|By Michael Mathews||
|September 18, 2003 12:00 AM EDT||
This is nowhere more evident than in systems that combine the new generation of smart embedded devices with powerful end-to-end services that integrate smart things to better serve and simplify the user’s environment. Deployment of these services involves a level of complexity that many embedded developers may not have dealt with before. These devices are found everywhere – in the pocket or purse, in the car, in the home, and of course in the office. They are symbols of the next generation of Net-centric computing and communications convergence.
They must be small, powerful, flexible, easy to use, secure, and affordable. They must integrate well with the existing infrastructure, work well with legacy devices, and support an easy and painless forward migration. They will have a short life span, followed closely by the next product, and therefore must be brought to market quickly, on time, and on budget.
Why Embedded Linux?
Embedded Linux delivers the reliability, openness, and performance required by the new generation of smart devices. This helps the development team quickly embrace embedded platform technology, allowing them to start by focusing on the unique requirements of deploying applications on compact connected things. Embedded Linux also provides access to the widest number of processor architectures and board implementations, allowing more flexibility in the choice of a deployment platform. When properly adapted for embedded applications, Linux offers the project manager and developer the best option on which to build embedded solutions. As the core Linux technology evolves to address new requirements, the infrastructure continues to grow, providing support for numerous new devices, technologies, protocols, and services. This work addresses the driver development and integration necessary to fully support the features and functions of a board. Most deployment platforms are custom made, based on a standard architecture and reference board. With access to the source code, Linux facilitates this approach, making it possible to develop several generations of a product family taking advantage of the evolution of the hardware technology over time.
With modern embedded Linux distributions, using a standard PC-based host for application development and testing is powerful and efficient. Cross development support allows programmers to build and test code running on the target platform while connected to the host platform. This facilitates rapid test and debug cycles resulting in much shorter time-to-market projects.
Why Embedded Java?
With all of the facilities and flexibility available from embedded Linux today, it might seem that using embedded Java for the applications is not necessary.
Java technology offers embedded systems developers some clear advantages over current alternatives such as C and C++ or assembler. The most significant are ease of development and maintenance, the facility to reuse code, easy integration with the native system when necessary, and availability of a large number of developers.
Java has been very successful over the past few years in the world of client-server applications, and more recently in the burgeoning e-commerce application server market. The focus in this space has led to many innovations that have benefited Java as an application environment – many that apply equally well to embedded applications as to server applications.
Development and Maintenance
Over the entire life of a project, the Java environment enhances ease of development and maintenance. When the target system is based on a virtual machine, code is easier to instrument, debug, analyze, hot-replace, and maintain. Network-enabled connected devices can be far more complex than previous kinds of embedded systems. Manual techniques for upgrading may no longer be effective over the project life cycle. Instead, the connectivity of devices provides the ability to manage components remotely, allowing development teams to add product features, resolve problems, and maintain and upgrade the software in the device after the product ships.
Java is a network-centric technology, designed and developed to support the notion that "the network is the system." Therefore it readily supports multiple network topology models, facilitates interoperability through its API standardization, and enables the delivery of features and services locally or via remote network services.
Java technology makes true cross development possible. Program function is developed on workstations, unit tested, and prepared for integration. Thus, even without access to prototype hardware, developers can proceed with function development. After prototype hardware is available, developers can share it through network attachments, creating a virtual lab accessible to team members within a company or among partner companies.
The Java program execution environment also reduces issues relating to memory management, allowing automated "garbage collection" techniques to be used to clean up after released memory segments.
Java Development Tools
Many developers and engineers have discovered that a critical advantage is gained when a complete toolkit is available to embedded Java application developers. Many of these developers have come to embedded projects from past experience deploying enterprise-class projects, and will focus on the logical extension of existing online services directly to pervasive connected embedded devices. These developers expect to find efficient development tools. They regularly use integrated development environments, sophisticated debuggers, ahead-of-time Java language compilation techniques, and program analysis profile tools. Most also have experience with integrated version control and release management facilities. There are many popular examples of Java development environments available today, including JBuilder from Borland and Forte from Sun. A completely integrated, cross-development environment, designed to support the developer working on the host and the target, is often the critical factor in helping a project stay on time. VisualAge Micro Edition from IBM/OTI is the leading example today.
Many developers working to create embedded Java applications using an embedded Linux operating system will also want to use Linux as their development workstation. This helps create a uniform and efficient development experience and avoids the necessity of switching between Linux and Windows workstation conventions for commands and user interface interaction. IBM has provided the VisualAge Micro Edition IDE and tools for use on Red Hat Linux–based developer workstations. This supports a complete cross-development embedded experience for engineers and developers.
It’s often an advantage to develop applications on a personal computer workstation and then deploy them remotely to connected devices in a shared laboratory. The VisualAge Micro Edition tools provide this through remote debugger and program analysis tools and the use of shared file techniques between the developer workstation and the target platform. NFS- or LAN-based sharing techniques permit a Java program object to be immediately loaded on a remote device.
With the hot-code replacement facilities of the virtual machine, program changes can be immediately and seamlessly activated from the debugger interface on the developer workstation. This tight integration leads to a new level of efficiency for embedded developers. Since Java technology is based upon virtual machine technology, hot-code replacement is available to connected embedded devices. This offers a new degree of flexibility and convenience to the designers of embedded projects. In particular, it’s possible to design future enhancements and feature activation based upon these techniques using OSGi Bundle Management.
This article is part of Michael Mathews' feature in the next issue of LinuxWorld Magazine. To read more about embedded Linux with Java, be sure to pick up the November/December issue of LWM!
The BPM world is going through some evolution or changes where traditional business process management solutions really have nowhere to go in terms of development of the road map. In this demo at 15th Cloud Expo, Kyle Hansen, Director of Professional Services at AgilePoint, shows AgilePoint’s unique approach to dealing with this market circumstance by developing a rapid application composition or development framework.
Dec. 22, 2014 11:00 AM EST Reads: 1,467
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
Dec. 22, 2014 11:00 AM EST Reads: 2,359
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...
Dec. 21, 2014 02:00 PM EST Reads: 2,444
"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 21, 2014 01:00 PM EST Reads: 2,042
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...
Dec. 21, 2014 11:30 AM EST Reads: 2,449
SYS-CON Events announced today that IDenticard will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IDenticard™ is the security division of Brady Corp (NYSE: BRC), a $1.5 billion manufacturer of identification products. We have small-company values with the strength and stability of a major corporation. IDenticard offers local sales, support and service to our customers across the United States and Canada. Our partner network encompasses some 300 of the world's leading systems integrators and security s...
Dec. 21, 2014 10:00 AM EST Reads: 2,197
ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...
Dec. 21, 2014 06:15 AM EST Reads: 2,171
“In the past year we've seen a lot of stabilization of WebRTC. You can now use it in production with a far greater degree of certainty. A lot of the real developments in the past year have been in things like the data channel, which will enable a whole new type of application," explained Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 20, 2014 08:00 AM EST Reads: 1,457
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
Dec. 18, 2014 09:45 PM EST Reads: 1,305
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 18, 2014 09:00 AM EST Reads: 1,425
Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa, at more than US$500 billion, and ranks 23rd in the world. A recent re-evaluation of Nigeria's true economic size doubled the previous estimate, and brought it well ahead of South Africa, which is a member (unlike Nigeria) of the G20 club for political as well as economic reasons. Nigeria's economy can be said to be quite diverse from one point of view, but heavily dependent on oil and gas at the same time. Oil and natural gas account for about 15% of Nigera's overall economy, but traditionally represent more than 90% of the country's exports and as...
Dec. 18, 2014 06:00 AM EST Reads: 977
The Internet of Things is a misnomer. That implies that everything is on the Internet, and that simply should not be - especially for things that are blurring the line between medical devices that stimulate like a pacemaker and quantified self-sensors like a pedometer or pulse tracker. The mesh of things that we manage must be segmented into zones of trust for sensing data, transmitting data, receiving command and control administrative changes, and peer-to-peer mesh messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Bagnulo, Solution Architect / Software Engineer at SOA Software, focused on desi...
Dec. 17, 2014 11:15 PM EST Reads: 1,469
"At our booth we are showing how to provide trust in the Internet of Things. Trust is where everything starts to become secure and trustworthy. Now with the scaling of the Internet of Things it becomes an interesting question – I've heard numbers from 200 billion devices next year up to a trillion in the next 10 to 15 years," explained Johannes Lintzen, Vice President of Sales at Utimaco, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 17, 2014 11:00 PM EST Reads: 1,518
"For over 25 years we have been working with a lot of enterprise customers and we have seen how companies create applications. And now that we have moved to cloud computing, mobile, social and the Internet of Things, we see that the market needs a new way of creating applications," stated Jesse Shiah, CEO, President and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 17, 2014 08:00 PM EST Reads: 1,481
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built to optimize Microsoft workloads, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Gridstore™ is the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built for Microsoft workloads and designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Gridstore’s hyper-converged infrastructure is the industry’s first all flash version of HyperConverged Appliances that include both compute and storag...
Dec. 17, 2014 06:30 PM EST Reads: 1,448
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops using a visual drag-and-drop application – and eForms-buildi...
Dec. 17, 2014 11:45 AM EST Reads: 1,591
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
Dec. 16, 2014 11:45 PM EST Reads: 1,446
Code Halos - aka "digital fingerprints" - are the key organizing principle to understand a) how dumb things become smart and b) how to monetize this dynamic. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Brown, AVP, Center for the Future of Work at Cognizant Technology Solutions, outlined research, analysis and recommendations from his recently published book on this phenomena on the way leading edge organizations like GE and Disney are unlocking the Internet of Things opportunity and what steps your organization should be taking to position itself for the next platform of digital competition.
Dec. 15, 2014 11:45 PM EST Reads: 1,799
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Dec. 15, 2014 10:30 AM EST Reads: 6,949
As the Internet of Things unfolds, mobile and wearable devices are blurring the line between physical and digital, integrating ever more closely with our interests, our routines, our daily lives. Contextual computing and smart, sensor-equipped spaces bring the potential to walk through a world that recognizes us and responds accordingly. We become continuous transmitters and receivers of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Bolwell, Director of Innovation for HP's Printing and Personal Systems Group, discussed how key attributes of mobile technology – touch input, sensors, social, and ...
Dec. 15, 2014 10:00 AM EST Reads: 2,004