A longer trip down memory lane

JSR107 Caching API ‘highly unlikely’ to make Java EE 7

Chris Mayer

The co-spec lead for the in-memory caching API has bad news about the standard that’s been nearly 12 years in the making.

The almost 12 year wait for a Java Caching API could go on longer, after JSR107’s co-spec lead Brian Oliver revealed the specification is “highly unlikely” to make Java EE 7.

The JCACHE standard (Java Temporary Caching API), which has been mooted for over a decade, hopes to make in-memory caching of Java objects simple.

Despite being initially conceived in 2001, there’s still a great enterprise demand for the standard, with in-data memory grids in vogue. The Expert Group for JSR107 includes representation from key Java heavyweights such as IBM, Red Hat, Goldman Sachs and the Apache Software Foundation, showing great demand for the technology to come to fruition.

Speaking on the JSR107 Google Group, Oliver explained that “a few of the key delivery dates for JSR107 to be included in Java EE 7” had been missed, due to personal and organizational reasons. The spec and reference implementation deadline to make it into the next enterprise version was January 17th.

The Oracle architect added that he felt that they couldn’t “really hold up Java EE 7,” with further documentation, implementation and testing still to be completed.

The decision to include JSR107 now falls to the Java EE Platform Group, although given this statement, it would be an odd decision to include an unfinished caching API. Oliver continued:

Although this is disappointing for everyone involved (assuming it’s removed), it’s important to realize that we’ve made some tremendous progress in the past few months.  It’s also important to know that work is going to continue in earnest, and at the same pace!  The expectation is that we’ll complete this work as soon as possible, with or without Java EE 7.

It’s a huge blow to the specification that has been in the works since March 2001. In truth, the specification lay dormant until 2009, when Terracotta’s Greg Luck and Oracle’s Cameron Purdy picked up the pieces in a renewed effort.

Speaking to JAXenter in November, Luck said that the spec was “90% complete in terms of technical work” but it appears that in the refinement phase, JSR107 has hit a snag. He also revealed that the Early Draft Spec which he submitted in February 2012 only met the JCP’s approval in October.

If JSR107 does miss out on Java EE 7, it’s a great shame. Gartner believes that the lack of a standard is the biggest inhibitor to further mass adoption of data grids and with JSR107 remaining on the sidelines, we might just have to wait a little longer for JCACHE to appear.

UPDATE – It has now been confirmed that JSR107 will not make Java EE 7, as explained by Reza Rahman.

What do you make of the news? We’d love to hear your thoughts below…

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