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Unwanted by Oracle, Java EE gets adopted by Eclipse

Unwanted by Oracle, Java EE gets adopted by Eclipse

A new name for Java EE is a likely outcome as the Eclipse Foundation figures out how to steward enterprise Java itself

The Eclipse Foundation is set to become the new steward of enterprise Java, taking over from Oracle, which no longer wants to manage Java EE.

As part of the adoption, Java EE will likely get a new name, something Oracle recommended in its proposal to have a foundation adopt Java EE.

A month ago, Oracle said it would end its stewardship role of Java EE and turn it over to an open source foundation. Following consultations with Java partners such as IBM and Red Hat and after meeting with several foundations, Oracle has settled on an organization that has had a long history in Java development: the Eclipse Foundation. Eciipse created its popular Eclipse IDE and managed multiple other Java technologies.

Oracle cited Eclipse’s experience in Java EE and related technologies as why it is transferring Java EE to Eclipse. “This will help us transition Java EE rapidly, create community-friendly processes for evolving the platform, and leverage complementary projects such as MicroProfile,” said Oracle software evangelist David Delabassee. (MicroProfile arose as a Red Hat- and IBM-driven effort to fit Java EE with microservices capabilities last year after part of the Java community feared that Oracle was neglecting the platform. MicroProfile has since moved over to Eclipse.)

"Moving Java EE to open governance and collaboration is going to be a process, not an event,” said Eclipse Executive Director Mike Milinkovich. "Our early discussions with Oracle, IBM, and Red Hat have shown that there is a lot of support for this among their leadership teams.”

Milinkovich also concurred with Oracle about Java EE being revised to better support cloud computing. “As enterprises move to a more cloud-centric model, it is clear that Java EE requires a more rapid pace of innovation.”

Oracle recently refined its proposal for Java EE’s adoption to cover:

  • Defining a branding strategy for the platform, including a new name for Java EE that is yet to be determined.
  • Relicensing Java EE and related GlassFish application server technologies to the adopting foundation. (GlassFish has served as an Java EE reference implementation.)
  • Demonstrating an ability to provide a compatible implementation of Java EE.
  • Defining a process by which existing specifications can evolve. Java EE has to date been developed in the Java Community Process.
  • Recruiting developers and others to sponsor platform technologies.

Built atop of Java Platform, Standard Edition (Java SE), Java EE is geared toward large-scale, multi-tiered and secure network applications. Java EE 8 is expected shortly.

Oracle will continue supporting existing Java EE licensees, including those moving to Java EE 8. It also will keep supporting the WebLogic Server Java application server it acquired from BEA Systems a decade ago, and Java EE 8 will be supported in an upcoming upgrade to WebLogic Server.

Oracle is also maintaining its leadership over Java SE, recently proposing a faster Java SE release schedule.


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