Just as language use around the world constantly changes as time goes on, change is coming to the programming language sphere. A new era is coming in the world of computer programming, and in the embedded field, the old standards are falling to the wayside. Gone are the days of Assembly and C and here come the object-oriented C# and Java.
Our post in September 2012 highlighted the popularity of specific programming languages used on current projects. Only a few months later, VDC’s most current research highlights a growing trend toward Java use. While Java was used on projects by 22% of people polled in 2012, our most current data shows that Java use jumped to 28%.
So what makes Java so popular for embedded systems and why is its adoption growing so rapidly?
One big factor in this growth is Oracle’s new focus on the embedded market with their Java Embedded Suite. As recently as July 2013, Oracle increased the number of Java tools catered specifically to the embedded market with their updated Java Micro Edition Embedded product. Oracle is rapidly expanding their product line to cater to all types of embedded needs from resource-constrained micro-controllers to printers and televisions. As Nandini Ramani, Vice President of Java Development at Oracle, states in their July 2013 press release, “With the latest updates to our Java embedded product family, Oracle is continuing to deliver against customer requirements and key values to help drive increased growth and capabilities for connected M2M devices”. This broad applicability of Embedded Java is appealing for a programming language.
Java is also very attractive for embedded products due to its write-once-run-anywhere architecture. Since the embedded world is made up of so many different hardware platforms, an agnostic solution like Java Embedded makes it easy for programmers to write software for a wide variety of products. Efficiency is key, and Java helps makes embedded software development and rollout very efficient.
With its large base of 9 million developers, established use on billions of devices, a suite of products that caters to a wide range of embedded needs, and an architecture that can work anywhere once written, Java is becoming a very strong player in the embedded programming realm.
By Zach D. McCabe,
Research Assistant, M2M & Embedded Technology