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Making it easy to build Internet of Things solutions for Java developers

Ritesh Mehta | Oct 16, 2017 147 views No Comments

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Java development has been around for some time. With the continuous technology evolution, it has integrated into building apps and solutions in the world of connected devices at present, which is the IoT.



Internet of things is the internet of everything. During JavaOne, it announced the Open IoT stack for Java, which is a set of technologies that are open-source that would make it easier for developers of Java to build IoT solutions. The technology’s focus is to let developers connect and manage sensors, devices and actuators, which are part of their internet of things solution. There is an estimate that there would be around 4.5 million internet of things developers come 2020. The Java Open IoT Stack is meant to help developers be among those that are creating solutions for the internet of all things.

LET JAVA MICROSOFT BE THE IOT PLATFORM
From small devices to servers, Java is the top developer tool these days. Oracle renews its push to promote the platform for developers to create apps for small devices and of the internet of things. Nevertheless, the platform does not yet scale well to smaller devices. Still, the company continues positioning current Java technologies that developers could use on these systems. Moreover, the company is promoting parity between SE, the Standard Edition 8 and Java ME or the Micro Edition 8. Developers that leverage these platforms could apply their skills from very tin devices to servers.

This is considered a very big milestone and a huge step forward. From a language point of view, Java ME 8 is on parity with SE 8 these days, with little exceptions, such as lambdas.
Oracle also announced the Java ME Embedded 8.1 early access, which feature support for ARM Cortex M3/M4 microcontrollers as well as developer preview for Freescale FRDM K64 boards with Mbed support. One of the biggest perks of the platform is the sturdiness of the application code. The C language utilizes explicit pointers to reference memory, while in Java, all object references are implicit pointers that could not be manipulated by app code. Automatically, this rules out possible concerns, like memory access violations that inevitably could cause an app to stop suddenly.

WHY USE JAVA IN EMBEDDED APPLICATIONS
Java is an object-oriented language that has a certain strength in being portable. This is something very handy when it comes to the internet of things. Like C++ and C, Java is flexible enough to be used in different projects.

SKILLS THAT JAVA DEVELOPERS NEED TO MAKE THE MOST OF THE INTERNET OF THINGS
Developers who want to make the most of the opportunities of the connected devices foster skills across a wide range of key factors, including these items:
1. Hardware. At the heart of the internet of things are billions of interconnected things or devices with actuators and sensors attached, which sense and control the physical world. Hardware development for the devices requires electrical engineering skills. The physical design draws on CAD and industrial design skills.

2. App design and development. Mobile and web apps provide a user interface to interact with and consume data from IoT devices. However, the devices may have their own UIs. Gesture and voice-based interfaces are gaining traction within the internet of things, especially for home automation. Web and mobile apps are developing using a high-level language, which is Java. Developers should keep tabs of emerging frameworks as well as developer kits that they could leverage for fast prototyping.

3. Networking. Another key aspect for the internet of things is connectivity. It lets deices communicate with other devices and communicate with services ad apps that run in the cloud. Network design and management are vital skills within the internet of things because of the sheer volume of connected devices. Also it is also due to the effect that network design decisions could have at scale.

4. Data analytics and business intelligence. As the number of devices that transmit data grows, big data turns into truly huge data. Developers would require a large data management skills to reliably and securely ingest, store and query the vast amount of heterogeneous data that originates from these devices. A lot of devices generate latency or data that’s time-sensitive, thus it’s necessary to filter or discard data that’s irrelevant. Key platforms and technologies for data analytics that developers of IoT should develop skills include Spark, Hadoop and NoSQL databases such as MongoDB.

5. Security. One of the biggest concerns of the connected things is security. Security should be built-in at each step of the design and not added as an afterthought. Vital issues that are related closely to security include data privacy, ethics and liability.

Java is the ideal language for app code development in connected devices like the IoT. It enables a robust software infrastructure for service delivery platforms. It also enables easy development of code via software simulation.

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