It was great talking to Ian Robinson, IBM Distinguished Engineer and WebSphere Chief Architect, about IBM placing the WebSphere Liberty Code in an open source environment.
The development lifecycle continues to accelerate at an incredible rate. Developers are being asked to turn ideas into production-ready apps more quickly than ever and scale those apps to reach more people.
IBM created Liberty five years ago to enable developers to easily and quickly create applications using agile and DevOps principles. It has been a successful and popular transformation for WebSphere and now IBM is moving the essential Liberty code base into the open.
IBM launched the Open Liberty project and moved its Liberty development effort to it. The code will be available on GitHub under the Eclipse Public License V1, and ongoing development for WebSphere Liberty will be based on this project. Open Liberty is focused on creating a runtime to support Java microservices that can be frequently updated and easily moved between different cloud environments. It is also fully supported by IBM when a commercial WebSphere product license is applied.
Committed to Open Community Innovation
Although the creation of the Open Liberty project is a significant change for Liberty, it is part of a broader and long-standing commitment from IBM to open source. As well as creating Open Liberty (Java EE and MicroProfile implementation), IBM also contributed the IBM J9 VM to Eclipse as Eclipse OpenJ9. The combination of OpenJ9 and Open Liberty provides the full Java stack from IBM with a fully open licensing model.
IBM is a founding member of the Eclipse MicroProfile project, which is defining common API's and infrastructure to make it easy to create microservices applications without vendor lock-in. The implementation of these API's in Open Liberty provides a first class, and fully open, microservices platform. IBM was also instrumental in the creation of the Istio project, a collaboration between IBM, Google, and Lyft, to create an open service fabric to simplify the integration and management of microservices, something we see Eclipse MicroProfile integrating with.
The Eclipse MicroProfile project has proven that a software foundation can effectively steward API specifications. Java EE will be moving to join the Eclipse Foundation, putting the future of server-side Java in one place. The task ahead of Oracle (with IBM and RedHat's help) is significant.
The combination of Eclipse Open J9, Eclipse MicroProfile, Java EE at Eclipse and Open Liberty provides for a complete and open stack for developers to build, test, run and scale Java applications and services in any cloud.
What Do I Get With Open Liberty?
Open Liberty provides developers with the core components for building Java apps and microservices. Open Liberty uses the robust and proven Java EE foundation from WebSphere Liberty along with the latest innovation from the MicroProfile community.
At any time, developers can move up to the commercial versions of WebSphere Liberty, adding dedicated technical support and more advanced capabilities. Because Open Liberty and WebSphere Liberty are built on the same codebase this transition is seamless, so there’s no need to modify your applications. WebSphere runs complex apps for some of the world’s largest companies – so we’re confident we have your needs covered as your apps grow and demands change.
Where Can I Download It?
Download it from openliberty.io. Developers can make contributions to the code through GitHub. Our development team will work closely with the community, developing and reviewing new features in the open, to ensure Open Liberty remains the most robust and capable runtime for Java apps.
We see Open Liberty helping more developers turn their ideas into full-fledged, enterprise-ready apps. It will also broaden WebSphere to include more ideas and innovations to benefit the broader Java community of developers at organizations big and small.