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Java technology trends for 2016
- Java continues to dominate the enterprise ecosystem. Here’s a question for those who predict the inevitable death of the language: why do 90% of Fortune 500 companies use Java and have no plans to abandon it? The language offers many excellent libraries which address almost any problem that might occur during the enterprise software dev process. Java apps run on any platform, are highly scalable and process large amounts of data. Twitter, initially a Ruby on Rails app, migrated to Java (the Blender server) simply because it scales well and handles life data requests (searching for content by hashtags). Another example comes from the Square credit card reading application that is built with several languages (including C++ and Ruby). According to Bob Lee, Square’s chief technology officer, “Java is the only choice when it comes to extreme scalability & performance requirements”. Both corporations (they don’t usually welcome changes) and fast-developing companies use the language – and will be doing so throughout 2016;
- Google sticks to Java. You’ve probably heard about the famous Oracle-Google lawsuit. The two companies will meet in court in May, with Oracle seeking $ 9.3 billion for Android’s unauthorized use of Java. Although Google has already announced plans to use OpenJDK (Java Development Kit) in the upcoming version of Android, it doesn’t look like they will abandon the language anytime soon. Sure, OpenJDK will create a common code base for Android vendors and increase the speed of software development. Why use Java at all? Well, it’s the native approach that makes a killer application and assures its great performance. Some developers say Google will switch to Go (it’s safe and simple) or Dart (perfect for the cloud). It’s a logical (and not improbable!) step for the company. The question is, how long will it take to do all the rewriting for Android & encourage vendors to learn a new language?
- Growing demand for Java developers. In less than two years, the demand for mobile enterprise applications will grow five times faster than dev capacities. Android currently dominates the smartphone market with 80.7% (compared to Apple’s 17.7%) and will continue its expansion from now through 2020. Thus, Java will remain the driving force behind mobile application development trends (provided Google doesn’t make major changes to the Android ecosystem). The lack of experienced vendors and increasing hourly rates will force US and EU companies offshore (to Eastern Europe in particular);
- Internet of Things. Back in 00’s, Sun Microsystem put 100% of their energy and resources into the Java EE enterprise platform – to widespread adoption of Java-written business software and complete negligence of desktop solutions. Why do we list IoT among the latest dev trends in Java? As of now, it’s one of the few technologies that are capable of joining up the IoT parts together. George Saab (VP of development for Java at Oracle, the company which acquired Sun in 2010) believes Java’s future lies in the Internet of Things – and there’s logic to it. Many IoT’s challenges are similar to those Sun addressed some 15 years ago (a totally new ecosystem, different hardware environments, lack of security standards). Mike Milincovich (Eclipse Foundation) shares similar opinion. He expects Oracle to develop a complete end-to-end storage data solution in the near future, and it looks like the wait won’t be long. The Kona Project is currently working on Java APIs for embedded systems. The Java ME platform allows vendors to build secure applications for the Internet of Things. The language is supported by the Intel IoT platform. And it keeps getting better;
- Further evolution of Java. Oracle continues to work on Java 9 which is scheduled for an indefinite 2017 release. The major goal of the project is to segment JDK into independent modules. And it means developers will be able to use just the elements they need for a particular application (no more Archive hell, as Saab said). The modules will also power connected devices, and it brings us back to the Java IoT technology trends.