Jini, the silent coming of age

I have always been fascinated by Jini. I’ve attended two of the Jini community meetings and kicked the tires on many of the research projects at jini.org. In many ways it was a technology ahead of it’s time and since it didn’t make a huge SPLASH during the dot com boom, it hasn’t been adopted en masse.
NOTE: many of these links may require registration for the jini.org community and acceptance of the Sun SCSL (which is also a deterrent to the growth of this wonderful technology)

There are many community members much more familiar than I am on the state of Jini adoption. However I do continue to hope for something to happen with regards to it’s uptake. It still seems to be very much on the fringe. Surprising, there are fortune 100 companies using Jini.

There are more airline reservations made on Jini based systems (orbitz, aa.com, nwa.com) than any other electronic system (according to some information from Orbitz). They even won the

Duke’s Choice Awards — Orbitz has been selected as a winner of the 2004 Duke’s Choice Award, recognizing the “best of the best” from among all the cool projects going on in the world of Java technology. Orbitz team members are presenting TS-2614 at JavaOne. See why they won this award.

It’s a good technology that didn’t originally come with the whizbang set of installation wizards that the current frenzy of the dot com era required. It originally required the skill and aptitude of distributed computing engineers to recognize it’s benefits which were firmly placed on the fringe. Some of the projects that are being built on top of Jini offer some great additions to problems that Jini has a competitive advantage in solving.

My personal interest, and if I ever have one of those things that consultants refer to as “Extended Research Periods” would be of how it could address some of the data warehouseing issues I face on a day to day basis. As someone knowledgable with the domain knowledge of a problem (OLAP, huge fact tables, distributed query processing) could I use the current Jini technology and enhancements (such as rio, computefarm, etc) to build a wonderful distributed BI infrastructure? 🙂 Stay tuned… perhaps I’ll have one of those periods of time coming up!

One thought on “Jini, the silent coming of age

  1. Rod Sprattling

    I researched Jini, along with a number of other distributed computing service technologies, for use in a network-attached high-performance computing project. Jini’s design provides all the SOA taste with none of the fat (or fallacies: see http://weblogs.java.net/jag/Fallacies.html) found in WS-* and GRID. But its utility is marooned on JVM islands, which limits its adoption in a heterognous computing world.

    In contrast JXTA, the peer-to-peer protocol from Sun that can be used to implement Jini-like functionality, was designed to span implementation technologies. There are Java and C reference implementations of JXTA. It’s highly functional (even now more so than when I employed it) and well-suited to implement DCS architectures.

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