Duke_JavaCard_small.pngJava Card 3.0 was released a couple of months ago – and the second update (version 3.0.2) is scheduled for December. If you haven’t paid much attention to Java on smart cards because you thought it’s not “real” Java – well, look again.

It’s true that Java Card 2 was very limited in many ways – a testament to the kind of technology you had available on smart cards 10 years ago. There are billions of these out there today and it is the most popular platform for the GSM SIM and ID market. Java Card 3.0 Classic Edition is a maintenance version of Java Card 2 with some enhancements and bug fixes.

But where Java Card really leaps ahead is with the Java Card 3.0 Connected Edition – it’s the dramatically enhanced next generation of Java Card technology. The Connected Edition contains a new architecture that enables developers to integrate smart cards within IP networks and web services architectures. It supports extended Java Card applets and servlets to allow for these new capabilities in addition to also supporting classic Java Card applets.

Highlights of Java Card 3.0 Connected Edition:

JDK 6 compatible VM

  • Supports the latest Java class file version (50) and interoperates with JDK 6 tools
  • Key difference: No floating point types

Full Java language support

  • Use Java 5 language features like annotations, generics, enhanced for-loops, (un)boxing, and more.

Rich APIs

  • GCF, servlet, Java Card 2 API, sockets, threads, transactions ….

Three application models and two library models

  • Java Card 3 servlets and classic and extended Java Card applets (not to be confused with Java SE applets)
  • Deploy classic or extended libraries
  • Create almost any kind of secure application

Servlet Container with Servlet 2.5 support

  • HTTP and HTTPS interface
  • No need of special client programming – use any web client to reach Java Card 3

Size still measured in KBytes

  • Fits in 24K RAM, 128K EEPROM, 512K ROM (running on an embedded 32 bit processor)

Netbeans plug-in for easy development

  • See the sneak preview
  • New version of plug-in will be available in December with the 3.0.2 release

And … not just cards anymore

  • With the newly added USB interface Java Card technology can go way beyond smart cards
  • Think secure USB tokens, secure personal databases, embedded servers, WebDAV compliant thumb drives, …

And finally, the Java Card team has started a Kenai project – good info there already, and more being added weekly.

So, check out Java Card 3.0 Connected EditionReal Java, just really flat ;-)

Cheers,

– Terrence