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Jini attempts to raise the level of abstraction for distributed systems programming, from the network protocol level to the object interface level. In the emerging proliferation of embedded devices connected to networks, many pieces of a distributed system may come from different vendors. Jini makes it unnecessary for vendors of devices to agree on network level protocols that allow their devices to interact. Instead, vendors must agree on Java interfaces through which their devices can interact. The processes of discovery, join, and lookup, provided by the Jini runtime infrastructure, will enable devices to locate each other on the network. Once they locate each other, devices will be able to communicate with each other through Java interfaces.
Although this column will focus mainly on how to solve specific programming problems using Jini, such as adding a GUI to a service or making a service administratable, next month I'm going to discuss Jini's real-world problems and prospects.
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About the author
Bill Venners has been writing software professionally for 14 years. Based in Silicon Valley, he provides software consulting and training services and maintains a Web site for Java and Jini developers, artima.com. He is author of the book: Inside the Java Virtual Machine, published by McGraw-Hill.
This article was first published under the name Jini: New Technology for a Networked World in JavaWorld, a division of Web Publishing, Inc., June 1999.