Sun Microsystems has announced the release of the JXTA 2.0 J2SE platform. Sun first released the open source platform for P2P application in April, 2001. This release comes on the heels of Microsoft's entrance into the P2P arena with the release of its Windows XP Peer-to-Peer SDK beta.
The P2P (Peer-to-Peer) model has changed application development over the last few years by supplying a new set of communication protocols. In the past, developers worked under the client/server model where computers were forced to serve as either the client or the server. They could not serve both roles. Today, under the P2P model, computers have the ability to act as both a client and a server. In a loose sense of the term, Napster is one example of P2P technology, Freenet is another. Web Services is taking advantage of this technology, where people can share resources and information despite the complications of communication and diverse systems.
JXTA is a set of networking protocols similar to HTTP and TCP/IP. The JXTA layer sits between the networking stack and the application stack, handling peer-to-peer communication. Sun would like to see JXTA become an industry standard.
New features have been added to JXTA 2.0 to improve the performance, stability and scalability of the platform. The release notes outlines specifics on JXTA 2.0 including:
- JXTA 2.0 New Features & Benefit Summary
- API changes: 99% backward compatibility
- Protocols changes: No backward Compatibility
- Rendezvous super-peer Network
- Relay and Rendezvous separation
- New CM cache using the Apache Xindice database
- Unified routing via Route Advertisement
- Bi-directional TCP/IP connection
- New JXTA Shell commands
Developers should be aware of backward API and protocol compatibility issues when porting their applications. The JXTA release notes explain, "The new stable release is NOT protocol compatible with the previous release (JXTA 1.0). While older peers and new peers can coexist on the same network they will not be able to discover and interact with each other. You will need to use rendezvous and relays peers running the new stable release (JXTA 2.0) to work with new peers. We plan to ensure backward protocol compatibility in future releases."
Downloads are assessable at http://platform.jxta.org/
To gain more knowledge on JXTA and P2P networks see the following articles: