Gluon VM Status Update

Gluon was founded on the vision of providing an end-to-end Java solution for mobile app development with connectivity and synchronization to enterprise backends. Between Gluon Mobile and Gluon CloudLink, developers can benefit from a hugely accelerated development process, and the Gluon engineering team continues to enhance our offerings to improve the developer experience. In Gluon Mobile we are frequently adding new services for connecting to mobile hardware in Gluon Charm Down and refining the visuals of our Glisten UI toolkit. Gluon CloudLink is adding connectors into more cloud services, as well as support for serverless functionality and microservices.

A new area of work over the last year has been our focus on Gluon VM, which we first announced back in June 2016, and then blogged about again around a year ago. We’ve been ramping up our efforts on Gluon VM in the last six months, as we solidified our preferred technical approach. Fortunately, we have now reached a milestone and plan to unveil Gluon VM at JavaOne in session CON3699. In addition, Gluon VM is now entered into a closed beta cycle with a small subset of our customers. Speaking of which, Paul and Gail Anderson will use Gluon VM in their JavaOne tutorial TUT1931 on Monday, while the CON3699 session is on Tuesday. This means that if you want to see Gluon VM in action before learning more about the technical details and roadmaps, you can.

Gluon VM is a virtual machine that executes compiled Java code. Gluon VM comes with its own Java-to-native compiler, that compiles your java code and all dependent code ahead of time into native iOS code. That native code is then executed by Gluon VM. GluonVM is based on the OpenJDK Mobile project, which provides the Java and native sources for the core Java classpath. As a consequence, Gluon VM supports the Java 9 API’s. Gluon VM contains a number of java 9 modules (e.g. java.base, java.xml,…) including the JavaFX 9 modules (e.g., javafx.controls, javafx.fxml). This means that JavaFX 9 applications run on GluonVM.

Gluon VM has been designed to be extremely fast. Our engineering team has focused heavily on performance on mobile devices and in environments where fast startup is critical, such as mobile and in serverless / microservice deployments.

We will demonstrate how you can use Gluon VM at JavaOne, but we can already tell you that it’s very easy to use, as our existing build plugins and build tools are already adapted to use Gluon VM. We can’t wait to share more about Gluon VM in the coming weeks!