Sun has announced the availability of Java Embedded Server, a technology that will allow the software in all kinds of network connected devices to be updated remotely. The technology is a stepping stone towards the much hyped Jini protocol.
Java Embedded Server, despite the name, does not run on a server but on any type of device that supports Java. It allows these devices to be changed with new software written in the language.
?Embedded Server allows the manufacturer or user of a device to upgrade the software of the device, adding new features and extending the lifetime of the device," said Andre Crump, product line manager of Sun?s enterprise products group. This software update can be performed remotely over the Internet.
For instance, a router or a printer could be updated with new diagnostic software, or with a metering application, without the device ever having to be touched. When a certain application is no longer needed, it can be closed down, saving memory on the device. Sun said the software could also be used in ATMs, gasoline pumps or even dishwashers.
Java Embedded Server is a '100% pure Java' application, about 500Kbytes in size. It will run on top of a full blown Java Virtual Machine, but also on the scaled down Personal Java and Embedded Java.
Sun is positioning Embedded Server as a good way to prepare for its Jini technology. Jini is a Java based protocol that allows various devices to advertise their services on a network, potentially solving many connectivity problems and eliminating the need for installing device specific driver software. Jini is currently in beta.
?Putting Java Embedded Server on a product now will allow you to get the Jini service on the device," said Crump.
The next version of Java Embedded Server, release 1.1, will actually include the Jini service out of the box.
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