Software applications are usually developed keeping in mind a specific audience. While the function of the application may be the same, the way it is used by different users is not. Keeping in mind the varied needs of different users, Oracle has developed different Java technologies and offers them through different Java platform editions. Each of these platform editions contain different Java APIs or Application Programming Interfaces, based on the kind of application the platform has been designed for.
Here is a note on some of the Java platform editions available today.
Java SE or Standard Edition
The JAVA Standard Edition is the most commonly used Java platform. It is used for developing versatile applications for a wide range of computer platforms. Java SE allows you to design and develop the most secure, highly portable applications that can be used across environments, for boosting communication, productivity of the end users and for collaboration while reducing the costs for the businesses.
The latest version of this platform is the Java SE 7, which was released in 2011. The next version, Java SE 8 is expected to release in September 2013.
Java EE or Enterprise Edition
The Java Enterprise edition is tailored to develop slightly complex applications used by medium and big businesses. The apps developed using this platform are typically server based and focus on the uses of not just one, but multiple users at a time. The latest version, the Java EE 6 is the industry standard for enterprise apps. The lightweight Web Profile of the Java EE 6 can be used for developing web apps, while the full-fledged version for developing enterprise apps.
The latest version, Java EE 6, was released in December 2009. The next version, Java EE 7 is most likely to be released in April this year.
Java ME or Micro Edition
The Micro Edition of Java Platform, the Java ME, was earlier called J2ME. It is used for developing efficient and flexible applications for use on mobile platforms and other linked devices such as PDAs, printers, set top boxes and the like. The Java ME edition includes robust security along with user-friendly flexible interfaces, and built-in network protocols. Support for both online and offline networked applications is also provided.
Applications developed on Java ME platform can be used on multiple devices, and at the same time they can influence the native device’s competences.
Java Card technology is what makes the small applications, or the applets function on smartcards and other smaller devices with limited memory. Java Card provides a secure environment for these applets to function. On a single card that is issued to the end user, multiple applications can be run at once. Also, the Java Card comes with a set of tools and other applications for development of new apps. The latest version of the Java Card classic platform is the v3.0.4.
These enterprise platforms and their updates, enhancements etc. are all available for download from Oracle’s website. The site also features detailed tutorials on how to make use these Java technologies.