Monday Mar 24, 2014

The Future of Application Development Tools at Oracle

Last week we met with Chris Tonas, Vice President of Mobility and Application Development Tools at Oracle, to hear his take on the latest in the world of Java tooling and development frameworks. 

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your role at Oracle as it relates to development tools? 

A: I lead the organization that is working on Oracle’s software development tools and frameworks, specifically, the teams that build our offerings for Java developers - whether in NetBeans, Eclipse or JDeveloper. Our team also builds the tools and frameworks that are used by developers working with Oracle’s cloud and mobile platforms.

Q: This week saw the release of JDK8 and NetBeans 8 along with it. How do you view this release? 

A: The release of JDK 8 and NetBeans 8 this week represents a big step forward for both Oracle and the Java Community. A lot of hard work and collaboration went into this milestone and I’d like to take a moment to thank everyone who contributed to this achievement. 

Q: With the new NetBeans 8.0 out, what are the plans for NetBeans going forward? 

A: In the short term, an update release of NetBeans 8 is underway to align with Java ME 8. Additional NetBeans 8 releases that target specific bugs are anticipated to be released after that. Longer term, Oracle is committed to the continued success of both Java and NetBeans. Work on JDK 9 is now underway and we’re planning a NetBeans 9 release to go along with it, as usual. 

Q: As you mentioned Oracle supports more than just the NetBeans IDE. What’s the thinking behind that? 

A: Oracle recognizes that developer tools aren’t a one-size-fits-all proposition. Oracle is a significant contributor to the Eclipse project and we are continuing to extend the capabilities of our Eclipse-based solutions as well. We offer JDeveloper for those who want the tightest alignment with the Oracle Fusion Middleware stack. In addition, we recognize that many JavaScript developers want to use light weight tools, and we are planning to address those needs as well.

Q: What are some of the key trends you see in the software development space right now? 

A: It’s clear that several significant trends are shaping software development and tools. Oracle is at the forefront of these changes and a leader in almost every aspect. We see three main changes happening right now:
  • Java remains the industry standard for server-side development, but we see growing demand to support developers using the combination of JavaScript and HTML5 for the presentation layer. We see JavaScript starting to gain ground for some server side use cases as well.
  • The shift to cloud-based deployment is now mainstream. Development for the cloud presents a new set of challenges and demands a fresh approach.
  • The third shift is the move to mobile. Mobile development must be integrated across the enterprise from the design phase throughout the lifecycle.

As the providers of tools for developers, these changes require an evolution of the tooling and infrastructure used to design and develop applications. 

Q:  So what is Oracle doing to address these developments? 

A: Some of the work has already happened. For example, NetBeans has supported the Java and JavaScript combination for a few releases now. Looking forward, Oracle has several new and innovative browser-based, cloud-centric and mobile initiatives underway that we will be sharing with the community over the next several months.

We are leveraging skills and technology from across our current developer tools organization to develop these new capabilities. We see the new generation of developer tools as complimentary to the tools that developers use and love today. The first of these initiatives that you’ll be able to use will be the forthcoming Oracle Developer Cloud Service – bringing your ALM and team collaboration work to the cloud. You can read more about it at 

Q: Where can developers learn more about these new tools? 

A: Just like every year, Oracle’s full vision for the future of software development will be shared at JavaOne and Oracle OpenWorld later this year. Our team is looking forward to sharing what we are working on with the development community.

Q: Thank you for your time, Chris. 

A: You're welcome.

Wednesday Mar 05, 2014

JavaOne 2014 Call for Papers Now Open!

It is time to submit all those talks you have been thinking about. "We have a huge focus on community at this event, and it would be great to have many proposals from the developer community." explains JavaOne Content Chair Stephen Chin.

There is a new dedicated track for Agile development this year, making a total of nine Java tracks.  This year's tracks are: 

• Clients and UI
• Core Java Platform
• Internet of Things
• Java Virtual Machine Languages
• Java and Security
• Tools and Techniques
• Server-Side Java
• Java in the Cloud
• Agile Development

There is no time to waste! The call for papers closes April 15th at 11:59 p.m. PDT  

You will receive a complimentary pass to JavaOne with an accepted talk.

There is a rolling submission process, so submit early! 

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 Oct 03, 2013

Hands on with Oracle Java Cloud Service in Java Magazine

The latest issue of Java Magazine, which takes as its theme “Seize the Cloud,” has an article by IndicThreads founder Harshad Oak, titled “Hands on with Oracle Java Cloud Service, Part One,” that provides an introduction to Oracle’s platform-as-a-service (PaaS) Java offerings. PaaS is about renting a software platform and running a custom business application on it, thus enabling developers to focus on the business application and not have to worry about the hardware or core software platform, according to Oak.

Oak points out that, “Java EE has been the primary software platform for enterprise and server-side development for more than a decade, and it is increasingly the platform of choice even on the cloud.”

He explains that Oracle’s cloud push began in 2011, and has subsequently launched several cloud solutions that support more than 25 million cloud users worldwide. “Oracle Java Cloud Service and Oracle Database Cloud Service have been Oracle’s most visible PaaS solutions so far,” comments Oak. “Oracle’s other PaaS offerings are Oracle  Developer Cloud Service, Oracle Storage Cloud Service, and Oracle Messaging Cloud Service. Oracle Developer Cloud Service simplifies development with an automatically provisioned development platform that supports the complete development lifecycle. Oracle Storage Cloud Service enables businesses to store and manage digital content in the cloud. Oracle Messaging Cloud Service provides an infrastructure that enables communication between software components by sending and receiving messages via a single messaging API, establishing a dynamic, automated business workflow environment.”

All in all, the article examines the Java PaaS space and presents guidelines in selecting a Java PaaS service. It offers a basic description of Oracle’s Java PaaS solution—Oracle Java Cloud Service—and its capabilities. Looking ahead, Part 2 will go deeper into Oracle Java Cloud Service by showing how to develop and deploy a Java EE application on it.

Check out the latest issue of Java Magazine.

Wednesday Sep 25, 2013

Brazilian Java Man at JavaOne

In this video, Bruno Souza and Java Community Manager Tori Wieldt discuss JavaOne, the Java Community Process (JCP), cloud computing and mad scientists.

Monday Sep 23, 2013

More on the JavaOne 2013 Strategy Keynote - IBM's Java Focus

John Duimovich, Java CTO and IBM Distinguished Engineer, took the stage at Sunday’s JavaOne 2013 keynote and stated that IBM had a new approach to this year’s JavaOne. They arrived at JavaOne with 20 developers of all ranks, giving 28 sessions -- and only one marketing person. This was consistent with a mantra he repeated throughout his keynote: “It’s a great time to be a developer.” Duimovich also commented several times that developers ultimately have a lot of power, a recognition that leads IBM to shape many policies around the needs and desires of developers.

“With so many frameworks, languages and tools available, developers have all they need to create great applications,” he observed. “With the cloud and PaaS it is easy to go to market and, in fact, possible to take a good idea, test it, and deploy it within a day.” This, he insisted, has changed the landscape for developers. Since Java is the leading platform being used to deploy to the cloud, along with Javascript and HTML5, IBM will continue to follow and invest in developers.

Systems of Interaction and Engagement
Duimovich identified an interesting turn of events. “There is a new class of application development out there now called systems of interaction, which are typically delivered via the cloud." “Systems of interaction” is a term that encompasses what has traditionally been called systems of record, which are what many Java developers work with in Java EE using containers and databases in such domains as business process-oriented bank accounts and HR systems.

He observed that there are new and growing open cloud ecosystems centered around such platforms and projects as CloudFoundry and OpenStack, offering the next “big thing” for developers -- the ability to access a whole open stack and write applications. “What’s different about IBM is that we are investing in open things a bit earlier in their life cycle,” said Duimovich. “We don’t wait until they are done and competing with us. We try to influence them early.”

New applications are being developed that offer systems of interaction which he characterized as user-centric applications specifically targeted to support user work flow.  These are mobile apps similar to what is in a phone or a car that bridge both systems of record and social networks. “So the application might take Twitter or Facebook into account, while bridging big data and bring together capabilities that drive user-focused applications,” explained Duimovich. “You are on the way to the airport and the app tells you the plane is late; you take off and the app tells you about the weather in the city of arrival. After that, you might be interested in where to buy new clothes because your luggage is still at the airline.”

Such applications have contextual “awareness” driving them. All of this is driven by the cloud as systems of record get pushed out to the cloud as services. “IBM has created an experimental platform that developers can try out called IBM BlueMix which is based on OpenSource and CloudFoundry,” said Duimovich. “It has runtimes and frameworks, like Java, and new ones like Node, and other scripting languages like Ruby.”

IBM BlueMix offers standard services such as database, caching, and messaging, but also includes new ones like social information, and location and geo-spatial database information. “This is all brought together so the enterprise can engage with their customers in a much richer way -- the way they do that is via the cloud.”

Java Innovation at IBM
He discussed the IBM WebSphere Liberty Buildpack, which is freely available for developers. It can be downloaded and pushed to any Cloud Foundry-based system. “This is our first step in making Java to PaaS deployment as easy as possible for developers.” Liberty is a Java profile that supports Java EE and is a container offering lots of features for clouds.

IBM has also been working on a multi-tenancy JVM, which means the VM can run and stack more VMs inside of it to save space and enable faster startup performance. This allows developers to manage life cycles independently. It’s intended for those who want to get more dense and efficient deployment on the cloud. “Just as peanut butter and chocolate go together – Liberty and multi-tenancy VMs are delicious,” said Duimovich.

He explained that running the Liberty profile and on the multi-tenancy JDK results in 2-3 times faster startup and twice as much density, so developers can stack twice as many instances on a machine than before without loss of performance.

Duimovich closed with some remarks about hardware innovation at IBM, and where the Java language may be headed in the future.

IBM BlueMix

IBM WebSphere Liberty Buildpack

Watch Keynote and Session Highlights on Demand

Thursday Sep 27, 2012

Talking JavaOne with Rock Star Raghavan Srinivas

Raghavan Srinivas, affectionately known as “Rags,” is a two-time JavaOne Rock Star (from 2005 and 2011) who, as a Developer Advocate at Couchbase, gets his hands dirty with emerging technology directions and trends. His general focus is on distributed systems, with a specialization in cloud computing. He worked on Hadoop and HBase during its early stages, has spoken at conferences world-wide on a variety of technical topics, conducted and organized Hands-on Labs and taught graduate classes.

He has 20 years of hands-on software development and over 10 years of architecture and technology evangelism experience and has worked for Digital Equipment Corporation, Sun Microsystems, Intuit and Accenture. He has evangelized and influenced the architecture of numerous technologies including the early releases of JavaFX, Java, Java EE, Java and XML, Java ME, AJAX and Web 2.0, and Java Security.

Rags will be giving these sessions at JavaOne 2012:
  • CON3570 -- Autosharding Enterprise to Social Gaming Applications with NoSQL and Couchbase
  • CON3257 -- Script Bowl 2012: The Battle of the JVM-Based Languages (with Guillaume Laforge, Aaron Bedra, Dick Wall, and Dr Nic Williams)

Rags emphasized the importance of the Cloud: “The Cloud and the Big Data are popular technologies not merely because they are trendy, but, largely due to the fact that it's possible to do massive data mining and use that information for business advantage,” he explained.

I asked him what we should know about Hadoop. “Hadoop,” he remarked, “is mainly about using commodity hardware and achieving unprecedented scalability. At the heart of all this is the Java Virtual Machine which is running on each of these nodes. The vision of taking the processing to where the data resides is made possible by Java and Hadoop.”

And the most exciting thing happening in the world of Java today? “I read recently that Java projects on are just off the charts when compared to other projects. It's exciting to realize the robust growth of Java and the degree of collaboration amongst Java programmers.”

He encourages Java developers to take advantage of Java 7 for Mac OS X which is now available for download. At the same time, he also encourages us to read the caveats.

Originally published on

Tuesday May 15, 2012

JSF 2.0 for the Cloud, Part Two

Part Two of Deepak Vohra’s “JSF 2.0 for the Cloud” is now up on otn/java. In Part One, Vohra demonstrated how to take advantage of resource handling, @ManagedBean annotation, and implicit navigation. In Part Two, he explores new features in JSF 2.0 that make it ready for the cloud, including Ajax support, view parameters, preemptive navigation, event handling, and bookmarkable URLs.

Ajax support for JSF 2.0 components includes asynchronous transfer of data between a client and a server, along with partial page rendering, partial page processing, and grouping of components, and can be added using either f:ajax tag or the JSF Ajax library (jsf.js).

Regarding view parameters, Vohra explains, “JSF 2.0 added support for view parameters, which add the provision to send request parameters in a GET request. A view parameter is a UI component represented with the UIViewParameter class. Just like other UI components, it is saved in the UI component tree for a Facelets page and can be associated with validators and converters. A view parameter is an EditableValueHolder because it implements the interface.”

Preemptive navigation allows developers to determine the resource file that they  navigate to and request parameters, if needed, based on the navigation case and view parameters, thus allowing them to create a URL for JSF resources that they access from a GET request. As a result, the URL displayed shows the resource and all request parameters.

Developers should take note that plans are in the works to update Java EE 7 for “cloud-related practical considerations, such as multitenancy and elasticity, also known as horizontal scaling.” This will be available through JSR 342, which is scheduled to complete an early draft review on May 23, 2012. Specification leads are Oracle’s Bill Shannon and Linda DeMichiel.
Access the article here.

Thursday Apr 12, 2012

JavaServer Faces 2.0 for the Cloud

A new article now up on otn/java by Deepak Vohra titled “JSF 2.0 for the Cloud, Part One,” shows how JavaServer Faces 2.0 provides features ideally suited for the virtualized computing resources of the cloud. The article focuses on @ManagedBean annotation, implicit navigation, and resource handling. Vohra illustrates how the container-based model found in Java EE 7, which allows portable applications to target single machines as well as large clusters, is well suited to the cloud architecture.

From the article--

“Cloud services might not have been a factor when JavaServer Faces 2.0 (JSF 2.0) was developed, but JSF 2.0 provides features ideally suited for the cloud, for example:
•    The path-based resource handling in JSF 2.0 makes handling virtualized resources much easier and provides scalability with composite components.
•    REST-style GET requests and bookmarkable URLs in JSF 2.0 support the cloud architecture. Representational State Transfer (REST) software architecture is based on transferring the representation of resources identified by URIs. A RESTful resource or service is made available as a URI path. Resources can be accessed in various formats, such as XML, HTML, plain text, PDF, JPEG, and JSON, among others. REST offers the advantages of being simple, lightweight, and fast.
•    Ajax support in JSF 2.0 is integrable with Software as a Service (SaaS) by providing interactive browser-based Web applications.”
In Part Two of the series, Vohra will examine features such as Ajax support, view parameters, preemptive navigation, event handling, and bookmarkable URLs.

Have a look at the article here.

Monday Oct 17, 2011

Evolutionary Next-Steps - Technical Keynote JavaOne 2011

Monday morning's Technical Keynote began with Doug Fisher, Corporate Vice President and General Manager of the Software and Services Group’s System Software Division, Intel. Fisher and a number of Intel colleagues reviewed Intel’s long association with Java, and their collaborative work with Oracle to optimize the Java platform (for both the JVM and Fusion Middleware) on Intel hardware.

From there, Ashok Joshi, Senior Director of Development NoSQL Database, briefly discussed performance tuning with Intel of the newly announced Oracle NoSQL Database product.

From Evolution to Revolution: Java 7 to Java 8

Following Joshi, Mark Reinhold, Chief Architect of the Java Platform Group at Oracle, reviewed the history of Java 7, and its “Plan B” paradigm of including Project Coin (JSR 334), InvokeDynamic (JSR 292), and the Fork/Join Framework in the just-released Java 7, while incorporating Project Jigsaw and Project Lambda in the upcoming Java 8. Reinhold then explored the evolutionary benefits of these key new features of the Java 7 release -- offering both greater ease of development, and significant performance benefits. “Not only are these features available in Java 7 today,” noted Reinhold, “but as of last week, they are now supported in all three of the major Java IDEs.”

Reinhold next detailed plans for the upcoming Java 8 release, which promises more revolutionary features beyond the evolutionary offerings of Java 7. Project Lambda (JSR 335) will bring closures to the Java programming language. And Project Jigsaw (JSR TBD) aims to define a standard module system -- not just for application code, but for the platform itself.

JavaFX 2.0 is Here!

Richard Bair, Chief Architect, Client Java Platform, Oracle, then dove into the official debut of JavaFX 2.0, along with some stunning demos of the new facility, presented by several colleagues. Java FX 2.0 is Oracle’s premier development environment for rich client applications. Bair emphasized that JavaFX 2.0 was designed to offer:

Cross Platform
Leverage Java
Advanced Tooling
Developer Productivity
Amazing User Interfaces.

“We naturally want user interfaces that look good and work well,” said Bair. “It used to be just eye candy, but now it’s becoming a required feature for the things we write. We’re announcing today the general availability of JavaFX 2.0, at We think this is going to be a really big deal in the industry.”

An important aspect of any UI technology is a good visual development tool, and Bair next announced early access for the JavaFX Scene Builder, which will first be made available to select partners, then expanded to a general beta, and then a full release. But for those at JavaOne, an early build of the tool will be running and available for demo at the DEMOgrounds.

A series of stunning demos -- several of them BSD licensed caused much enthusiasm -- then took JavaFX 2.0 out for a spin, and clearly showed the possibilities and potentials of the new release -- including animated 3D audio EQ mapping, and a navigable 3D virtual room that featured live video of Oracle colleague Jasper Potts displayed on a wall monitor, along with real-time mimicking of Potts’ movements by a virtual Java Duke figure.

Bair noted that there are over 50 JavaFX sessions at JavaOne, and said that for anyone who attended all of them -- “I’ll buy you dinner!”

Moving Java EE into the Cloud

From there, Linda DeMichiel, Java EE 7 Specification Lead, explored the upcoming Java EE 7 release. “What’s new with the Java EE platform?” asked DeMichiel. “We’re moving Java EE into the Cloud. Our focus on this release is providing support for Platform as a Service. We want to provide a way for customers and users of the platform to leverage public, private and hybrid clouds. With Java EE 7, our focus is on the platform itself as a service, which can be leveraged in cloud environments.”

DeMichiel’s colleague, Arun Gupta, then demonstrated deployment of a Java EE application as a PaaS, using Glassfish 4.0. Both the application and instructions on how to replicate the demo are available online.

More Java Cards than People?

Lastly, Hinkmond Wong, of Oracle’s Java Embedded group, covered the latest in mobile and embedded Java, noting the three billion Java enabled phones and five billion Java Cards in the world today. “There are about 6.5 billion people in the world,” noted Wong, “and five billion Java Cards.”

2011 saw the introduction of Near Field Communication (NFC) payment system, including e-Passport in Java ME, allowing for mobile-to-mobile and machine-to-machine transactions with embedded security. Wong detailed the many new Java ME releases for 2011, along with several mobile and embedded technology demos—from cell phones to Blu-ray players.

The overflow crowd left the opening technical keynote energized – a real good start to this JavaOne!

Learn More:

Java 7 Features

Java SE 7 Features and Enhancements

A Look at Java 7's New Features

Contribute to JDK 8

JavaFX Homepage

JavaFX Overview

Java EE at a Glance

Java for Mobile Devices

Oracle NoSQL Database

Oracle Technology Network for Java Developers


Insider News from the Java Team at Oracle!

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