Java Card 3.0 - Editions, Application Models

Before discussing any more about Java Card 3.0, I would like to clarify few things. Java Card 3.0 doesn't mean that Java Card 2.x is no longer available. Java Card 2.x is the most successful technology in Smart Card Industry. To continue evolving Java Card 2.x, and, at the same time to move on with Next Generation Java Card, the Java Card 3.0 has two editions. This post briefly describes what they are.

For you who are not aware of Java Card Applets, I would recommend to read the book  Java Cardâ„¢ Technology for Smart Cards by Zhiqun Chen

Java Card 3.0 will be available in two editions, Classic and Connected.

Java Card 3.0 Classic Edition

This is same as Java Card 2.x, which supports only JavaCard Applets. There might be some clarifications (or) bugfixes (or) some additional API. No change in application model. It still be JavaCard Applets, that needs to be converted into CAP files, and uses APDUs for communication.

Java Card 3.0 Connected Edition

This is the one we will be talking more about :).  Connected Edition supports three application models.

  • Classic Applets - These are same as Classic Applets. The difference is, no need to convert into CAP files.
  • Extended Applets - These are like Classic Applets, but supports full Java language and some additional API.
  • Servlet Applications - Servlet applications. Web Applications (war file) with Servlets 2.4 (some API is subsetted)

Thats all in very brief. Unless it is specified, I will be blogging about Java Card 3.0 Connected Edition only. It is too lengthy to type, so I'll just be typing Java Card 3.0 :).

I hope you observed that unlike JavaCard 2.x, there is no need to convert into CAP file format in JavaCard 3.0. This is because, Java Card 3.0 can handle class files, and, the best part of it is, you can write programs utilizing all new Java Language feature like Generics, Annotations, Enums, auto-boxing, for-each loops ... everything as of JDK6. In fact, Java Card 3.0 Connected Edition requires JDK 6.

More about the language support and other technical details in later posts.

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