This blog is dedicated to open, interoperable manufacturing software and the coolest, latest and greatest things I see every day while conducting business under the banner of Inductive Automation.

Hello, my name is Steve Hechtman and I am president of Inductive Automation. During the span of one day there is more excitement, more discovery than I can possibly keep to myself. This blog is, therefore, my outlet. WARNING: This site is highly biased in favor of the most powerful, affordable manufacturing software in the world - Ignition by Inductive Automation!

Why Java?

By now, most know that the Ignition by Inductive Automation platform is programmed in Java. But why?

Few people know that Java is the most popular programming language in the world (See the TIOBE Programming Community Index for September 2010).
Java runs on more types of consumer and embedded devices, smart cards, ATMs, thin clients, PCs, servers, and mainframes than any other language.

Additionally, Java is the "write once, run anywhere" language. This is a major reason we selected Java. By writing Ignition in Java it runs equally well on Linux as it does on OSX, Windows or Solaris. Come to think of it, isn't every version of Windows a different platform? Well, Java spans them all. We don't care who wins the operating system wars or even if no one does.

Java is also highly resistant to viruses. Java appears to have been developed with security as a first concern rather than as an afterthought patch-up. That makes it ideally suited to the industrial environment.

With over five million Java programmers (which makes Java the largest developer community) it is far easier to hire software developers than for other languages, especially right out of school.

Rather than following the flock (look at it, every other major HMI company requires Windows) we took a step back and evaluated what language provided the most portability, security, stability and support—and Java was the clear winner.

1 comment:

Nathan Boeger said...

Good point about security. During the recent Black Hat competition to determine the "most secure" browser, Google Chrome won hands down. Why? One reason - it runs in a sandbox. Java features a similar core technology that isolates it from the rest of the operating system. It also shares many of the desirable properties of the "up and coming" Virtualization (VMWare, Hyper-V, Xen, etc). It's no coincidence that JVM stands for (Java Virtual Machine). Sun was ahead of its time in many regards.

As far as portability goes - Java remains king. In school, we're taught that ANSI C is "portable" - yeah right! Programs can be made to compile on other OSes, but what benefit is that with all the standard libraries being different. Java has truly achieved Operating System cross compatibility.

Back to Steve's point. Java is an ideal platform for SCADA systems!