Happy Birthday, JXTA!
By templedf on Apr 25, 2006
Five years ago today, Project JXTA got started at SunLabs. If you've never taken a look at the JXTA™ technology, now's a good time. The technology has matured immensely since it first hit the Internet.
In a nutshell, the theme of the JXTA technology is to facilitate distributed computing, much like Jini™ network technology. The essential difference is that with Jini network technology, the platform is fixed so that the protocol can be abstracted, whereas with JXTA technology, the protocols are fixed so that the platform can be abstracted. In other words, with Jini network technology, you assume everything runs on the Java™ platform and don't care what protocols are used to communicate. With the JXTA technology, you assume that the protocols are the JXTA protocols and don't care on what platform things run.
Another way to look at the JXTA technology is that it provides a network virtualization layer. Instead of being bounded by the actual network topology, the JXTA technology allows you to work on a virtual network layer, where you decide how to carve things up, regardless of the actual, physical environment. That's a very powerful concept, and it provides some interesting benefits for grid computing. (Actually, so does the Jini network technology, but I'll save that for another birthday...)