This content is part of the Essential Guide: News from JavaOne 2016

Top 7 Java platform takeaways from JavaOne 2015

What were the big takeaways from JavaOne 2015 with regards to the Java platform? Here we take a look at seven key insights garnered from this year's JavaOne and Oracle Open World conferences.

Both opening and closing keynote presentations at JavaOne 2015 were peppered with cool concepts and nuggets of information that will impact the Java community on a fundamental level in the coming months and years. For those keeping up with the happenings on OpenJDK, current projects won't be startling news. But it is a bit breathtaking to consider the scope of what Java has accomplished to date and what's in store for the future.  Here's a look at the top seven points that jumped out from the featured speakers.

#1 Java is returning to its mobile roots

Java is best known for its role in programming in the enterprise space, from the server side to the typical desktop client. But the quick video featuring Jason Gosling and his trusty Star7 PDA revealed that the language was originally designed in the days when handheld mobile computing was just being birthed. Today, Java ME is making inroads into the palms of consumers' hands once again. The optimized memory usage, and security measures implemented in Java ME 8.2 should entice developer to explore all kinds of new use cases. It's a small, small world.

#2 Oracle is serious about conquering the cloud

Java SE Cloud Services represents the drive to carry Java-based server side apps from on-premise infrastructure into the cloud in full force. With a system that's designed to accommodate all the popular tools and environments from Eclipse to Tomcat, this service will allow developers to zip their apps and deploy them on the cloud with little effort. Larry Ellison, Executive Chairman and CTO at Oracle, spoke in his related Open World keynote about the efforts Oracle is taking to outpace competitors like Amazon and SAP. Making the cloud more Java friendly is a step in that direction.

We want to make it as easy to use Java in the cloud as it is on-premise.

Shaun Smith, Oracle Senior Principal Product Manager

#3 Development is primed to move off-premise

With the launch of Developer Cloud Service, Java programmers won't be restricted to coding on-premise. They can design and build right where they deploy by using a cloud development environment that provides access to previously unimaginable computing resources for testing. Programming in the cloud is already catching on in the startup and small business sector. Now, Oracle is betting the enterprises are ready to make the move as well.

#4 Putting the pieces together means taking Java apart

As part of Java 9, Project Jigsaw is where things really start to get interesting from a development perspective. Chief Architect, Mark Reinhold, revealed that there may finally be a way out of JAR hell when the brittle and error prone classpath is made obsolete. By nature of their design, the proposed concept of Modules will give developers a way to build conflict-free code that ensures all classes are present at build and runtime.

#5 The JDK is about to crumble. And that's a good thing.

Just as modules will ease the pain of the classpath, modularity is expected to be the salve for security and maintainability concerns for the monolithic JDK. As with most of the Java community's more ambitious endeavors, this change will take quite some time to complete. When modularization is accomplished, developer can enjoy a more intelligent structure for the JDK—but they'll have to say goodbye to accessing internal APIs in the developer kit.

#6 Java 10 and 11 will fly close to the metal

Valhalla may not be heaven, but it's a close facsimile for hardware enthusiasts. Java Language Architect Brian Goetz offered a forward looking view of a time when value classes will help the JVM capture the full performance of modern hardware. By stripping away unnecessary headers and pointers, the Valhalla approach to Java's language will provide access to pure data, reducing inefficiency and making data more cache-friendly. Developers are bound to enjoy the ability to work with something that "Codes like a class; behaves like an int."

#7 Smart embedded technology will take business intelligence to the edge

Robert Clark, Senior Product Developer for IOT, spoke about Gartner's prediction that there will be 25 billion embedded devices by 2020. But the low cost of streaming the data captured by these devices into the cloud for storage won't make life easier for those tasked with making sense of all this information. Clark suggested that the solution to better resource and data management will be to use Java ME to write apps that can be deployed "at the edge", ensuring that only important information is forwarded to the cloud for processing. 

What do you think is the next big trend in the Java world?  Let us know.

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