Given the girth and weight of Oracle's efforts to focus on the OpenWorld side of its annual developer and user conference program, it is perhaps easy to miss some of the extended news elements emanating from the JavaOne side of the firm's now Sun-enriched technology stack.
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Among the technologies not receiving all the attention they deserve right now is M2M, or machine-to-machine to afford the sector its full term.
As many readers will know, M2M technology is designed to support wired or wireless communication between machines and is used in telemetry, robotics, remote monitoring, status tracking, data collection, remote control, road traffic control, offsite diagnostics, and even in telemedicine applications.
Senior VP Judson Althoff was quoted recently explaining how his company has now built "an ecosystem of solutions" for a new big data-oriented device-to-datacenter world with embedded Java for intelligent devices along with integrated middleware for connectivity concerns and Complex Event Processing (CEP) capabilities to facilitate real-time analysis of events and data — all of this is backed up with (guess what, this is Oracle after all) a proven database that can scale.
Oracle used JavaOne last year to announce Oracle Java Embedded Suite 7.0 as a packaged offering for application development across a wide range of M2M-centric embedded systems including network appliances, healthcare devices, home gateways and routers, and large peripheral devices such as multi-function printers.
"The rapid growth of the 'Internet of Things' in industries such as home networking, medical devices, energy grid management, industrial automation, M2M, and wireless devices is increasing demand for the delivery and deployment of standard-based applications which are capable of collecting and managing data and data traffic from numerous embedded devices," said Nandini Ramani, vice president of Engineering, Java Client and Mobile Platforms, Oracle.
"Oracle Java Embedded Suite allows customers to use standard middleware components to more quickly develop applications that can aggregate, store, and transmit data securely to and from these resource-constrained devices and helps ensure timely and low-cost data concentration for M2M or M2M-like systems," she continued.
The Eclipse Foundation is equally positive about the growth of M2M and hosts the dedicated http://m2m.eclipse.org/ portal to champion developers' interests in this technology zone.
Eclipse's M2M vision hinges around the development of frameworks that can move away from the fact that a vast majority of today's M2M solutions are designed in an ad hoc manner. Depending on the business domain and on the targeted platform, "very different and often incompatible architectures" are implemented, says Eclipse.
"We want to provide an embedded platform that M2M-enables embedded devices and exposes high-level API for device management, wired/wireless communication. We believe that one of the biggest hurdles to create industrial M2M solutions is the complexity to develop the applications that are embedded on the communicating devices on the field. There are many domains with business opportunities for M2M solutions where people do not want to have to learn a complex language such as C, when all they want to do is manipulate a few data structures and send them to a remote server."
Eclipse advocates the lightweight Lua embeddable scripting language as a means to simplify the development of embedded applications, thus following the path of the mobile and game development industries.
According to Lua.org, "Lua combines simple procedural syntax with powerful data description constructs based on associative arrays and extensible semantics. Lua is dynamically typed, runs by interpreting bytecode for a register-based virtual machine, and has automatic memory management with incremental garbage collection, making it ideal for configuration, scripting, and rapid prototyping."
The M2M space is growing fast and the developer opportunity is expanding. If you don't believe Oracle, then why not believe Eclipse? Either way, just believe it.