Who Is the Java Ecosystem MOP (Most Outstanding Player)?

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Who Is the Java Ecosystem MOP (Most Outstanding Player)?

Oracle is the most important player in the Java ecosystem, but are they taking a step back? And who could be ready to fill a possible void.

· Java Zone ·
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To gather insights on the current and future state of the Java ecosystem, we talked to executives from 14 companies. We began by asking, "Who are the most important players in the Java ecosystem?" Here's what the respondents told us:


  • 1) Oracle: obviously... 2) IntelliJ: as the creators of this amazing IDE, they define the base standard of all IDEs today, whether in Java or other languages. 3) Google: while Oracle’s influence in Web Development and Java, in general, is huge, a lot of Java development today occurs in Android, which is where Google’s influence comes from. 4) Spring/Pivotal: one cannot underestimate the change that the Spring framework had on the Java ecosystem, and I believe those changes continue to happen today in things like Spring Boot. 
  • We need diversity among our developer communities and strive to include developing companies. Members with the most contributions include: Oracle, IBM, SAP, Red Hat, Werner Keil, TMAX, Liferay, Tomi Tribe, Azul, HPE, Fujitsu, and Primati.
  • These days, Oracle is certainly the most critical because it now owns the entire open-source ecosystem around Java. Not only does Oracle own the language, but it also owns the MySQL database engine, which we use to power our backend services.
  • Oracle, IBM, Eclipse, Red Hat, Pivotal, and the Apache Foundation
  • Oracle as the owner. Pivotal and their influence on Spring. Google with GCP and Kubernetes. 
  • Besides all the innovative OSS contributors that enliven the Java community, I would also have to acknowledge Oracle’s ongoing efforts to continue keeping what we used to think of as Java SE moving forward.  As well as IBM and Red Hat’s considerable contributions with J9 and OpenJDK.   However, the new and likely to become the most significant player in the Java ecosystem is the Eclipse Foundation with its efforts around MicroProfile and the newly named Jakarta EE. 
  • Oracle is huge, Spring, Red HatEclipse Foundation, and Java EE champions.


  • The community itself especially how Oracle is using the open JDK. The Eclipse and Apache Foundations. Eclipse is taking over the development standards.
  • The Apache Foundation, Eclipse, Oracle, Red Hat, IBM, and Pivotal
  • The JCPOracleRed Hat, Pivotal, Apache and the Eclipse Foundation but also the individuals who are putting in a lot of time and effort to help make the Java ecosystem a better place (such as Simon Maple, Ivar Grimstad, David Blevins among a lot of other people). 
  • Oracle holds the keys but they’re pulling back. The Eclipse Foundation is stepping up.

Large Corporations

  • I generally agree with the players listed here: https://dzone.com/articles/whos-the-most-important-player-in-the-java-ecosystem. However, I’d add large financial institutions, like Wall Street banks, to the list. They are massive consumers of Java, open source Java components, and employ more developers than most “software” companies. They are a powerful influence on the market. I’ll also add “security researchers” to the list, as they have successfully changed the perception of Java from “world’s most secure platform for deploying enterprise applications” to “that browser plugin that undermines security.” 
  • IBM is still investing in all levels of the Java stack. It has made an investment in hardware with instructions for garbage collection (garbage storage). We have our own JVM (OpenJ9) and a deep understanding of its importance. You can get the full build at AdoptOpenJDK. Two competing implementations for VMs demonstrates a healthy ecosystem. Oracle is very important since they still have the JVM and drive the primary evolution of the language features to make Java easier to use. For example, Lambda features concise code snippets without a lot of boilerplate. Enterprise vendors like Red Hat lead the compatible evolution of where EE is today. Eclipse and Jakarta E project is handling governance future of the enterprise. Java is being driven by cloud and serverless from EE to more domains. There are also undercover influencers. Twitter has VM teams while Alibaba has a custom JVM. They are driving heavy loads through Java that address their needs. New programming languages from Facebook and Google have been developed to meet their needs. 
  • Pivotal Spring Boot 2.0, J2E ecosystem from Oracle, and IBM around EclipseNetflix is advancing cloud-native. The Sun/Oracle VM has not opened to a reliable governance model. While it’s still governed by Oracle, it feels like a single-vendor open source project. Azul and Red Hat are OK supporting the open JDK. IBM has the chops to support the FDK even if Oracle pulls out.

Here’s who we spoke to:

  • Gil Tayar, Senior Architect and Evangelist, Applitools
  • Frans van Buul, Commercial Developer, Evangelist, AxonIQ
  • Carlos Sanches, Software Engineer, CloudBees
  • Jeff Williams, Co-founder and CTO, Contrast Security
  • Doug Pearson, CTO, FlowPlay
  • John Duimovich, Distinguished Engineer and Java CTO, IBM
  • Brian Pontarelli, CEO, Inversoft
  • Wayne Citrin, CTO, JNBridge
  • Ray Augé, Sr. Software Architect, Liferay
  • Matt Raible, Java Champion and Developer Advocate, Okta
  • Heather VanCura, Chair of the Java Community Process Program, Oracle
  • Burr Sutter, Director Developer Experience, Red Hat
  • Ola Petersson, Software Consultant, Squeed
  • Roman Shoposhnik, Co-founder, V.P. Product and Strategy, Zededa
  • Topics:
    apache foundation, java, java ecosystem, oracle

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