Sun Microsystems' WebStart, available later this year, will provide a mechanism for downloading and caching Java applications. WebStart is based on Java Network Launcher Protocol, which makes sure the user has the correct Java virtual machine (JVM) needed to run an application. If the user's computer doesn't have it, the JVM is downloaded from a server along with the application.l Sun is attempting to focus the attention of some 40,000 programmers on the latest technologies for building Java-based applications that run on mobile devices. Sun and other firms see Java as the ideal technology for building a new breed of Web-based business applications that can be extended to users of personal digital assistants (PDA), handheld computers and mobile phones.l The latest edition of a Java-based software package is designed to take much of the complexity out of doing business over the Web. Savvion Business Manager 2.0, from Savvion, can be used to set up, run and manage business interactions such as checking the status of a shipment of chemicals, confirming a manufacturing schedule or quoting a price on a customer order. Version 2.0, which consists of Java server programs and Web-based graphical tools, boasts 50 new features, most of them suggested by Savvion's customers.l Responding to concerns from key Java stakeholders, Sun is also moving to revise its so-called community process for developing new Java technology. Sun announced the formation of two executive committees that will oversee the Java Community Process (JCP) program for developing Java specifications, reference implementations and test suites. The company said the new committees, which will include representatives from Sun and other vendors, will determine which new technology proposals move forward for further development by Java working groups. However, Sun will continue to maintain its role as "steward" of the technology and plans to retain ultimate "veto power" on any changes to the Java virtual machine, the programming language and major additions to the platform.l Meanwhile, tension over Java between Sun and key ally IBM may also be gathering more steam. Oracle last week signed on to license the server version of Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE), essentially leaving IBM as the only major player to not agree to Sun's licensing terms. IBM officials said that despite the industry's concession to Sun's licensing terms it will continue its adherence to industry standards by supporting Java without caving in to the licensing terms.
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