Sun Details Java Platform Roadmap

New Java Development Kit Software Includes Improved Performance, Flexible Security and Java Foundation Classes

NEW YORK, NY, December 10, 1997 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. today announced the first public developer release of the next major version of the Java™ Development Kit (JDK™) software and a roadmap for other key platform technologies. The first public beta of this new release of the JDK software will be available this month and contains several new features, including: the Java Foundation Classes (JFC), significant performance improvements (including a foundation for the ultra-fast Java Virtual Machine™implementation code-named "HotSpot"), and a powerfully expanded security model. The final version of this next JDK software release is scheduled to ship in the second quarter of 1998.

"The next JDK software release reflects the input of developers throughout the industry who have downloaded nearly two million copies of the JDK 1.1 software," said Jon Kannegaard, vice president of software products at Sun's JavaSoft division. "With this release, we are giving developers what they want: performance that is on par with C++ when the HotSpot JVM implementation is utilized, the JFCs to build 100% Pure Java™ user interfaces, and a flexible, customizable security architecture."

Java Foundation Classes

The Java Foundation Classes -- a comprehensive set of GUI components and foundation services that further enhance a developer's ability to deliver scalable, commercial, mission-critical applications -- are scheduled to ship as a key technology core to the next release of the JDK software. Right now, the Java Foundation Classes are on an independent release schedule; developers are already downloading and building applications using JFC with the JDK 1.1 software, the current release of the JDK software.

JFC 1.1, which developers can use now to build and deploy Java applets and applications based on JDK 1.1 software, consists of the GUI components code named "Swing." It is available now as a beta release through the Java Developer Connection at The final shipping version of JFC 1.1 is scheduled to be available for free public download in January. Developers will be able to use JFC 1.1 to easily create the look and feel for Java applets and applications. The default look and feel in the Java Foundation Classes is the native look and feel, which allows applications to adopt the look and feel of the platform on which they are running. In addition, JFC 1.1 includes a Java Look & Feel which will enable developers to create applications that will have the same look and feel across all platforms.

"The verdict is in: developers and enterprises throughout the industry are thrilled with the flexibility in look and feels that JFC provides," said Kannegaard. "The default native look and feel gives developers what they're used to, the "Swing" components enable them to create custom look and feels, and finally, the Java Look & Feel architecture provides a terrific new interface for developers who want to present an environment that looks and feels the same on every platform."

The release of the Java Foundation Classes that is scheduled to ship in the next version of the JDK software includes the GUI components in JFC 1.1 as well as key foundation services and APIs such as Java 2D, cross-platform drag-and-drop, Java Accessibility and the pluggable look & feel architecture. More information on the Java Foundation Classes can be found at


The Java Virtual Machine (JVM) implementation in the next release of the JDK software promises to provide a significant performance boost for developers. New features will include faster memory allocation, garbage collection and synchronization, which allow Java code to execute more efficiently. In addition, a new Java Virtual Machine architecture will allow Java licensees to easily deploy the "HotSpot" JVM implementation.

Like the Java Foundation Classes, the HotSpot JVM implementation, which has the potential to enable Java to run as fast as compiled C++, has an independent release schedule. It is scheduled to be available as a developer's release from Sun early in the first quarter of 1998; this initial release will be followed by updates as warranted until the final HotSpot JVM implementation is complete. A deployable HotSpot Java Virtual Machine implementation is scheduled to ship for the final version of the next release of the JDK software in the summer of 1998. Platform vendors will be able to easily plug the HotSpot JVM implementation into their JDK 1.2-based browsers and operating environments, ensuring significantly improved performance for Java applets and applications.


The security model in the next release of the JDK software provides increased flexibility while maintaining the "sandbox" and signed applet capabilities provided in the architecture of JDK 1.0 and JDK 1.1 software. The security model in the new JDK software is permission-based, which means Java applets and applications can be given varying amounts of access to system resources,based upon a security policy created by the developer, system or network administrator, or even the end user.

A system administrator can customize a Java application so that certain users in an enterprise can have greater access to resources than others. For example, the president of a company can use a Java applet running on the company's intranet to access payroll information for her entire staff, while managers can only access payroll records for their direct reports. In addition, the security model in the next JDK is designed to prevent applets that users access outside of the intranet from having such access. This type of flexible security architecture also provides the capability for secure,business-to-business transactions or transfers of information over the Internet.

Standard Extensions to the JDK

In addition to the technologies that are core to the Java Platform, Sun also delivers standard extensions to provide developers added functionality. For example, the Java Media Framework's first segment, the Java Media Player, is a standard extension. The Java Media Player can be used with JDK 1.1-based applets and applications and is scheduled to be delivered concurrently in its final form with the next release of the JDK software. For additional information on all of Sun's Java products and APIs, visit

Java Porting and Tuning Center

The Java Porting and Tuning Center is an initiative jointly launched by Sun, Netscape and IBM in August to ensure timely, consistent distribution of Java Platform implementations to the industry. The first deliverable from the Java Porting and Tuning Center is the recently released JDK 1.1.5 software , which provides significantly improved performance in the class libraries; it is available for download at A further tuned version of the JDK 1.1 class libraries will again boost Java performance incrementally and will be delivered in the first quarter of 1998. The Java Porting and Tuning Center plans to concurrently ship implementations of the next JDK software to the marketplace in the second quarter of 1998.


Following the first public beta of the next version of the JDK software this December, developers can look forward to a second public beta release in the first quarter of 1998 which will incorporate developer feedback and additional functionality. The final version of the next release of the JDK software will ship through the Java Porting and Tuning Center on key platforms and tools in the second quarter of 1998.


About Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision, "The Network Is The Computer™" has propelled Sun Microsystems, Inc. (NASDAQ "SUNW") to its position as a leading provider of hardware, software and services for establishing enterprise-wide intranets and expanding the power of the Internet. With more than $8.5 billion in annual revenues, Sun can be found in more than 150 countries and on the World Wide Web at

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