New day for Java as Oracle World approaches

Like all the others, Oracle began its life as a technology upstart, but it has always had a reputation for a stiletto-like focus on the business side. It has parlayed its relational database into a vast business, which grew considerably in recent years as it scooped up a host of would-be enterprise applications competitors, and in those acts redefined what used to be called Enterprise Resource Planning.

It used to proudly boast that its Java application server was the best - but it had no problem buying the far more popular BEA WebLogic server and a slew of enterprise technology in 2008. This vastly expanded Oracle's middleware presence, now borne on the back of its Fusion software line. With a string of high-profile acquisitions adroitly executed, Oracle further moved to purchase the foundering Sun Microsystems - in a single act taking over stewardship of Java software standards and becoming a hardware company.

In August, Oracle served notice that it would take a different approach than Sun's to Java when it sued Google for patent infringement related to that company's use of Java in its Android phone software. Software fans differ on the wisdom of the move - but clearly it is a new day for Java, with a far more business-like group ready to step in where Sun would diddle.

At the combined OracleWorld and JavaOne conferences in San Francisco, vendors, press and users alike will closely inspect Oracle's moves on Fusion and SOA, its databases, the Java Developers Kit, the J EE enterprise component standard, the GlassFish open source application server, the Java ME portable device architecture and a lot more.

This was first published in September 2010

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