These facilities are not readily available to third party application developers making the development of these applications exclusive to a few highly skilled developers who have specialized in a particular smart card hardware and software. Until recently there existed no standard high-level application interface thus compelling developers to deal with the always technical low-level programming of modules such as communication protocols, memory management and other hardware specific routines. In addition, difficulties in portability of the applications limited the functions and broader deployment of the smart cards because applications from different service providers could not coexist on the same card.Java Card Technology offers a great way around the challenges that circumscribe the popularity of smart cards. It provides an enabling environment for smart cards and other memory-constrained devices to run their java applications (called applets). Java card technology is inherently a secure, portable and multi-application platform that exploits the many good features of java language3.The benefits wrapped up in this technology can be summarized into the following: ease of application development, ssecurity, hardware independence, ability to store and manage multiple applications and compatibility.The Java Card Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) were developed at the Shlumberger’s product centre in Austin, Texas, by a group of dedicated engineers. Their key objective was to bring smart card development into the mainstream while maintaining the security of the cards. Their research led to the realization that java programming language was their ultimate solution. They went ahead to propose the initial draft of the Java Card APIs and consequently made Shlumberger the first licensed Smart Card Company4. Bull and Gemplus then joined Schlumberger and together founded Java Card Forum, a company tasked with identifying and resolving issues concerning the Java Card Technology plus promoting its acceptance in the smart card industry.The first development was Java Card 1.0 which contained specifications for APIs only and it was not a platform that could be easily built upon. Java Card 2.0 specification which evolved from the work of Integrity Arts was announced by Sun in November 1997 after collaborative efforts with Java
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