Objects and the Enterprise (Part 2 of 2): The Network Is the Message
The Roots of Java
In the mid 1990s, the Sun Corporation took the object-oriented programming (OOPS) concept and started from scratch with its own language, called Java, "the language of the Internet." The basic idea was to combine object-oriented concepts with distributed network programming. From the introduction of open systems, UNIX, and network programming, both commercial and academic communities had been looking for ways of writing applications on one computer and running them from another. Many of these techniques were parallel with the rise of object-oriented programming. All kinds of architectures and their acronyms were introduced: Remote Method Invocation (RMI), Object Request Broker (ORB), and Component Object Model (COM), to name a few. All these architectures depended on what was known as three-tier programming, a complex and somewhat unwieldy approach based on a user interface, stored data, and some kind of application interface to define the rules in between.
Sun simply wanted to find a way of creating small, snappy applications that could run on the most primitive of processors. When this didn't "take" in the commercial marketplace, Sun realized that Java programs could fit just as easily on a web page as inside a toothbrush. Browsers had already been designed as a user interface, and the Internet was as natural an application interface as any. Sun realized that an object-oriented application works perfectly for encased applications that work across a network as vast as the Internet. Java and the Java applet were born! It didn't take long before both the commercial and academic worlds realized that Java could be used for much more than just applets. Today, it's rapidly becoming the backbone of Internet-based application development.