During a panel session at Oracle Open World, Oracle Senior Vice President Peter Utzschneider said Java is key to the creation of the Internet of Things as there are not enough developers to create the necessary software for each type of device separately.
Java has been around for years, and has amassed a community of nine million developers. While there has been some fragmentation of versions, "we're... building a common platform," he said.
The arrival of Java 8 next March will be "a dramatic leap forward," Utzschneider. There are currently three versions of Java relevant to devices, but one is being retired and the other two (SE and ME) will have more commonality in terms of language and APIs.
Oracle Senior Vice President Chris Baker said a standard platform is needed for the Internet of Things along with standardised, preconfigured systems so that people can get on with writing specific applications (without having to worry about the plumbing). The 'write once, deploy to many' model will be essential to making the task feasible..
"We believe the Internet of Things is going to hit every industry," he said, but with nine million Java developers there is "a huge economy out there."
Asked whether the insecurity of Java could be a liability for the Internet of Things, Utzschneider said recent issues involved the browser plug-in for Java rather than Java itself. Oracle is "on a concrete path to get thorough that," he said, and suggested the fundamental security of Java had been proved on SIM cards and smart cards.
Responding to a suggestion that Oracle may be planning to charge for Java components that were previously free of charge, Utzschneider said the company's policy is that parts that are currently free will remain that way. Items subject to a licensing fee (eg, $US0.60 for a very low-power device) generally will not change, though some may be released without charge. For example, Java for ARM-based servers and for the Raspberry Pi are free.
The writer attended Oracle Open World as the guest of Oracle.