Apple is credited for turning the smartphone market on its head with the iPhone and the concomitant App Store. But do you know of a mobile app repository that boasts thousands of free apps across different mobile platforms? GetJar is the largest independent app store and the second largest overall. It has delivered more than 1 billion app downloads since its inception in 2005.
"We look forward to our continued partnership with Accel Partners and this new funding will be instrumental in taking GetJar to the next level in our business strategy for aggressive global expansion and product development," said GetJar founder and chief executive Ilja Laurs.
The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) this week revealed plans to make Apache Pivot a Top-Level Project (TLP), as well as release version 4.0 of the technology, the fourth update of the platform for building rich Internet applications (RIA).
"Users have much higher expectations for Web applications now than they did 10 years ago," said Greg Brown, Chair of the Apache Pivot Project Management Committee (PMC) and Principal Consultant at Cantina Consulting. "This is why we're seeing tools like Flex and Silverlight beginning to gain traction, however, both of these require developers who are otherwise happy using Java to switch technologies. Pivot is an attempt to create a model, rich client development platform in Java."
Pivot brings to the table a set of standard user interface elements from buttons to editable tree and table controls. In addition, it includes an XML markup language to help with the development of modern GUI apps.
BMC on Thursday announced it has acquired privately held Phurnace Software, a Texas-based company specializing in the development of automation software for deploying and configuring Java-based apps.
BMC's interest in the acquisition stems from the trend of businesses increasingly expanding their use of Java apps for critical IT services. According to BCM, managing the roll-out, stability, and configuration integrity of these apps manually or with script-based solutions proves unreliable and leads to costly delays.
"The increased frequency and criticality of application deployments and changes make it difficult and costly for IT organizations to rely on manual changes and deployment processes," said Ronni Colville, vice president and analyst at Gartner. "Organizations need to embrace an automated application release solution to ensure efficient, repeatable, accurate, and reliable application deployments."
Right off the bat, BMC said it plans to embed Phurnace technology into the BMC BladeLogic Server Automation Suite product.
Sun kicked off the weekend with an updated beta release of its Java Store, a Java-FX-powered storefront currently in beta form. It's intended for developers and aims to provide an easy and secure means of discovering and acquiring Java and JavaFX apps.
"This release includes a number of new features such as: account creation in the client, the ability for developers outside of the U.S. to preview applications using the Java Store view, improved integration with Paypal, and numerous smaller features, performance enhancements, and bug fixes," Sun wrote in an official blog post on Friday.
A variety of apps comprise the Java Store, including social networking, games, productivity, business tools, and even emulators, like the C64 emulator JSwing C64. There's also an option to "Preview" an app before committing to buying it.
The Java Store is compatible with Windows XP with SP2 or later, Vista with SP2, and Mac OS X 10.5.x or later. Although not listed, in our limited testing, we've also had luck running it in Windows 7 64-bit.
Sun MIcrosystems and the GlassFish community on Thursday announced the immediate availability of Sun GlassFish Enterprise Server v3, which is the latest release of Sun's commercial Java Platform Enterprise Edition (Java EE) application server and its open source counterpart, GlassFish v3.
"In addition to delivering the tremendous enhancements available in Java EE 6, Sun GlassFish Enterprise Server v3 provides features to help improve start-up time and reduce resource utilization plus fine-grained monitoring capabilities that offer improved observability for both developers and IT operators," said Karen Tegan Padir, vice president of MySQL and Software Infrastructure at Sun.
Padir went on to explain that people should think of GlassFish v3 as a pluggable runtime capable of hosting many types of containers, as well as enabling rapid, iterative development with multiple programming languages, and thus consolidate to a single platform or runtime.
Sun GlassFish Enterprise Server v3 is part of the Sun GlassFish Portfolio, which is available now through a "flexible subscription-based pricing model starting at $999 per server."
Oracle, in collaboration with SpringSource, has proposed a new Eclipse project called "Enterprise Modules," or "Project Gemini" if going by the platform's codename. The project is intended to provide a home for subprojects integrating existing Java enterprise technologies into mobile-based platforms, according to the proposal.
"The primary goal of the Gemini project is to provide access to standard enterprise technology implementations within a modular framework," the proposal states. "The OSGi [Open Services Gateway Initiative] Alliance has developed specifications for the application and usage of many of the enterprise technologies within OSGi. These specifications describe how vendors should implement and interoperate with existing services, and how the OSGi modularity, life cycle, and service models should be applied with respect to those technologies. Gemini will provide implementations of many of these specifications."
The Project Gemini proposal went on to claim that OSGi has been gaining in popularity among enterprise developers, and that the natural evolution is to now start creating standards for integrating popular enterprise technologies in module-based systems before serving up implementations for the general public.
The OneApp executable is very light (only 150 kilobytes) as it uses cloud-based resources. It has already been rolled out to Blue Label Telecoms subscribers in South Africa. Microsoft plans to launch OneApp in other parts of the world next year, along with the official SDK.
Finally answering the call first made in 2003 and ultimately "deferred to a future release," Sun Microsystems is giving users a 64-bit plugin integrated into Java 6 Update 12. The new update also includes a 64-bit version of Webstart, a framework which offers end-users the ability to start Java applications over a network or the internet.
The 64-bit plugin is required for 64-bit browsers and comes included as part of the Java Runtime Environment. Users planning to run 32-bit and 64-bit browser interchangeably must install both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the JRE.
In addition to the 64-bit plugin, Java 6 Update 12 offers official Windows 2008 support, better performance, and no less than 140 bug fixes.
It's an all-too-familiar marketing ploy: download a utility you really want, and get a toolbar for your browser free. This week, Microsoft joined the "download one, get one free" bandwagon, but with a twist: Redmond announced a deal with Sun Microsystems to offer the MSN Toolbar to US users of Internet Explorer whenever they download the Java Runtime Environment. MSN Toolbar offers one-click access to Live Search, direct access to Windows Live Hotmail and Windows Live Messenger, and stories from the MSN network. If you hate toolbars, or your browser's already running your favorite toolbar, you can opt out of the MSN toolbar.
This Microsoft plus Sun pairing represents a big "win" for Microsoft, as Google's toolbar was previously being offered as the freebie with Java. As El Reg points out, this sort of thing is nothing new for Sun and Java. Java's also been used to deliver offers of OpenOffice and the Yahoo! toobar (the latter to Mozilla Firefox browser users only).
So, how do you feel about these combo deals? Would you rather get a coupon for free french fries, or are you comfortable with getting "two for one" downloads"? Join us after the jump and sound off.