Credits : Infoworld


JavaFX, Oracle’s 10-year-old rich client development technology for Java, will be decoupled from the Java Development Kit (JDK) and broken out into its own separate module.

Making JavaFX its own module will make it easier to adopt and clear the way for new contributors, Oracle said. The company added that with the faster release schedule being implemented for standard Java and the JDK, JavaFX needs to be on its own pace driven by contributions from Oracle and others in the OpenJFX community.
JavaFX will be removed from the Java JDK as of JDK 11, which is due in September 2018. It is bundled in the current JDK 9 and will remain in JDK 10, due this spring. Commercial support for JavaFX in JDK 8 will continue through at least 2022. Featuring a set of packages for graphics and media, JavaFX has been part of the JDK download since 2012.

JavaFX was introduced in May 2007 by Java founder Sun Microsystems in an attempt to bring Java to the forefront of rich client development for desktops and mobile devices, competing with Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight. Oracle took control when it acquired Sun in 2010. The technology, which was open-sourced in 2011, has maintained a following but never really took the industry by storm. Like Silverlight and Flash Player, JavaFX receded to the background as developers looked to more standards-based technologies, particularly HTML5, to deliver rich internet applications.

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Credits : Channelworld


The open source database company MariaDB is aggressively courting Oracle customers, offering more portability and ease of migration to help enterprises make the switch.

The open source database company MariaDB is aggressively courting Oracle customers, offering more portability and ease of migration to help enterprises make the switch.

MariaDB was developed by some of the original developers of the MySQL relational database, including Michael “Monty” Widenius, who jumped ship after MySQL was acquired by Oracle. It has always been developed as an open source ‘drop in’ replacement for MySQL.

Michael Howard, who worked at Oracle for four years between 1996-2000, has been CEO of MariaDB since December 2015.

Speaking on stage at MariaDB’s M18 user conference in New York last week, Howard acknowledged his experience in the proprietary technology world, and admitted that “it’s hard to change. Resistance is everywhere, inside or outside the organisation. The very complexity of migrating, the physical reality of them, the mastering of skills, the establishment of processes and the fear of mystery of the unknown.”

“If you do not change, you will be beholden to a company who doesn’t have your best interests in mind. I know this, I was there. You will pay 10 times more for that privilege,” he said.

Speaking to Computerworld UK, Howard added: “When we’re talking to Oracle customers, they’ve already made the decision to switch. We don’t go into a customer site to compete mano-a-mano on features; rather, there is a predisposition to change, and it usually begins with decisions regarding infrastructure, which for the most part, are based on open source or commodity technologies.

“For us, there are two important parts of the Oracle marketplace – the MySQL base and the Oracle Enterprise base. Typically, Oracle customers transition from MySQL to MariaDB first then they start addressing their proprietary and more complex environments as the conversation continues.”

He does, however, admit that certain customers still have doubts about open source.

“There is always skepticism when a company has never used open source, although that is more of an exception than a rule these days,” he said. “If you were to partition the world into those that embrace open source and those that are skeptical about it – it’s probably somewhere in the 95 percent range that wholeheartedly embrace it.

“For those companies, there are new things to be learned such as contracts that are different from proprietary models and the way in which companies relate to one another, which is collaborative versus being dictated to.”


MariaDB has recently been buoyed by a $54 million funding round which included Alibaba and the European Investment Bank.

Howard said during his keynote: “With these resources comes bigger expectations, we have to make it easier for global enterprises to be able to easily change and migrate.”

Ease of migration to MariaDB will always be a vital part of the company’s plans for growth, but Howard also spoke about “creating momentum” and “solving hard problems”. That last point links nicely with the announcement the company made on Monday that it was investing in a new set of labs with the aim of solving some of the industry’s hardest problems.

Read next: MariaDB launches innovation labs

Speaking about the latest release of MariaDB Server, version 10.3, Howard said it is vital the company continues to provide “portability and familiarity in terms of code, but also portability and familiarity in terms of skill sets.”

Channelling his inner Alanis Morissette, he added: “Isn’t it ironic that MariaDB is offering an Oracle compatibility layer when MySQL, a part of Oracle, doesn’t?

“Isn’t it ironic that Oracle Enterprise, MySQL’s bigger brother, provides data warehousing yet it is MariaDB that is delivering it to you, this community? They don’t want you to succeed with MySQL, they certainly don’t want MySQL to cannibalise things like Exadata.”

Autonomous database

Oracle, for its part, is focusing on machine learning and automation to help it hold off these new open source competitors. The company announced a new ‘self-driving’ database at its OpenWorld conference late last year, promising the “world’s first autonomous database”.

Howard isn’t concerned though. “It’s going to be more difficult for Oracle to fulfill the requirements of an autonomous database due to the severe complexity of the Oracle environment,” he said. “An autonomous database cannot exist if there are literally thousands of bugs that exist and even if the most qualified people have a hard time using it.

“I adore the notion of an autonomous database and I truly believe that MariaDB has a much better place to start than Oracle to live up to that expectation.”

What the customers say

Howard spoke about how the Development Bank of Singapore (DBS) has been “forklifting out Oracle Enterprise and moving transactional environments to MariaDB and they were the ones who collaborated and motivated us to build an Oracle compatibility layer.”

The bank has already moved 54 percent of critical applications to MariaDB and wants to run primarily on MariaDB by the middle of 2019. The bank is set to save $4.1 million in net savings over five years after initial investment by moving to the open source rival.

When Computerworld UK spoke to Peng Khim, head of technology and digital innovation at DBS, he explained that the bank had tried to move to a more scalable version of Oracle Enterprise but that it “doesn’t work” due to the development effort required and cost constraints of licences.

Similarly, US financial services company Financial Network spoke at M18 about the limitations of Oracle RAC for smaller, fast-growing organisations.

William Wood, director of database architecture at Financial Network, said: “Your Oracle licence is based by processor. That’s not very scalable from an economic, fiscal standpoint.”

“We can’t afford to upgrade hardware because we go from a quad-core processor to the latest and greatest that has 96 cores in a single CPU,” he said. “Can you imagine the cost of that at $47,500 per core? That is a big chunk of money.

“It’s astronomical just to get that licence. Then once you’re licensed you’re hit every year after for support and if you want to expand then you’re hit with more licensing, and some very interesting sales strategies.

“We are a small company, if we had to keep investing in Oracle we would eventually probably go out of business.”

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Credits : Newburghgazette


The announcement also marks the introduction of the first joint solution following McAfee’s acquisition of Cloud data security company Skyhigh Networks in November a year ago. Cybersecurity firm McAfee on Wednesday announced that its Cloud Security Platform will now protect Microsoft Azure and claimed to deliver the industry’s most extensive solution to secure Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) computing. Skyhigh now is part of McAfee’s cloud security business unit. Anand Ramanathan, McAfee’s vice president of product development, tells Channel Partners the latest security service for Azure creates “tremendous new opportunities” for McAfee’s partners. McAfee’s partners work with large multinational enterprises who have complex architectures in Azure. And these very customers will require a comprehensive cloud security solution to help them fulfill their end of cloud security’s shared responsibility model. McAfee’s solution is created to indicate security misconfigurations, with the ability to track “60 Azure security configurations across all Azure services”, according to McAfee. There are multiple aspects in securing cloud infrastructure that includes securing applications, users, hosts, storage and networks, Ramanathan said. CASBs are also used to control data access and prevent the uploading of sensitive data. This solution is created to check for threats in virtualized infrastructure and block them. These workloads are typically mission critical, and Microsoft’s service updates are aimed at making it easier to run them in Azure, which could motivate more customers to move their applications onto the tech titan’s cloud. Microsoft Corp. today announced a slew of new services and updates to its Azure public cloud platform created to make it easier for users to migrate database workloads to its cloud data centers. “The Azure cloud ensures we are best placed to make this happen and offer our customers robust technology on a secure and proven platform”. The McAfee Cloud Workload Security product became available for use with Azure earlier this year. “One of the biggest challenges for enterprise security teams today is that they’re using so many different cloud environments”, Gupta said. “At the same time, the adoption of cloud allows organizations to transform their business”. “We’re extending numerous security controls we have for AWS to Azure”, Rajiv Gupta, senior vice president of McAfee’s cloud security business unit and former CEO of Skyhigh, told SearchSecurity.

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Credits : Infoq


In order to optimise the performance of their MySQL instances, LinkedIn has created a Query Analyzer tool in order to analyze and tune expensive queries. It runs on the network layer, stores everything within a centralized server, and provides a UI for users to analyze metrics.

LinkedIn runs a multitenant MySQL architecture. This is mainly due to having over 500 applications which are dependant on it, meaning that single tenancy would cause extremely high resource costs. The tradeoff to this approach means that queries from one application can negatively detriment the performance for another, which is why it is important for them to be able to understand and optimise them as much as possible.

The query analyzer is split into three components:

  1. Agent: Runs on the MySQL nodes and collects metrics about running queries and their performance.
  2. Centralized Server: Where all the data about queries is stored for reporting.
  3. UI: Sits on top of the server and provides a user-friendly means to analyze the data.

Karthik Apigatla, senior database engineer at LinkedIn, highlights its benefits as:

… allowing our database engineers to identify problematic queries at a single glance, to compare a week-over-week overlay of query activity, and to troubleshoot database slowdowns quickly and efficiently.

Originally, out of the box solutions such as MySQL Performance Schema and slow query log were considered, but they came with too much of a performance penalty when introduced. Unlike those tools, the Query Analyzer runs on the network layer, minimising any kind of performance hit to the instances.

The agent captures raw query packets and reconstructs the query using the MySQL protocols, and then calculates response times based on a time diff between when packets first enter the port and when they are first produced by the database response.

The UI provides a tabular view of distinct queries for hosts, allowing the user to filter by periods of time. Individual queries can also be selected, providing graphs and other useful metrics such as load and average time.

The tool also provides a query load metric which is calculated as ‘execution time * number of executions’. By taking this and converting it into a ratio, it can be compared against other queries to see which ones took the largest percentage of load. For example, even if a query takes a few milliseconds, the metric would still correctly report if it is running too many times, thus taking up the majority of the load.

LinkedIn has not laid out a specific timeline, but intends to open source the tool in the near future.

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Credits : Bloomberg


Toyota Motor Corp. ans to spend $2.8 billion to make sure its system for writing self-driving vehicle software will be just as efficient as the factories that build its cars.

The company needs faster and more reliable methods for writing software because self-driving cars require “millions and millions” of lines of computer code, according to James Kuffner, who’ll lead the new effort. That compares with tens of thousands of lines of code in cars just a generation ago.

The Japanese automaker is seeking an edge over rival car giants as well as newcomers such as Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo as the industry charts a path toward self-driving vehicles. Kuffner said he plans to hire 1,000 programmers as soon as he can find them and is seeking to lure global talent.

“We’re not just doubling down but quadrupling down in terms of the budget,” Kuffner said in an interview. “We have nearly $4 billion to really have Toyota become a new mobility company that is world-class in software.”

For the effort, Toyota is setting up a new company in Tokyo with two of its suppliers. On Friday, Kuffner was named chief executive officer of the venture, called Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development.

Robotics, AI

Toyota had already allocated $1 billion to start a free-standing unit called Toyota Research Institute in 2015 to study self-driving, robotics and artificial intelligence. Kuffner, 47, has been serving as chief technology officer for TRI, which now has about 250 employees. Before that, he was the leader of robotics and cloud computing research at Alphabet’s Google unit.

Toyota’s two biggest suppliers,Denso Corp. and Aisin Seiki Co., will invest in the new venture, each taking a 5 percent stake, the carmaker said.

Currently, Kuffner said teams of programmers work in isolation to solve portions of a big problem like self-driving and then spend “years and years” piecing their work together and testing it with AI and other tools. Toyota plans to streamline this process by validating each chunk of software as it’s written to make sure it’s robust enough for the cars and trucks that Toyota sells.

Kuffner compared the process he hopes to establish to the Toyota Production System, which achieved industry-leading quality and efficiency by requiring workers to shut down assembly lines rather than tolerate defects that need to be repaired later.

Coexisting With Coders

Jeff Liker, a University of Michigan engineering professor who’s authored several books on Toyota, said he’s a bit surprised by the company’s announcement. When Toyota launched TRI, the company was so determined to let Silicon Valley veterans like Kuffner chart their own course that they weren’t asked to adhere to Toyota Production System principles.

“They thought it might kill their creativity,” Liker said.

TRI and its offshoot’s full-throated embrace of the Toyota Production System shows the automaker’s executives are getting a better understanding of how software writers work, and learning how a traditional manufacturer can both help and benefit from them, Liker said.

2020 Olympics

Kuffner said he hopes to apply the new software system to the electric, fully self-driving  delivery vans that Toyota plans to showcase at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and to the increasingly sophisticated safety equipment Toyota is installing in vehicles on sale today.

The company recently introduced a Lexus LS 500 sedan that automatically initiates split-second steering and braking maneuvers after identifying a pedestrian in its path.

“The whole idea is, can we build a vehicle with highly-reliable software that is uncrashable, that will never be the cause of an accident,” Kuffner said.

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Credits : techworld


Developers have a vast array of programming languages to choose from. Node.js and PHP are both popular and powerful web development tools, but which one should you choose?

What is Node.js programming language?

Node.js is an open source, cross-platform run-time environment built on Chrome’s V8 JavaScript engine. It uses an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model which makes it lightweight and efficient.

The Node.js environment enables JavaScript users to deploy the language for server-side scripting, whilst also running scripts to produce dynamic web page content.

Node.js was written by Ryan Dahl in 2009, with the initial release developed to support Linux and Mac OS X. A build was then added to support Windows in 2011.

The average salary for a Javascript Developer is £62,500 as of January 2018, according to CW Jobs.

Pros of Node.js programming language

As Node.js is not the traditional programming language, but rather a runtime environment, it is easy to learn for both front and back-end developers.

Back-end Node.js programmers are likely to benefit from its efficiency, high speed, and high performance, plus code-sharing and the addition of free tools such as monitoring and debugging.

Node.js does not have strict conventions, which provides developers with the freedom to select the best architecture, design patterns, modules and features.

Cons of Node.js programming language

One of Node.js‘ main disadvantages is its lack of consistency, based on the API changes that regularly occur and that are often incompatible for back-end users.

As the environment is built in a single-threaded format, it minimises the efficient handling of CPU applications like editing graphics, audio and video files. There have also been complaints from developers who say Node.jsapplications tend to become unresponsive when processing large files.

Lastly, the open source ecosystem of Node.js means several of its tools appear unsupervised.

The modules, therefore, appear immature as they are either noticeably poor quality or have been documented incorrectly.

What is PHP programming language?

PHP is a server-side scripting language for web development, which can also be used as a general-purpose programming language.

The language can be embedded into HTML code, or used in combination with several web template systems, web content management systems, and web frameworks.

It was originally created by Rasmus Lerdorf in 1994; however, the PHP reference implementation is now produced by The PHP Group.

The average salary for a PHP Developer is £42,500 as of January 2018, according to CW Jobs.

 Pros of PHP programming language

As one of the most popular server-side scripting languages available, there are a selection of different built-in functions available on PHP, and a lot of the scripts run on different operating systems such as Windows and Unix-like.

PHP also offers a wide open source community that includes over 70,000 open source libraries to help developers build a dynamic web-based application.

Cons of PHP programming language

PHP needs global extensions, which requires bridges between the C code and PHP to be installed globally. It also requires modifying the global configuration file in order to make it accessible.

Some developers may also suggest that PHP lacks the quality to handle errors, and although it offers free debugging tools there are not many provided compared to other programming languages.

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MySQL, the popular open-source database that’s a standard element in many web application stacks, has unveiled the first release candidate for version 8.0.

Features to be rolled out in MySQL 8.0 include:

First-class support for Unicode 9.0 out of the box.
Window functions and recursive SQL syntax, for queries that previously weren’t possible or would have been difficult to write.
Expanded support for native JSON data and document-store functionality.
[ From InfoWorld’s experts: What is SQL? The language of databases explained. | Database slow? Improve the speed and scalability of your RDBMS with these 21 rules for faster SQL queries. ]
With version 8.0, MySQL is jumping several versions in its numbering (from 5.5), due to 6.0 being nixed and 7.0 being reserved for the clustering version of MySQL.

MySQL 8.0’s expected release date
MySQL hasn’t committed to a release date for MySQL 8.0, by MySQL’s policy is “a new [general] release every 18-24 months.” The last general release was October 21, 2015, for MySQL 5.7, so MySQL 8.0’s production version is likely to come in October 2017.

MySQL 8.0’s road to standard Unicode
Moving to Unicode by default is arguably one of the biggest changes planned. MySQL has long had persistent, persnickety problems with Unicode. So, a long standing game plan for MySQL 8.0 was to fix as many of those lingering Unicode issues as possible.

MySQL 8.0 no longer uses latin1 as the default encoding, to discourage new users from choosing a troublesome legacy option. The recommended default character set for MySQL 8.0 is now utf8mb4, which is intended to be faster than the now-deprecated utf8mb3 character set and also to support more flexible collations and case sensitivity.

The improved Unicode will not only support non-Western character sets but the rise of emoji.

MySQL 8.0 gets current with window functions
Many other implementations of SQL support window functions, a way to perform aggregate calculations across multiple rows while still allowing access to the individual rows from the query. It’s possible to do this in MySQL without window function support in the database, but it’s cumbersome and slow. To overcome its window deficit, MySQL 8.0 adds window functions via the standard OVER SQL keyword, in much the same way it is implemented in competing products like PostgreSQL.

Another feature in the same vein, recursive common table expressions, lets you perform recursive operations as part of a query, without having to resort to cursors or other performance-sapping workarounds.

MySQL 8.0 works better with documents and JSON
With MySQL 5.7 came JSON support, to make MySQL competitive with NoSQL databases that use JSON natively. MySQL 8.0 expands JSON support with better performance, functions to allow extracting ranges from a JSON query (such as a “top N”-type request), and new aggregation functions that let MySQL-native structured data and semistructured JSON data be merged in a query.

Another improvement related to JSON involve MySQL’s document-store abilities. Reads and writes to MySQL’s document store are transactionally consistent, allowing rollback operations on changes to JSON data. Document data stored in the open GeoJSON format for geospatial data can be indexed, so you can search by proximity.

The other key features in MySQL 8.0
Other changes planned for MySQL 8.0 include:

More options for how to handle locked rows, via the SKIP LOCKED and NOWAIT keywords. SKIP LOCKED allows locked rows to be skipped during an operation; NOWAIT throws an error immediately on encountering a locked row.
MySQL can automatically scale to the total amount of memory available, to make the best possible use of virtual machine deployments.
Indexes can be manually excluded from the query optimizer via the “invisible index” feature. Indexes marked as invisible are kept up to date with changes to tables, but aren’t used to optimize queries. One suggested use for this is to nondestructively determine if a particular index needs to be kept or not.
Where to download MySQL 8.0
You can download the beta versions of MySQL 8.0 now for Windows, MacOS, several versions of Linux, FreeBSD, and Solaris; the source code is also available. Scroll down the downloads page and go to the Development Releases tab to get them.

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