP Anil Gaur next gave an update on Java EE release 8, which is expected in the first half of 2017. Gaur said that, based on a survey that received over 4,500 responses, the Java EE community has prioritized the desired features for the next Java EE platform release, which includes new APIs for JSON Processing, RESTful Web Services and Java EE Security, among other features.

The keynote ended with a surprise video that featured former Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy, who talked about how Sun developed the Java language. "I hired James Gosling in the early 1990s because Bill Joy said he was the best programmer he knew. I took his advice because Bill was the best programmer I knew. After a while, James got bored and threatened to quit. I told him I would give him the resources to do anything he wanted, as long as he didn't quit. What he wanted to do is develop a "write once, run anywhere" language. Which he did, and which is why we all now have the Java language."

McNealy concluded his short video with the following "top 12 list of Java Developer nightmares of 2015":

#12. Screenglare
#11. Entry level developers are now in the top income bracket
#10. Product marketing specs, customer deadlines and style guides
# 9. Your peer programming partner starts at 7am, with bad breath
# 8. You've got a great seat on the commuter bus, but the wifi is broken
#7. Larry raised the price of coffee
# 6. James Gosling is working at Liquid Rocket, not at Oracle
# 5. No ping pong balls and no beer
# 4. You love open source software and sharing, but you work at Oracle
# 3. Bay area traffic, California taxes, no rain and marijuana is illegal
# 2. You love your company chef, but he is on a 2-week maternity leave
# 1. The former CEO and current CTO is making ship to shore calls to you on a regular basis."

Thursday Oct 22, 2015

Free San Francisco Architecture walking Tour

By Debbie Omariba 

Want a free architecture tour of San Francisco ? Architect Eduardo Babadopulos has offered to take fellow JavaOne attendees on a walking tour, to the historic buildings of San Francisco's Financial District. In addition to being an architectural expert, Eduardo also works as a freelancer with interior architecture and landscape photography. Points of interest on this tour include:

    •    The Hallidie Building built around 1917-1918, which features glass walls.
    •    The Crown Zellerbach Building  the first significant building to go up in San Francisco after the Great Depression  and as such was the first international style building in San Francisco.
    •    The Shell building developed in 1930, was one of the tallest office structures in San Francisco, and remains one of the city’s most distinctive business addresses.
    •    Cross Sutter and Montgomery streets simultaneously by J-walking (diagonally crossing an intersection), an act that is allowed here, but usually considered a criminal offense.

The tour will take place after the Java Keynote on Sunday the 25th at 4:30pm. The meeting point will be the Hallidie Building, located on 130 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94104. Meet your fellow Java enthusiasts and discover San Francisco with this free walking tour.

Wednesday Oct 21, 2015

Drones and 3D Printing at JavaOne

In this interview, Michael Hoffer lets you discover the world of 3D modeling and printing. But what has 3D printing to do with Java? Michael is the one who bridged that gap by creating the Java Constructive Solid Geometry(JCSG), an open source and free tool to model 3D printable objects. If you join us at JavaOne, you can make your own model and then print it. You will also discover the robots that Michael created with 3D printed parts. He will be onsite answering questions. All this is at the Java Hub.

Another cool demo this year at JavaOne is Mark Heckler’s autonomous drone. He describes here how to create an autonomous drone with affordable technologies and open source libraries. He used Java embedded, the cheap credit card size Raspberry Pi for his self flying drones. If you are at JavaOne, you will have the chance to meet him at the Java Hub.

Tuesday Oct 20, 2015

What's New in JPA

Josh Juneau, in his "What's New in JPA" article, examines some of the top new features in Java Persistence API (JPA) 2.1. Using examples from a real-world application, Juneau focuses on three main areas that benefit from new JPA features:

  • Database schemas and type mapping
  • Invocation of database constructs
  • The SQL realm--specifically, querying, updating, and removing data from an underlying datastore

In spite of the fact that it was a minor release, he concludes that many of the new features in JPA 2.1 "pack a punch," can vastly improve developer productivity, and establish Java EE 7 as one of the most productive platforms available. Read the article.

Thursday Oct 15, 2015

Brewing Java with the Raspberry PI

Combine your love for coffee with programming! If you're a coffee lover--or even if you aren’t— a scientific approach to brewing the perfect cup offers insight into what you can do with embedded Java. Watch the demo and taste the coffee at the Java Hub during JavaOne 2015!

How do you build embedded applications connected to appliances? When do you use asynchronous communication?  Stephen Chin, lead Java community manager at Oracle, explains those challenges in his "Brewing Java with the Raspberry Pi” article. Using a coffee brewing application, Stephen shows how to use the Raspberry Pi to communicate with a USB scale and calculate the perfect amount of coffee to use for a given amount of water for the desired strength of a cup.

For this project he used: 
- usb4java, a Java library for accessing USB devices 
- JSR 80 (Java API) 
- Java SE Embedded 8 that came pre-loaded on the Raspberry Pi 
- Water heater, scale and the perfect recipe 

Read his article.

Mobile Application Framework (MAF) and Mobile Cloud Service (MCS)

In this article, Namit Kakkar demonstrates how Oracle Mobile Application Framework consumes JSON REST services using Oracle Mobile Cloud Service (MCS). He uses the manufacturer REST services deployed on one of the Oracle JCS instances that returns a list of Mobile Manufacturers. Then, he presents the configuration of REST services in MCS and consumption in a MAF application. He also explains security implementation at the MCS and MAF layers. Read the full article


Insider News from the Java Team at Oracle!



« November 2015