Sun Microsystems set out its Java stall in the retail point of sale market this week, with a new protocol to enable Epos systems to run Java applications.
The JavaPOS protocol, currently in its first draft, allows Java developers to write applications to work with cash tills, barcode readers and scanners. The protocol both uses parts of - and also competes with - Microsoft's own OLE Point of Sale (OPOS) application program interface.
Retailers will be able to choose which protocol to write applications to, but as the JavaPOS matches the section of the OPOS specification that addresses device drivers, they can continue to use existing applications and hardware. Sun claimed that using JavaPOS enables retailers to run Java applications that are intrinsically platform independent.
The aim is to enable retailers to run Java applications with existing equipment that is compatible with OPOS, rather than having to purchase PCs or even NCs. A number of retailers as well as IBM, NCR and other retail IT suppliers endorsed the JavaPOS protocol.
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