Sun's JavaSoft subsidiary this quarter will release a key addition to its Java language, dubbed JavaSpace, that defines a storage model for distributed Java applications, including diskless network computers.
JavaSpace, which is composed of both client- and server-side APIs, provides persistent storage and persistent state within distributed Java-only applications. The middleware technology will allow Java clients -- including network computers, Java client applications, and JavaOS-based systems -- to store and access objects remotely.
JavaSoft will post specifications of a base-client API and roughly half-a-dozen classes, along with a server API, on its Web site within the next month, according to Karen Tegan, a project manager in the JavaSoft distributed computing group, based in Chelmsford, Massachusetts.
JavaSpace, which is still in the prototype stage, is "a simple tool that makes it easier to have persistent data in a distributed [Java] system," says Ken Arnold, a lead engineer with the distributed computing group. "It provides simple, direct, distributed persistent storage for diskless devices and other systems. It provides an infrastructure for writing distributed applications without inventing a whole lot of methods and interfaces."
JavaSoft subsequently will release a JavaSpace server product; its packaging has not been set, Arnold says. "It could be a Java `servlet', or a dedicated server configuration. We would sell the code that handles JavaSpace objects and transactions," Arnold says. "We will ship at least one implementation of the server with persistence built in."
Although the model is still incomplete, JavaSpace will let developers store Java objects in relational or object databases, according to Arnold, who says that JavaSoft has contacted a number of database developers about supporting the JavaSpace APIs.