Wednesday Feb 05, 2014

Mobile World Congress (MWC) Coming Up

MWC is the largest international conference for the mobile industry.  From February 25 – 27, experts, leaders and visionaries will discuss the innovations that will transform communication. 

Oracle will showcase its innovative communications services at the Communications Industry Experience Zones. It is located the Oracle Booth # 3B20 (at hall 3).  

Also at the Oracle booth, discover the breadth of Oracle Internet of Things (IoT) offerings and learn how the IoT helped fuel one of the greatest comebacks in sports history. The model of the Oracle Team USA 2013 AC72 yacht will be onsite! Oracle solution experts will be there to answer questions. Don't miss it, Register now! 

Monday Feb 03, 2014

PaaS for Java Developers

The concept of Platform as a Service promises a deployment and runtime option where operating systems and services are managed for you, where scalability concerns are handled more or less automatically and where late-night calls about unavailable systems are a thing of the past. But how close is this to reality? In the "Java PaaS" hands-on lab at the Jfokus conference today, developers learned about the current PaaS landscape.

Håkan Jonson and Patrik Fredriksson, both developers at Citerus, presented ideas based on their experiences delivering business applications in the cloud. They provided help with how to "navigate your way through the swamp of vendor logos." The PaaS industry has moved from infancy to consolation quickly, so it's great to get advice experienced users.

Here are the guidelines they provided on what to consider when looking at PaaS providers. You should consider:

  • The company's level of maturity (how far out of beta are they? can they point to success stories?where is the documentation?)
  • What are the deployment routines? (how hard is it to set up? how long does redeployment take? do they offer CI? )
  • What tooling is included? (admin, monitoring)
  • What is infrastructure and service stack technology? (on top of EC2? machines running in someone's a basement? what's the language and DB language support?)
  • SLA and legal considerations (where are the machines physically running? will your app be affected by network latency?) 
  • What is the pricing model? (fixed price or by consumption? how do you pay?)

and, most importantly,

  • What is Your ESCAPE ROUTE? How do you get your app and data out if things go wrong? 
To protect yourself, it is best to:

  • Use an established and mature tech stack (established/common technologies may not be the flashiest, but ubiquity makes it much easier to switch)
  • Keep the number of platform customizations to a minimum
  • Own your data (have your own import/export procedures)

Johson told a story of a having spun up an app very quickly and having "three exciting weeks with the app running. It had deployed very quickly. We had 99% uptime!" Then they started learning the limitations of their vendor. They needed more instances than originally planned (dev, test, production), therefore got a higher bill for infrastructure (the client was not happy to learn this). When they started to tweak the JVM, it took them outside the vendor's "standard config." Security issues came up when they learned that data going between nodes was unencrypted. The physical location of the cloud instances had an effect the application's responsiveness. All of this lead to the painful realization that the vendor's support staff was a different time zone, leaving only a two hour overlap of business hours.

The last straw was when the vendor accidentally deleted the entire application, including data. It took the vendor several hours to get the app back online. This lead them to the three most important considerations:

  • OWN YOUR DATA - they were able to switch to another provider in 3 hours
  • BE AWARE OF GEOGRAPHY - both for network latency and tech support hours
  • PRICING - expect to need mirrored environments (stage and test) or prices might be higher than you expect

With this much to consider, is PaaS really worth it? Why not just do IaaS? A good question, but as a developer, PaaS provides a quick way to spin up an application, automatic scaling, OS updates, and for you, the developer, it's one less thing to worry about.  A few PaaS vendors even provide a free tier to get started with. As with all technologies, PaaS has advantages and disadvantages. Nikoloas Roumpoutsos was at the lab and liked it because "it's always good to have another tool in your toolbox."

Thursday Jan 30, 2014

NightHacking Live from Jfokus

Just because you can't make it to a great Java conference doesn't mean you can hack along from at home. Stephen Chin has set up several NightHacking sessions at the Jfokus conference  in Stockholm, Sweden that will stream live at You can hear from Java experts and join the chat from where ever you are (possibly in your pajamas).

NightHacking TV kicks of with a panel on the Internet of Things (IoT). Do you believe all the hype surrounding IoT and the billions of devices projected by analysts? The embedded Java gurus will cut through the TLAs(Three Letter Acronyms) to get to the bottom of IoT.

Find the event you like and register so you can get reminders and join the chat. As Mr. Chin says, "heckling in chat is highly encouraged." [Yes, one of the first guests is Mark **Heckler** so go for it!]

Below is the current list of sessions; changes happen. Go to or follow @_nighthacking for the latest information.

Date/Time Session
Tuesday, Feb 4
3:00 PST - 4:00 PST
Internet of Things - Hype or Ripe?

Tuesday, Feb 4
4:50 PST - 5:00 PST
Power IDE Usage

Tuesday, Feb 4
5:50 PST - 6:35 PST
Java 8 Lambdas Hacking

Tuesday, Feb 4
7:50 PST - 8:00 PST
Performance Testing with a Raspberry Pi Wall Running Java

Tuesday, Feb 4
9:00 PST - 11:00 PST
Future Static/Dynamic Language Shootout

Wednesday, Feb 5
3:00 PST - 4:00 PST
Beyond Lambdas

Wednesday, Feb 5
4:50 PST - 5:00 PST
10 Minute Java Security

Wednesday, Feb 5
5:50 PST - 6:35 PST
Continuous Delivery and Zero Downtime

Internet of Things (IoT) Hackathon in Brazil

SouJava is running a Raspberry Pi and Java hackathon at Campus Party, the week-long technology gathering of geeks, developers, gamers, scientists, and students in Brazil. Sponsored by Oracle Technology Network, the hackathon is designed for enthusiasts who want to create IoT projects with Raspberry Pi and Java. The objectives are for attendees to learn, practice, and innovative while creating an IoT project

Java evangelist Angela Caicedo opened the hackathon with an overview of IoT and Java development. Over two days, participants will build teams, brainstorm, attend training, get a kit from the organizers and hack on their own project. Onsite experts will be available to help participants. They are veteran Java developers of web, enterprise and embedded development. Among them are GlobalCode founder Vinicius Senger, senior developer Rubens Saraiva, SouJava leader Bruno Souza, Java Champion Yara Senger, product manager Bruno Borges and senior mobile developer Ricardo Ogliari 

Learn more about IoT:  
- IoT community page highlighting projects, discussions, hobbyists, and experts

Wednesday Jan 29, 2014

Gamification for User Groups

At the gamification session of the International Oracle User Group Community (IOUC), leaders discussed how to drive membership. Typically, they give away licenses, books and goodies to encourage attendance at monthly meetings. Others have used gamification to get their communities to brainstorm on mascot names, or post pictures and comments on social media. Hackathons also require the use of similar techniques to keep attendees motivated to create applications over several days. SouJava leader Bruno Souza successfully ran hackathons that combined brainstorming, team building, training, hacking sessions and prizes to keep participants engaged.

“Turn life into a game, drive engagement of audiences, make the experience more enjoyable and get users to come back ” are the key advantages of gamification according to user group leader Jim Bethancourt.

The forum platform Stack Overflow is a great example of running a thriving community of developers with its point systems. Contributors get rewarded with points for their useful entries and visitors easily find the most relevant and best-rated entries.

The ArabOUG has implemented a point system to keep its community active. The group gives out points to the members, who contribute applications, articles, and translations. It partnered with training organizations and other services to give its members free training and services in exchange for points. As a result, members don’t have to pay for services using online payments, which governments in many countries in North Africa and the Middle East don’t allow.

In an interview, ArabOUG leader Mohamed Chargui  explains in more detail his experience using gamification.

JFokus Puts the Focus on Java and IoT

Next week is Jfokus Java Developer Conference in Stockholm, Sweden.  Jfokus is the largest Java conference in Scandinavia, with over 2000 attendees. Jfokus is organized with the help of Javaforum, the Stockholm Java User Group (JUG). Jfokus includes an impressive line up of speakers, including Mark Reinhold, Georges Saab, Stephen Chin, Cecilia Borg, Angela Caicedo, Mark Heckler, Marcus Hirt, Michael Hüttermann, Linda van der Pal, Reza Rahman, Chris Richardson, Simon Ritter and more!

The week will kick off with a Java 8 Deep Dive training lead by Venkat Subramaniam.  JFokus will also include a sub-conference focused on the Internet of Things

In this video, Java Developer, JUG Leader, and Philanthropist Mattias Karlsson chats with Tori Wieldt about his work with the Swedish Java community, Java's explosion in popularity and the Jfokus conference.

Monday Jan 27, 2014

IoT at User Group Leader Summit

Clothes that monitor your baby's vital signs. Prescription medicine bottles that remind you to take your pills (and can tell others when you don't), wind turbines that turn themselves on in anticipation of high energy usage, traffic lights that adjust to traffic conditions, trash cans that send a text when they are full. These are all examples of the rapidly growing world of the "internet of things." There is a lot of interest in this trend, so it wasn't surprising that the "Internet of Things" session was full that at the Oracle International User Group Leader Summit. (The IOUC was held last week at Oracle's Headquarters in Redwood Shores, CA, and included over 20 Java User Group leaders.)

Sharat Chander, Principal Product Director at Oracle, assembled a panel of experts to discuss IoT: Bruno Souza, Sou Java President and JCP Executive Committee member; Stephen Chin, Java Evangelist; Jai Suri, Oracle Product Manager; Ian Ferguson, Vice President of Segment Marketing, ARM; and Rich Niemiec, Oracle database expert and the Midwest Oracle User Group leader.

The panel started with defining the Internet of things (or internet of everything or M2M). Most computers already talk to a "backend," so what makes IoT different? Invisibility, said Souza. "IoT makes computers invisible," he explained. They are everywhere and all connected. You don't think of you refrigerator as a computer. Suri talked about the multitude of devices and networks involved (bluetooth, zigby, telecomm, "the cloud," etc.), the challenge of data in many different formats and providing power for small devices.

The panel also discussed the challenges of IoT. Chin asked "How many people have a wireless router at home?" and many hands went up. "How many of you have updated the router firmware in the last six months?" and most hands dropped. Yes, with more devices comes more software, more management and more vulnerability. Security is a real issue, especially for devices and industries that haven't had to consider it before. And it's not IF you get hacked, but when. "You should be thinking about *survivability*, not probability. For example, what are my alternatives after my credit card number gets stolen?" said Niemiec. "One good thing about Java in the IoT space" Suri commented, "is that it provides a level of abstraction that allows for better security and quicker updates. That's especially important in devices that are out in the field for years."  

Whatever it is, IoT is coming and coming fast. New applications are happening daily. The coolest IoT innovation hasn't even been thought of yet. "As good as you are as a technologist, you are completely underestimating how big and how fast the IoT wave is coming," Niemiec declared. 

Learn More:

Thursday Jan 23, 2014

Java Magazine: Big Data

Simply put, big data is a big deal. As the volume, velocity, and variety of big data continue to increase, so do the opportunities for creating new applications for big data. The new issue of Java Magazine is all about big data. The good news is that Java developers are well positioned to take advantage of this opportunity because so many of the tools for big data are built on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). 

Most of the pages in this issue to are dedicated to big data:

  • In our Q&A with Oracle’s Dan McClary, we explore why Java and big data are such a good fit, and what some of the implications of big data are for Java developers.
  • We also get hands-on with many of the available tools for big data. In “Big Data Processing with Java,” Fabiane Nardon and Fernando Babadopulos help you determine whether you’ve got a big data problem and introduce Apache Hadoop and some of the other tools that you can use to produce faster and more-efficient applications.
  • Tom White, author of Hadoop: the Definitive Guide, provides an introduction to Hadoop; Kim Ross explores Apache Cassandra; and Trisha Gee discusses the flexibility of MongoDB.  
  • “Power to the People” shows Java and big data in action, with sizeable results: Opower customers have saved more than US$350 million dollars on their utility bills and reduced greenhouse gases at the same time.

Learn how big data is or will change the way you work in this issue of Java Magazine.

Java Magazine is a FREE, bi-monthly, online publication. It includes technical articles on the Java language and platform; Java innovations and innovators; JUG and JCP news; Java events; links to online Java communities; and videos and multimedia demos. Subscriptions are free, registration required.

Do you have feedback about Java Magazine? Send a tweet to @oraclejavamag.

Thursday Jan 16, 2014

Top Java Technical Articles of 2013

The most popular technical articles published on OTN in 2013 shows the variety in Java technologies. The top article, by a large margin, was about the internet of things. The rest of the list shows lots of interest in the new Java EE 7 functionality.  In honor of the upcoming Java SE 8 release, here are the top 8 articles of 2013:

1. Getting Started with Java SE Embedded on the Raspberry Pi
by Bill Courington and Gary Collins  
How to get Linux and Java SE Embedded running on the Raspberry Pi in less than an hour.

2. Java EE 7 and JAX-RS 2.0
by Adam Bien
Java EE 7 with JAX-RS 2.0 brings several useful features, which further simplify development and lead to the creation of even more-sophisticated, but lean, Java SE/EE RESTful applications.

3. Arun Gupta on Higher Productivity from Embracing HTML5 with Java EE 7
by Janice J. Heiss 
Java EE Expert Arun Gupta provides glimpses into Java EE 7.

by Mahesh Kannan
Examine the new batch processing capability provided by JSR 352 for Java EE 7.

5. Contexts and Dependency Injection in Java EE 6
by Adam Bien
Learn how and when to use the contexts and dependency injection model in Java EE 6.

6. Servlets and JSP Pages Best Practices
by Qusay H. Mahmoud 
Important best practices for servlets and JSP pages.

7. Java Architecture for XML Binding (JAXB) 
By Ed Ort and Bhakti Mehta 
Explains JAXB and provides several examples.

8. Java Experts on the State of Java
by Janice J. Heiss  
Java experts Adam Bien, Kirk Pepperdine, Charles Nutter, and Simon Ritter share their perspectives on Java today.

What do you want to read about in 2014? Let us know in the comments.

Wednesday Jan 15, 2014

Java 8 is Coming to EclipseCon

By Guest Blogger Ian Skerrett

We are very pleased to announce that we have added a Java 8 Day to EclipseCon 2014. Java 8 is scheduled to be released in March, close to the same time as EclipseCon, so we thought it would be great to have EclipseCon attendees participate in the launch of the new Java release.

In collaboration with Oracle, a new 1 day event has been added to the EclipseCon schedule. EclipseCon attendees will have the opportunity to learn about Java 8 from Oracle and Eclipse experts. There will be sessions about Lambda’s, JDT support for type annotations, the new Java 8 compact profile, JavaFX, api design with Java 8 and more. It will be a great way to accelerate your adoption of Java 8. Check out the complete schedule.

The Java 8 Day will take place on Tuesday, March 18 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel San Francisco Airport. We will be offering $200 day passes for developers that just want to attend the Java 8 content. Of course all EclipseCon attendees will also be able to attend.

Register today to take advantage of the early prices.


Insider News from the Java Team at Oracle!

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