SAN FRANCISCO – Sun Microsystems Inc. pledged less posturing and more technical sessions as the seventh annual JavaOne conference kicked off Monday.

Last year’s JavaOne was described by some as a “”smackdown,”” said Patricia Sueltz, executive vice-president of Sun’s software

systems group, but this year it’s back to basics, with fewer CEOs speaking and more opportunities for Java developers to learn.

In fact, the opening keynote had all the edge of a PBS pledge drive, with nary a word of the lawsuit the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company has against its sworn enemy, Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft Corp. Sun filed a suit earlier this month in a United States District Court claiming Microsoft was “”illegally impeding Sun’s business and harming the Java platform.”” Sun is seeking several injunctions related to Windows XP and Internet Explorer as well as damages in excess of US$1 billion.

But there was no indication from Monday morning keynote speakers that Java was in anyway damaged. “”There’s never been more momentum around Java and JavaOne,”” Sueltz said.

Ironically, both Sun and Microsoft have something in common – XML (Extensible markup language). XML was mentioned just as much as much as the Java language itself, or its various flavours – such as J2SE and J2ME — for that matter.

And where there’s XML, there’s bound to be Web services. Rich Green, vice-president and general manager for Java and XML software at Sun, said XML doesn’t eliminate the need for Java. Rather, both are required for Web services.

However, some critics have observed that XML-based Web services minimize the need for Java’s write once, run anywhere approach, with the standards-based interoperability of Web services, using standards such as SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol), UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery and Integration) and applications that support the appropriate protocols can communicate with one another, reducing the need to have the same code everywhere.

Rivaling Web services for attention at the opening keynote were wireless devices. “”The network client is the all-powerful thing,”” said Green. “”It transcends the desktop.”” He pointed to an ARC Group report that predicts there will be more the one billion Java-powered devices by 2004.

“”Two-thousand-and-two is the year of wireless Java,”” said Jouko Häyrynen, vice-president, Forum Nokia, a Web site bringing together professional developers working with technologies and platforms supported by Nokia mobile devices.

Irving, Tex.-based Nokia Americas took the opportunity to introduce its Java Broker Service for operators and developers at JavaOne. Dubbed Tradepoint, the service enables operators to immediately deploy Java 2 Micro Edition (J2ME) applications to their customers. Green described it as “”clearing house”” for applications by Java developers.

The past nine months since last year’s JavaOne have been productive, said Green. J2SE has seen 18 million downloads from the Sun Web site to date, and despite recent controversy, the company released Java for XP. “”We continue to work with partners to maintain and grow Java’s presence on the desktop,”” he said.

A number of companies are expected to introduce new products, ranging from development tools for Web services to B2B functionality
Borland, of Scotts Valley, Calif., plans to announce an expansion of the Borland Software Platform for Java with the debut of Borland OptimizeIt Suite and JDataStore. The Borland Software Platform is intended to drive adoption of Java technologies by migrating Java development beyond power users to mainstream enterprise developers, according to Borland, and enable delivery of projects at a lower total cost of ownership, according to the company.

Meanwhile, IBM Corp. announced new WebSphere products and development tools, enabling customers to build and deploy more sophisticated Web services applications, including its WebSphere Application Server and WebSphere
Studio, both designed to help customers Create new applications by combining existing Web services, J2EE-based applications and other applications.

JavaOne continues through Friday. Sun Microsystems chairman and CEO Scott McNealy will deliver Tuesday morning’s keynote.


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