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Chapter 14. Jini > JINI BENEFITS

JINI BENEFITS

Device Agnosticism

Jini is agnostic with regard to devices. What does this mean for users of home networks? Essentially it means that Jini is designed to support a wide variety of entities that can participate in a community. These "entities" may be devices or software or some combination of both. If a hardware device is connected to a home network, Jini is flexible about how much computational power it needs to have. Jini can work with a full-blown multimedia computer capable of running multiple Java Virtual Machines connecting with each other at gigabit speeds. It can also work with such devices as PDAs and cell phones that may have only limited Java capabilities. In fact, Jini is actually designed to accommodate devices that are so simple they may have small amounts or no computational intelligence—a light switch for instance. Furthermore, and this may be somewhat surprising, Jini doesn't even require that the home networking service be written in or understand the Java language. All that is required is that some Java-speaking device on the home network is willing to act as a proxy on behalf of the Java-challenged device or service.

Simplicity

Jini technology is all about simplifying interactions with a home network. The Java platform started it, now Jini technology furthers it. Simplification means improved productivity, cost savings, and ease-of-use. Jini technology will allow you to use the network as easily as using a phone. Sun has portrayed Jini as a simple way for devices to find and use each other over a network. Plug a Jini-enabled digital camera into a network, for example, and it sends a Java agent to the network's lookup service and announces itself. The camera is now an object, and a user interface pops up on your PC or television set. Take a picture, and you can store it on the Jini-enabled disk drive you've just plugged into your digital set-top box. No configuration hassles or device drivers is one of Jini's principles.


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