There's exciting news in the Java EE world! This morning, Oracle announced that Java EE will begin a transition to open sourcing. In case you didn't see it, here was the announcement from David Delabassee on The Aquarium:
We continue to make great progress on Java EE 8. Specifications are nearly complete, and we expect to deliver the reference implementation this summer. As we approach the delivery of Java EE 8 and the JavaOne 2017 conference, we believe there is an opportunity to rethink how Java EE is developed in order to make it more agile and responsive to changing industry and technology demands.
Java EE is enormously successful with a competitive market of compatible implementations, broad adoption of individual technologies, a huge ecosystem of frameworks and tools, and countless applications delivering value to enterprises and end users. But although Java EE is developed in open source with the participation of the Java EE community, often the process is not seen as being agile, flexible or open enough, particularly when compared to other open source communities. We’d like to do better.
We are discussing how we can improve the Java EE development process following the delivery of Java EE 8. We believe that moving Java EE technologies including reference implementations and test compatibility kit to an open source foundation may be the right next step, in order to adopt more agile processes, implement more flexible licensing, and change the governance process. We plan on exploring this possibility with the community, our licensees, and several candidate foundations to see if we can move Java EE forward in this direction.
We intend to meet ongoing commitments to developers, end users, customers, technology consumers, technology contributors, partners, and licensees. And we will support existing Java EE implementations and future implementations of Java EE 8. We will continue to participate in the future evolution of Java EE technologies. But we believe a more open process, that is not dependent on a single vendor as platform lead, will encourage greater participation and innovation, and will be in best interests of the community.
If you would like to provide input or comments on this direction, please send email to email@example.com. We will keep you updated as we explore this approach in more detail.
For more information about how this affects WebLogic Server, see here.
News spread fast, and Java EE aficionados didn't waste any time in weighing in. Consultant Ivar Grimstad spread the word to his audience and provided his thoughts on the matter:
I just came off a phone call where Oracle were briefing community members about their announcement to open up Java EE. The process has just started and, understandably, there are currently more questions than answers.
- Oracle finds Java EE to be very successful
- Millions of applications are using Java EE
- Oracle plans to continue support of Java EE
- Java EE 8 will be completed as planned
- Java EE 8 will also be certified on Java SE
By stepping aside and relicensing the technologies to an open source foundation, Oracle hopes to address the perception about the openness, agility, and flexibility of the current process. What this will actually mean to the Java Community Process (JCP) is uncertain. It will at least have to go through some reform to accommodate the new licensing terms.
One thing to note here, and something that is a really big thumbs up to Oracle, is that they are now informing and including the community and key players in the process from the start.
And IBM threw their hat into the ring of praise as well. In a blog post, WebSphere Foundation Chief Architect Ian Robinson congratulated Oracle on Java EE's long life and continued success, how it will affect other big projects like MicroProfile, and the decision to begin opening it up.
Java EE has continued to enjoy a huge amount of success over many years with broad adoption, enabling a spectrum of workloads from the simplest web apps to business critical systems in the most demanding environments. It is implemented by a wide variety of Java technology providers and has underpinned WebSphere ever since there’s been a Java EE (or J2EE). One of its great strengths, along with its robust architecture, has been its community of contributors. IBM is proud to have been one of the platform specification collaborators and implementers since the very beginning and we are delighted that Java EE is moving with the times to an open foundation for its ongoing development following the completion of Java EE 8 this year.
Earlier this year, I wrote about the creation of the Eclipse MicroProfile project to lead innovation around the modernization of enterprise Java for microservices in an open community. I’m particularly pleased, as a member of the MicroProfile community, to see this movement from Java EE in the same direction. The MicroProfile mission to deliver new capabilities for enterprise Java can be much more efficient if we’re all living in the same neighborhood. With the recent announcement of MicroProfile 1.1 and the upcoming availability of MicroProfile 1.2, the future of open enterprise Java looks bright.
The WebSphere Liberty team is feverishly working in these communities to bring the latest capabilities to Liberty so you can use them straight away. For an early peek at new MicroProfile and Java EE 8 features take a look at the latest Liberty Beta.
So, what do you think? Do you applaud the decision? Do you foresee any challenges ahead? Any concerns? Please don't hesitate to discuss and debate in the comments! And if you have the time, don't forget to volunteer by sending your emails to firstname.lastname@example.org. After all, this is a community effort now. Everyone's in it together.