Oracle OpenWorld is a large conference. Add JavaOne and you have a recipe for San Francisco’s downtown area to be packed with developers. To this amassed crowd, Oracle announced its new hybrid cloud platform, which will be offered as a service to customers looking to build on-site clouds, but still want the option to go public.
Oracle’s Cloud Services, as it is called, is an amalgam of Oracle’s existing network, development and infrastructure systems. Enterprises engaging with Oracle’s Cloud Services can contract to have cloud hardware and software installed on-premise by Oracle. That cloud can include Oracle’s databases, its Fusion Middleware, and its storage services. Virtualization, build, deploy and development systems are included.
Specifically, the development and life-cycle management aspects of Oracle’s Cloud Services are built on top of the Code2Cloud.org project, an open-source effort led by TaskTop. Code2Cloud.org’s software in Oracle’s Cloud Services handles build, deploy, application monitoring and version management for developers working within the Oracle cloud.
While Oracle is offering this as an on-site solution, the company is also offering enterprises use of its own public cloud. Combining the on-site solution and the Oracle-hosted public cloud, developers will have the ability to keep sensitive data behind the firewall, while still having the option of increasing scalability through the use of public compute.
Oracle president Mark Hurd said, “You can now get the Oracle cloud behind your firewall. This is a big deal because many people talk about cloud, and they say, ‘Put everything in a cloud.’ One of the biggest issues when you get to CEOs are concerns about data privacy and regulatory issues; you can’t move data out beyond the firewall. The fact is now we give you the benefits of cloud and cloud architecture, but we do it by taking away that concern about the privacy of your data, behind your firewall.”
Last year’s JavaOne was punctuated by the release of OpenJDK 7 and the intimation that OpenJDK 8 would be available in the summer of 2012. That didn’t actually happen, however, so this year’s JavaOne was mostly about previewing the changes being made for OpenJDK 8.
Chief among those changes is closures, which bring functional programming styles into Java. Closures are relatively set in their syntax thus far, and are unlikely to change before the release of OpenJDK 8, so discussion of how closures will be used was rife at the show.
Java ME was boosted by the release of an updated suite of tools for embedded Java developers. Oracle Java Embedded Suite 7.0 includes all the tools developers need to build Java applications for small devices, such as sensors and wireless cards.
This was released in conjunction with Oracle Java ME Embedded 3.2. This new version of Java for embedded systems adds a wireless client. This release also includes support for small ARM-based systems with limited resources.
And while the JCP continues to slowly revise its own processes, there’s one interesting new project coming to the OpenJDK that won’t be arriving at the JCP just yet: AMD and Oracle have decided to push GPU support into Java through the newly created Project Sumatra.
Gary Frost, technical lead for application and developer infrastructure at AMD, said that previous efforts to bring developers to the GPU have been hampered by a lack of tooling and support available in existing languages. Up until now, AMD’s efforts in this area have been focused on OpenCL, as well as on a wrapper for Java programs that allowed them to take advantage of GPU capabilities.
But Project Sumatra forgoes these external solutions in favor of one that will exist in Java itself. Frost said that this project will exist in the OpenJDK and not the JCP because “We’re not changing the language in any way. We’re going to build on Java 8 Lambdas. Because we’re not changing the language features, I don’t think we need to go through the JCP process.”
Frost expects the Sumatra project will be ready for release around the time of OpenJDK 9’s release, which has no set date as of this writing.
Java tool vendors display new products
On display at the show was Waratek, a new JVM company that demonstrated its multi-tenant systems. John Matthew Holt, founder and CTO, said, “The way we went about solving this was developing a special kind of JVM where we sought to integrate into the core of the JVM virtualization capability, like the virtualization VMware does with the OS. The main feature the JVM lacks is multi-tenancy. That’s beginning to be recognized as a major problem for developers.”
Another JVM was on hand to demonstrate its renewed focus on productivity. Red Hat’s JBoss used JavaOne to announce a what it called a renewed commitment to the community through a rebranding of the free version of its app server.
Steve Yi, Red Hat’s director of planning and strategy for JBoss middleware, said, “We’re entering a bold new phase in the history of our app server project. We wanted to raise awareness by having people help us choose a new name. We have customers and developers that are unaware we have a community project and a commercial product. We feel renaming the app server will help customers understand.”
Red Hat is taking suggestions for the new name of the free community version of its application server until the end of October.
Application performance management was a hot topic at the show, with numerous APM vendors showing their tools. Compuware and New Relic both demonstrated their tools for monitoring SLA compliance as well as general application performance, while Nastel showed up to announce the availability of a new free memory-leak discovery test tool.
For developers, build, deploy, staging and testing solutions weren’t nearly as popular at the show as continuous integration products that allow all of these systems to be tied together. CloudBees, for example, added new support for deployment to Google App Engine at the show, while Gradleware showed off its growing chain of continuous integration and deployment tools.
But perhaps the most interesting news from vendors at the show came from two companies that have pivoted to address new markets with their existing tools.
First, Sonatype discussed its new security offerings. As the maintainer of Maven Central, where Java tools, libraries and frameworks can be downloaded, Sonatype is in a unique position to be aware of security vulnerabilities as they relate to real-world usage. It hopes to advise developers who are using, say, a vulnerable version of a library that they need to switch to a safer, newer version.
Sonatype founder Jason van Zyl said that “It tries to focus on picking a replacement component that is actually useful. It shows what version you have and where you can go that doesn’t have a vulnerability or a licensing issue.”
Secondly, Scala-focused company Typesafe is pushing hard its Web framework, Play. This Scala-based framework is also usable with plain old Java, and Typesafe CEO and president Mark Brewer said that he’s seeing fast uptake of this young Web framework. As such, Typesafe will now be supporting Play as well as Scala.
Brewer said that Typesafe hopes to leverage Play to interest developers in Scala, as the framework is compatible with both Java and Scala.