Oracle has announced the availability of several Java updates, including Java Platform, Standard Edition (Java SE) 7 Update 6 and more.
In addition to Java Platform, Standard Edition 7 Update 6, Oracle announced JavaFX 2.2, as well as the first release of JavaFX Scene Builder. With this release, Oracle is providing full availability of Java SE 7 Update 6 on Mac OS X, including the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) and the Java Development Kit (JDK), as well as the JavaFX 2.2 rich client platform and JavaFX Scene Builder for download.
"Oracle continues to expand our support for the Java platform and now, for the first time, consumers and developers have access to the latest Java SE features and security updates across all major operating systems: Windows, Linux, Solaris and Mac OS X," Hasan Rizvi, senior vice president of Oracle Fusion Middleware and Java products at Oracle, said in a statement. "We're also focused on improving the client Java experience with the release of JavaFX Scene Builder and bundling JavaFX with Java SE to provide better performance and improved usability for JavaFX applications, without having to install and maintain a separate product."
Consumers will soon be able to download the JRE for Mac OS X from Java.com, just as they do for all other operating systems, and Oracle will provide auto-updates for Mac OS X at the same time as for Windows platforms.
Java SE 7 Update 6 introduces a JDK for Linux on ARM v6 and v7 to address general-purpose ARM systems, such as those used for the emerging microserver ARM market, and for development platforms such as Raspberry Pi. This new JDK for Linux on ARM is made available under the Oracle Binary Code License and is available for download at no cost for development and production use on general-purpose platforms. Java Access Bridge is now included by default in Java SE 7 Update 6 on Windows to provide direct communication with assistive technology applications.
Also, starting with this release, JavaFX is now fully integrated into Oracle's Java SE implementation, helping to ensure that JavaFX runtime libraries are present on millions of desktops worldwide, Oracle said. Java SE 7 Update 6 is fully supported and recommended for use with Oracle Fusion Middleware. And the OpenJDK Community continues to host the development of the reference implementation of Java SE 8. Weekly developer preview builds of JDK 8 continue to be available from jdk8.java.net.
Meanwhile, JavaFX 2.2 introduces full Linux support for both x86 and x64 systems. The new application packager allows developers to bundle the JRE and JavaFX runtime libraries with JavaFX applications, allowing users to experience a traditional native installation process on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. Multi-touch support allows for advanced application functionality from two or more points of contact on touch-screen displays and touch-pads.
"As a company with deep experience in financial trading systems, we have been very satisfied with JavaFX's rich feature set and the support of an active developer community," Benjamin Cuthbert, CEO of Celer Technologies, said in a statement. "JavaFX's flexible component architecture, support for CSS, and integration with Swing, have allowed us to build a complete financial trading application in just six months, a fraction of what it would have taken us doing the same with other technologies. The new application packaging options and cross-platform capabilities introduced in JavaFX 2.2 have validated our choice and will play a key role in our ability to attract new customers."
The new JavaFX Scene Builder is a visual layout tool for the JavaFX platform that enables users to design user-interface screens by simply dragging and positioning components from a palette onto a scene. Key features of this release include clean separation of application logic, UI layout, and "look and feel", through automatically generated FXML code and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), for easier project maintenance and more productive developer-designer workflow. It also features integrated development workflow with the
NetBeans integrated development environment (IDE), as well as compatibility with other Java IDEs. And the software provides for visualization of changes without requiring any code compilation.
JavaFX Scene Builder is currently available for Mac OS X and Windows. Developers can download JavaFX Scene Builder 1.0.
"JavaFX has allowed us to create responsive enterprise client applications targeting medical professionals," Pieter Baeyaert, managing director at HealthConnect, said in a statement. "Features such as CSS styling and effects allow the creation of attractive user interfaces, while the property binding and the lightweight toolkit approach enables dynamic user interfaces and custom UI components development. With JavaFX, we have been able to capitalize on our existing Java expertise and deliver applications running on both Windows and Mac OS X users."
Oracle will highlight these new releases and other Java technology updates at JavaOne 2012, Sept. 30 to Oct. 4, 2012, in San Francisco.