"We're past stage one with J2ME. Now we're trying to flesh out the technologies and define the software specs for handsets and larger devices," said Sun Software Group Marketing Manager David Harrah.
Sun is making several announcements in tandem with its ritual evangelism show including new additions to the Java 2 platform, Micro Edition (J2ME) and the Java 2 platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EE).
For starters, the Java community has completed its approval process for J2EE 1.4 - a bundle of all of the available Web services APIs. The group said it is expecting to begin implementing a reference implement program in late October or early November with final acceptance of the specification due out in early 2003.
J2EEv 1.4 provides support for key web services functionality such as UDDI and ebXML registries and repositories, SOAP, XML processing and schemas and the Web Services Description Language (WSDL).
"No other architecture allows developers to deploy production ready Web services for development on multiple platforms like J2EE does," said Sun architect and co-specification lead for J2EE v 1.4 Mark Hapner. "Using J2EE v 1.4 web services developers won't have to carefully pick and choose in order to achieve interoperability. They will get it by design."
In conjunction with the release of the J2EE v 1.4 Sun is handing out guidelines, tools and services to help developers implement the architecture in conformance with specified functionality, test for application server compatibility and for application portability.
The idea being that you can't expect to process an 8 Mb XML program on a handset.
The tools include Java BluePrints for the enterprise program available now in Japanese; a server compatibility program that verifies that a J2EE platform product complies with the J2EE platform standard; and a JavaVerification Program.
Sun is also replacing its longstanding PersonalJava specification with a new Personal Profile specification (JSR 62). The profile (JSR 62) is a J2ME Connected Device Configuration (CDC)-based technology that promises better Internet connectivity and Web fidelity. The CDC HI (Connected Device Configuration, HotSpot Implementation) is an implementation of the CDC that includes a configurable compiler for client devices. Ericcson, IBM, Insignia, Philips, RIM, Texas Instruments and Zucotto were among the committee companies that approved the specification.
Unlike the MIDP profile, which was designed for smaller devices with small LCD screens and limited input entry methods (such as a cell phones with simple keypads), the J2ME Personal Profile is more compliant with the Java 2 VM specification. The improvement lets developers use Java 2 Platform, Standard Edition (J2SE) to write programs for smaller devices.
In addition, as a J2ME CDC-based profile, the J2ME Personal Profile contains advanced Java 2 technology features such as reflection and security, on-board bytecode verification, a Java Native Interface (JNI), and an Abstract Windowing Toolkit (AWT).
The new advances in Java technology are contained in three new standards completed by the Java Community Process for mobile devices using the Java 2 Platform, Micro Edition (J2ME):
- Version 2.0 of the Mobile Information Device Profile (MIDP 2.0) which offers a host of enhancements to update MIDP, the base collection of Java technologies for mobile handsets.
- The Mobile Media API (MMAPI), which powers the specifications and code for providing new audio, video and multimedia capabilities.
- Wireless Messaging API (WMA) which delivers the underlying technology for improved messaging capabilities, including short message service (SMS).
Harrah says one of the most amazing things to watch at the show is the number of people walking around with mobile phones with digital cameras called "Sha-mail." The devices use Java to let subscribers send instant messaging pictures to each other. Sun has teamed up with partners like Fujitsu, KDDI, NEC Group, and NTT DoCoMo to advance its Java technology.
"J-Phone alone said it has signed up 5 million users for this service," said Harrah. "There are all these groups of people roaming the show floor using Java to send pictures."