Perhaps the biggest news at Sun's JavaOne conference this week was not a product announcement, but a "surprise" appearance by Oracle CEO Larry Ellison in the opening keynote. Because the acquisition has not yet been formally approved by shareholders and government regulatory agencies, Sun continues to call the shots and operate as an independent company. But it was still a smart move by both parties to show that Oracle has a huge commitment to Java. In fact, Oracle's commitment to Java predates the acquisition announcement since they have been using and supporting Java for years. In effect, Oracle is as committed to Java as a pig at a bacon and egg breakfast -- its entire middleware and next-gen Fusion application strategy is based "100 percent on Java." As Ellison put it, the the Java community should expect "increased investment" in Java going forward.
That's a reassuring message to developers at JavaOne and also to corporate IT departments around the world who have deployed Java for their own business-critical applications. But no doubt there will remain questions until the acquisition is closed and the development community can judge Oracle by their actions. Given that Oracle Open World is not that far away, it should make for some interesting news later in the year.
[ Related: Oracle CEO hails Java at conference. ]
Ellison was also enthusiastic about the new JavaFX platform as a way to provide richer, more sophisticated user interfaces. JavaFX has the advantage of being able to run across many platforms including desktop, smartphones, and high-end televisions. In effect, JavaFX provides a way for developers to hedge their bets without having to worry about which underlying platform wins. Here's some video that I shot from the keynote featuring Scott McNealy and Larry Ellison providing more commentary on Java and JavaFX.
Note: Zack Urlocker works for Sun, heading the engineering and marketing of Sun’s database products. The views expressed in InfoWorld's Open Sources blog are his own.