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Sun releases Jini with open-source license

Latest Jini development kit uses Apache license, part of Sun's plan to make Jini Community resemble an open-source project.

Sun Microsystems on Wednesday released its latest Jini development toolkit under the Apache open-source license.

Jini was originally released in 1999 as a way to link consumer devices to Sun's Java software. But companies using the Jini software have been using it mainly for corporate computing jobs such as grid computing and clustered servers, according to Sun executives.

The software is specifically designed for building Java applications that rely on widely distributed components. For example, Sun uses Jini as part of its radio frequency identification software, which runs in small warehouse RFID readers.

The development of the Jini software is done through the Jini Community, an independent forum in which companies other than Sun contribute changes to the software.

At a Jini Community meeting in Chicago on Wednesday, Sun executives are expected to announce that the Jini Technology Starter Kit version 2.1 is available under the Apache License 2.0.

The adoption of the Apache license is part of Sun's plan to make the Jini Community operate like an open-source foundation, Sun executives said. A popular previous edition of the Jini Starter Kit, version 1.2, will also be made available with the open-source license.

The new toolkit introduces a new implementation of the Java Spaces service, which handles interactions between different networked components, to better handle batch operations, said Jennifer Kotzen, senior product marketing manager of Jini Technology at Sun. The toolkit is also designed to shorten setup time.

In terms of usage, Jini is increasingly being used as it was originally intended, as a way to gather information from small devices, such as sensors, noted Mark Hodapp, director of Sun's Jini technology program.

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