Sun Microsystems is planning a series of upgrades to the core Java platform, including a "superpackage" capability for improved distribution of small pieces of software in Java Standard Edition (SE) 7.

The capability will overcome an obstacle in the current software distribution format in Java, said Bob Brewin, chief technical officer in the Sun software group, making the announcement at the JavaOne conference in San Francisco.

The current format is out of date and does not permit distributing smaller bits of software or creation and distribution of collections, he said.

"[Superpackaging] allows for more efficient distribution of Java applications as well as updates," Brewin said. Java SE 7 is anticipated next year.

Also on the agenda is modularisation of the GlassFish Java application server in Version 3 of the system. This would allow for its use in applications such as embedded systems, Brewin said. The application server could be deployed in a device such as a PDA, where users could work with an application such as a calendar to make appointments and then re-synchronise with the network system later.

"The major breakthrough is it allows you to do things without necessarily having to be connected," said Brewin.

Sun also touted technology referred to as Mobile Services SOA, which features a framework to integrate network services such as location and identity and link them to Web services such as weather reports and stock quotes. Applications would be deployed on devices.

Brewin reiterated that Sun's new JavaFX technology, featuring a new runtime that enables deployment of visual applications from the desktop to devices, will be expanded beyond the current JavaFX Mobile, for deployment on phones.

"I do expect that there will be other [deployments]. For instance, I can easily see that we will release runtime systems for set-top boxes" or in-dash displays in cars, Brewin said. JavaFX Mobile is built on top of a Linux kernel, he said.