Sun joins the App Store trend

Java and JavaFX developers could get a boost in the emerging mobile market

Maybe 2009 will be remembered as the year of the App Store. Given the huge success of Apple's iTunes Store, it's not surprising that other IT vendors are now trying to follow a similar path with their own store, whether for RIM BlackBerry applications, Nokia's Symbian platform, or now Sun's very own Java applications store enabling developers to tap into the broad reach of the Java platform across a millions of desktops and mobile devices.

[ See also: "Update: Sun connects developers, users via Java Store" | Keep up on the latest open source developments with InfoWorld's open source topic center and newsletter. ]

The store is still in private beta and expected to go live by the end of the year. Developers will be able to submit Java and JavaFX applications into the Java Warehouse, which acts as a central repository. Initially, the Java Store will be open only in the United States, but it is expected to launch internationally in 2010. There's also a FAQ for those seeking more information. 

Three things make this announcement particularly interesting. First, it's now clear that there will be a plethora of competing application stores. (Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing depends on your perspective, of course.) Second, Sun is clearly trying to help its own developer community have a sustainable reason to build applications in Java and JavaFX, which is a great way to encourage developers. Third, this could give JavaFX a huge boost in the emerging mobile market.

I shot a video (above) of the announcement where James Gosling talks about some of the objectives of the Java Store and discusses the interest in getting community input on how things like payments will work.

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.