Oracle is providing a lot of updated and new Java functionality in onefell swoop with today’s multi pronged release. Let’s dig into a fewhighlights of each individual solution.

Oracle Wakes Up Java Market

In a nutshell:

Enterprise technology provider Oracle is releasing new versions of Java Platform, Standard Edition 7 Update 6 (Java SE 7 Update 6) and JavaFX 2.2, as well as the first release of JavaFX Scene Builder. With this release, Oracle is providing full availability of Java SE 7 Update 6 on Mac OS X, including the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) and the Java Development Kit (JDK), as well as the JavaFX 2.2 rich client platform and JavaFX Scene Builder.

A little more detail:

Java SE 7 Update 6: The latest version of Java SE introduces a Java Developer Kit (JDK) for Linux on versions 6 and 7 of the ARM architecture to address what Oracle calls “general purpose” ARM and for development platforms such as Raspberry Pi. This new JDK for Linux on ARM is made available under the Oracle Binary Code License and is available for download at no cost for development and production use on general-purpose platforms.

The latest version of Java SE also offers default inclusion of Java Access Bridge on Windows to provide direct communication with assistive technology applications, full integration with Oracle's Java SE implementation and full support and recommendation for use with Oracle Fusion Middleware.

Learning Opportunities

Java FX 2.2: This upgrade introduces full Linux support for both x86 and x64 systems. The new application packager allows developers to bundle the JRE and JavaFX runtime libraries with JavaFX applications, which Oracle says enables end users to experience a traditional native installation process on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. In addition, multi-touch support that allows for advanced application functionality from two or more points of contact on touch screen displays and touch pads.

Java FX Scene Builder 1.0: The new JavaFX Scene Builder is a visual layout tool for the JavaFX platform that enables users to design user interface (UI) screens by dragging and positioning components from a palette onto a scene. It has integrated development workflow with the NetBeans Integrated Development Environment (IDE), as well as compatibility with other Java IDEs and is currently available for Mac OS X and Windows.

Oracle Extends Java Value

Oracle has committed itself in the past year or so to extending the value of Java. In a February 2011 webcast, Oracle Java Evangelist Ajay Patel promised that the company is going to be more aggressive, "driving the pace of change" of Java, while understanding that customers want choice, from light open source all the way up to heavy application server platforms and enterprise products. Since then, Oracle’s Java-related activities have included the release of the the subscription-based Oracle Java Cloud Service, offering user-controlled virtual machines for individual customers, in June 2012.

Oracle Takes Java Over

With these latest Java upgrades, Ars Technica says Apple has “effectively ceded responsibility for Java to Oracle, which had begun taking over support of Java on OS X with the release of Java SE 7 Update 4 in April.” Although Apple has been distributing its own updates to Java and releasing security patches in cooperation with Oracle, Ars Technica predicts that Java users will receive updates only from Oracle moving forward. In addition, Ars Technica blames Apple for a “continuing inability to stay on top of updating Java” that resulted in the Flashback trojan attack that infected as many as 500,000 Mac-based Java users.