Is Java 9 picking up its quality for the development of embedded IoT applications?

Top Java 9 Features for IoT Development


Internet of things (IoT) is the inter-connection of smart devices with the internet helping them connect with each other to send and receive data. IoT has gained a lot of steam in recent years as technologies pertaining to smart devices have advanced significantly. Embedded systems are essential for control of several automated systems in the present day IoT industry and are used in wide variety of systems. From consumer level electronics to large-scale enterprise office and home automation. They also find huge implementation in government sectors like transport and telecom.

Java has long not been the choice of developers when it comes to developing enterprise level, large-scale IoT application development. Oracle wishes to change this with the introduction of Java 9.

Java 9 was developed around the central idea of reviving interest in using Java as a strong platform for building enterprise-level IoT applications. While languages like C, C++ have high popularity among IoT programmers for being the first programming languages, they are quite prone to syntactical mistakes and hence are complex to implement.

A survey conducted by the  Eclipse Foundation shows Java being the most popular language amongst developers to develop enterprise level IoT applications. Nearly 52% of developers surveyed by the Eclipse Foundation were found saying Java was their preferred language for IoT projects. One of the reasons for Java's popularity is its ability to be applicable to a wide variety of IoT projects.

Java 9, in addition to being widely compatible, deals with processing power challenges while maintaining higher portability than both C and it’s extended version, C++.

One of the JEP (JDK Enhancement Proposals) that was drafted by Oracle for Java 9 was JEP 266.

JEP 266 promises more concurrency updates. This might look seemingly uninteresting, however, it holds great value for developers. According to JEP 266 proposal, we can expect the following:

  • Implementation of interfaces in accordance with Reactive Streams publishing-subscription framework.
  • Several improvements to completable future API such as delay, timeout, subclassing and other essential method support.

The following are some of the new features, explained by a Java development company, which they hope will bring about better development of enterprise level IoT development:

Real-time response capabilities: Java 9 answers one of the most important requirements for large-scale development of IoT, being able to give a real-time response to the millions of endpoint devices.

End-to-End security: Security is an essential requirement for growth in IoT. Implementing End-to-End security gets quite costly and complex. Java 9 aims to make the process of implementing end-to-end security easier.

J-Shell: Java now joins other languages in introducing an interactive REPL (Read-Eval-Print-Loop). This means you get immediate feedback throughout the process.

Standard Libraries: Java provides over 4000 libraries covering all the programming needs of IoT, from concurrency through to networking. This means quicker code implementation for standard functionality and in turn, faster IoT application development.

Robust Code: One of the reasons for the widespread popularity of Java is its robust application code. Java uses implicit pointers that aren’t allowed to be manipulated by application code. This spares developers problems like buffer overrun and memory access violations.

One Platform to cater variety: A big part of the development process of IoT is developing it for the increasingly variable and complex variety of embedded systems that vary greatly in regards to their architecture, hardware, OS, and resources. Creating updates for the various types of OS and resources can be a daunting task. Java helps avoid such a situation by its write-once-run-anywhere ideology. This gives it un-rivaled portability compared to other languages like C and C++.

Java Virtual machine: Java virtual machine provides huge benefits to embedded system developers by taking care of intricacies in running code. JVM provides automated memory management which allows developers to focus on writing code and not worry about the intricacies of running it.

Minimal resource utilization: From its inception, Java was developed to run on tight resource constraint environments which greatly translates to today's embedded system development where minimal resource utilization is required.

Portability: Embedded systems by nature don’t reflect a conventional desktop or mobile system. They are frequently referred to as “headless”, meaning they do not have a display attached. This exponentially increases the complexities and challenges of embedded system development. With the help of Java Virtual machine, developers can bypass writing complex cross-compilation methods and let can let JVM handle the portability side of things.

Networking: Embedded systems on their own cannot provide any benefit. They need to be aggregated from various endpoints and analyzed to convert them into useful data. This is where data centers come into play. By using Java in both, development of embedded systems and in data centers, networking, aggregation and analyzing data becomes easier, economical and efficient.

Author Bio: - Chirag Thumar is experienced and innovative web apps and software developer at TechnoLigent which is fastest growing company in the IT industry. He has passionate and professional team of developers in various area such as asp .net development, Microsoft dynamics CRM, Java Outsourcing Development, Hadoop Big Data, Pentaho BI, Oracle, Mobile application development on Android, iOS and other cross platform.

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