SAN JOSE, Calif. — Oracle announced a broad set of initiatives to drive Java forward as a key embedded platform for the Internet of Things. The database giant rolled out updates to Java Micro Edition Embedded. It also said it will deliver a Java-based services delivery platform for a new family of gateways from Freescale, and it announced plans to support Java on microcontrollers from Freescale, Qualcomm, STMicroelectronics, and others.
The efforts establish Java as another major entrant in the race to unify diverse operating systems and protocols for the Internet of Things. Java played a similar role in the early days of the smartphone until it was largely displaced by Apple's iOS and Google's Android as popular native platforms.
Industry players agree fragmentation is a problem in the IoT, but they are taking different approaches to solving it. The US government is brokering an effort by GE and others under the working name of the Industrial Internet. Many see the emerging 6LoWPAN software as a rallying point, because it hews closely to other Internet standards. Qualcomm has been promoting its open-source AllJoyn messaging protocol as a high-level unifying element.
Oracle is accelerating its efforts in Java for microcontroller-based systems, which have trailed its work in Java for higher-end embedded systems and servers. It is moving a suite of features planned for its Java Standard Edition 8 into Java Micro Edition Embedded, and it plans to release both in March. An early version of the code is available now.
The alignment "will help create a more unified Java Embedded developer platform and ecosystem to better address the complexity of the Internet of Things," Nandini Ramani, vice president of development for Java at Oracle, said in a press release Monday.
An updated version of Java ME Embedded is now available as a binary runtime for the ARM11-based Raspberry Pi Model B and ST Microelectronics' STM32F4. Oracle also plans to support Java ME 8 on Qualcomm's MDM6x00, MDM9x15, and other chipsets.