Agilent, Sun form Java open-source development community

Palo Alto, Santa Clara, CA—Agilent Technologies Inc. and Sun Microsystems Inc. recently formed the Java Distributed Data Acquisition and Control (JDDAC) open-source community for developing Java applications and libraries for wide-area distributed sensors and controls.

By Control Engineering Staff July 13, 2004

Palo Alto, Santa Clara, CA— Agilent Technologies Inc. and Sun Microsystems Inc. recently formed the Java Distributed Data Acquisition and Control (JDDAC) community. The two firms say it’s the first open-source forum for developing Java applications and libraries for wide-area distributed sensors and controls. Sun Microsystems is the developer of the Java technology platform.

JDDAC’s goal is to share information and encourage development of Java applications for industrial control, building automation, industrial security, utilities management, robotics, mobile communications, and distributed sensor and control networks. The community can be accessed at community.java.net/jddac/ .

JDDAC will create the first Java implementations of technologies for distributed sensors and actuators based on the IEEE 1451 and IEEE 1588 standards supported by the National Institute of Standards and Technologies (NIST). Agilent Laboratories , which is the central research organization of Agilent Technologies, is researching distributed wide-area sensor networks using wireless networking built on these standards.

‘Agilent Labs is committed to promulgating standards that make it easier for companies and developers to share common technologies in this area, which will help new applications reach the market faster,’ says Jay Warrior, Agilent Labs’ manager of Distributed Systems Research. ‘Key missing pieces for sensor networks are middleware and software infrastructures. Making this infrastructure widely available will stimulate application development around the standards. By working with Sun and Java, we can share work that has already been done and accelerate development of the missing pieces.’

Distributed acquisition and control covers a broad range of topics. At its core, it involves gathering and analyzing information, making decisions based on that analysis and causing an action to occur. This requires a network of sensors and actuators governed by a controlling application. Together these pieces are referred to as a ‘transducer network.’ This concept has been available for decades under various names.

‘Sun is committed to open standards for the development of Java-based distributed sensors and controls,’ adds Patric Chang, Sun’s director of Industries and Partners Engineering. ‘Most of today’s implementation environments are proprietary or embedded in closed frameworks. Sun, through the Java Community Process and java.net, is promoting open development and sharing of key technologies in this space. We’re optimistic that the JDDAC effort will result in beneficial sensor network applications.’

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor
jmontague@reedbusiness.com