As the IoT continues to evolve, there’s been increased concern about the risk of fragmentation. Corralling the myriad of technologies involved around one single language platform certainly is one way to alleviate the issue – and enterprise stalwart Java is looking like a strong forerunner in this respect. Today, open source JDK providers Azul Systems have also put their weight behind a Java-fuelled IoT, having announced that they will be joining forces with the Eclipse Foundation to bring open source Java development and runtime solutions to the sector.
To this end, Azul will provide Eclipse’s IoT loving community with new options to help speed time to market, reduced component costs, and better developer productivity. Azul also hope that this will allow them to play a “key” role in shoving Java right to the very heart of the IoT, consolidating its position as the de facto platform for the technology.
Mike Milinkovich, Executive Director at the Eclipse Foundation, is also optimistic in this respect, commenting: “Azul Systems is 100% focussed on Java and Java runtime technology which supports our objective of establishing a Java platform for IoT, targeted at connecting and managing devices. The expertise it brings to the community will encourage developers to harvest the productivity benefits of Java and accelerate the widespread adoption of the language throughout the IoT.”
You’ve probably heard Azul’s name being thrown around in the Javasphere in the last few weeks as a result of Oracle offing public support for Java 7. Azul offers two fully open source builds of OpenJDK – Zulu and Zulu Embedded – which have been touted as options for those who are reticent to pay Oracle to maintain older versions of the Java platform. Working as a Solution-level member of the Eclipse Foundation, Azul will lending their expertise in all things Java to the Eclipse Foundation’s IoT working group.
It’s Zulu Embedded that will be of most interest to developers in the IoT space. This offering provides developers with an alternative to traditional embedded versions of the platform (*cough*Oracle), and is recommended for developers seeking customizable, multiplatform, reduced-footprint, and standards compliant Java SE runtimes and development solutions. Since the offering went GA earlier this year, it’s been installed in over 2 million devices.
Over at Eclipse, there are currently 15 different open source IoT based projects on the go. The range from implementations of standards like messaging protocol MQTT, to the Foundation’s three main projects; the Eclipse Paho Project, providing client implementations for MQTT, and the two server implementations for the MQTT broker – Mosquito (written in C), and Java-based Moquette. As well as working to implement standards to fight the forces of fragmentation, Eclipse also work to provide extensible frameworks for developers working on IoT applications.