Sun Microsystems has released its JavaFX rich Internet application platform that puts the company in competition with Adobe and Microsoft in the RIA space. Despite its come-from-behind status, Sun officials believe JavaFX has a chance to gain ground because it is based on the ubiquitous Java language.
has released JavaFX, which the company bills as one of the
most significant advancements to the Java platform.
With the release of JavaFX 1.0 on Dec. 4, Sun delivers a new platform that
merges form and functionality for building RIAs (rich Internet applications)
with immersive media and content for Web browsers and desktops.
In an interview with eWEEK, Sun CEO
Jonathan Schwartz called JavaFX "one of the most important innovations to
come out of Sun."
In a separate eWEEK interview, Param Singh, senior director of Java
marketing at Sun, said the JavaFX 1.0 release includes three components: the
JavaFX Development Environment, the JavaFX Production Suite and the JavaFX
The JavaFX Development Environment includes the compiler and run-time tools,
graphics, media, Web services, and rich text libraries, along with the NetBeans
IDE (integrated development environment)
6.5. It also includes JavaFX plug-ins for both NetBeans and Eclipse IDEs. In
addition, the JavaFX Development Environment includes a mobile emulator for
developers to preview building mobile applications with JavaFX.
"Our design goal has been to create an environment that would let
designers and developers architect an application once and have it run across
all their screens," Singh said. "Mobile
is the first instantiation of this. At JavaOne we committed to deliver the
mobile run-time by early 2009."
The JavaFX Production Suite is a set of tools and plug-ins that allow Web
designers to dramatically reduce production times, Singh said. Single-click
conversion for media formats to JavaFX allows graphics assets from design
programs, such as Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator, to be easily
incorporated into JavaFX applications. Using the JavaFX Production Suite,
developers can collaborate more efficiently with graphics designers through a
simple exchange of media assets, Singh said. In addition, the resulting
applications will maintain a consistent look and feel across all browsers on
multiple platforms, the company added.
The JavaFX Desktop leverages the major features of Java Platform Standard
Edition (Java SE) 6 Update 10, such as the new implementation of the Java
plug-in, which allows consumers to drag and drop applets that are running in
their browser directly onto their desktop and provides a widgetlike experience
for all of their Java applications and applets.