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Oracle is advancing the state of mobile Java with the new Java ME 3.3 release.
The Java ME 3.3 release is part of Oracle's evolution of its mobile Java platform that it re-ignited with the Java ME 3.2 release in late 2012.
With Java ME 3.3, Oracle is now adding support for additional mobile architectures, including popular ARM configurations such as the Raspberry Pi. The Raspberry Pi is a low-cost hobbyist platform powered by an ARM processor. Support is also being extended to the Keil STM32 F200 Evaluation Board for Cortex-M processor-based devices.
Peter Utzschneider, vice president, Java product management at Oracle, explained to Datamation that enhancements have also been made to improve the Jave ME developer experience.
The Java ME 3.3 Software Development Kit (SDK) has been improved with new plugins for the Netbeans and Eclipse IDEs. For Windows-based developers there is now also support for both 64- and 32-bit Windows 7. The SDK now includes emulation capabilities for connectivity and external peripheral devices.
Java Platform Integration
"As you go further down on the device side, there is more and more fragmentation in the mobile market with different chips, boards and architectures," Utzschneider said. "So we're selecting what we think is a decent path to covering most of the market."
The Java Platform Integration program enables Oracle partners to port Java ME embedded onto a chipset that Oracle itself doesn't directly support. With the Java ME 3.2 release in 2012, Oracle provided a porting layer, which laid the groundwork for the new Platform Integration effort.
Going beyond just porting existing Java ME 3.3 capabilities, the Java Platform Integration program allows Oracle partners to provide additional APIs and functionality, which may be required for specific use-cases.
"So the partners can have access to the source code, they can extend the platform with a port and then take a binary to market," Utzschneider said.
Oracle's effort to breath new life into Java ME has been growing steadily since the Java ME 3.2 release in 2012.
Utzschneider stressed that continued momentum and success really does rely on Oracle getting additional platform ports out, which is why the Java ME 3.3 release and the associated Java Platform Integration program is important.
"For the wireless module guys, this is really a no-brainer, without this they have had to create their own dev framework, which poses somewhat of a barrier for adoption," Utzschneider said. "By putting a Java layer in place, they have access to the Java development community"
Moving forward the plan is to continue to improve Java ME for power and resource constrained devices.
"The next big leap forward for us comes next spring, when we have SE and ME 8 coming out at the same time," Utzschneider said.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Datamation and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.