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AJAX and RIA Technology Will Be Free for All: Sun CEO

Jonathan Schwartz adds "Java's Always Been a RIA Platform"

'Java's always been a RIA platform - before the world really wanted one,' claimed Sun's CEO Jonathan Schwartz recently, as he reflected on the reinvention of the Java platform as represented by JavaFX. 'What's a rich internet application?' Schwartz wrote.

'It depends on your perspective,' he continued, adding 'From mine, it's any network connected application that persists in front of a user, typically outside a browser, that can operate when disconnected from the network.'

Writing in his popular industry blog, Schwartz gave a little of the background to Java's origins:
"Early Java applets delivered interactivity, but at the expense of development complexity and, in the early days, performance - when a browser, and more recently JavaScript, would suffice.

But browser based applications are hitting complexity and performance limits, and content owners are striving for higher levels of engagement (via high definition video, or advanced interactivity). Developers are demanding something new - the browser's a wonderfully accessible programming model, but it's a weak deployment model for rich/disconnected applications."
Schwartz also noted how, in his view, an unspoken driver of RIA is also business model evolution - "many companies behind rich applications are seeking independence from browsers and search engines, whose default settings and corporate parents present a competitive threat."

"There's a growing appetite for locally installed applications that build rich, direct and permanent engagement with consumers. No one wants to pay a toll to meet their own customers," he added.

In Sun's view RIA developers want to reach every consumer on earth, and on every device, because the market is in front of consumers - no matter what screen they may be using.

Second, according to Schwartz, "RIA developers want performance, functionality AND simplicity."

And third, enterprises want to reuse their existing Java skills and assets in moving to RIA, he added. Fourth, they want free and open platforms, and lastly, "the real value in Web 2.0 is the data - not the app. And that data is YOURS."

Schwartz ended by discussing what the success of JavaFX is worth to Sun:

"By definition, it's worth more to Sun than the adoption of someone else's platform (known as "positive option value") - and the proprietary infrastructure used to serve it (don't forget, RIAs have rich internet back-ends (RIBs?). And in the RIA world, all the options are going to be priced at free, anyways - this isn't a contest to be won on price.

From where I sit, the platform likely to win will be the one that sets developers free - to pursue markets, opportunities and customer experiences as they define them, not as vendors define them. Now, setting developers free - that's where we can excel. It's in the DNA of everything we do.

For developers, learn more at JavaFX.com. And be sure to check out NetBeans - like Java itself, it's starting to rock the free world... "

Photo credit: Arun Gupta, Sun

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JDJ News Desk monitors the world of Java to present IT professionals with updates on technology advances, business trends, new products and standards in the Java and i-technology space.

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