New kid on the block

“MicroProfile is not an effort designed to exclude Oracle”

Gabriela Motroc

Red Hat joined forces with Payara, IBM, Tomitribe and the London Java Community to create MicroProfile, an open forum which aims to bring microservices to Enterprise Java. We asked Payara’s Mike Croft to comment on the new initiative. More to follow.

The DevNation conference marked a new beginning; Red Hat’s Mark Little was joined on-stage by Alasdair Nottingham from IBM, Theresa Nguyen from Tomitribe, Mike Croft from Payara and Martijn Verburg from the London Java Community to announce MicroProfile, a new community collaboration which aims to make it easier for developers to use familiar Java EE technologies and APIs for building microservice applications.

According to Red Hat’s Senior Director of Product Management, IBM, Payara, Tomitribe, Red Hat and the London Java Community believe that Enterprise Java is a solid foundation on which to build the next generation of applications and the MicroProfile can make it easier and provide portability between vendor’s implementations.

Quoting Steve Millidge, Payara Founder and Director, ‘What the Java community needs to do is show developers, considering microservices, what is possible with Java EE now. We need to promote the many advantages Enterprise Java has over other frameworks. When standard APIs and the framework are provided by the runtime, developers can concentrate purely on developing their applications and services. Enterprise Java deployment artifacts are incredibly small, runtimes are light-weight and can easily be layered onto a standard Linux Container. Building on these foundations the next step is to come together, involve the community, innovate and drive forward a new standard runtime tailored specifically for the demands of microservice architectures’.

First reaction: Mike Croft

We asked Payara’s Mike Croft to comment on the state of Java EE and the new initiative.

JAXenter: Considering the actual state of Java EE, do you think we need an initiative to protect its legacy? 

Mike Croft: Work on Java EE has slowed, but it hasn’t stopped. The JCP involves more than just Oracle, though they are the biggest players at the moment. The Java EE Guardians’ focus is on getting some action from Oracle; their opinion is that this is crucial to the success of Java EE. I agree that movement from Oracle is important for the future of Java EE, whether that is Oracle working on the JSRs they lead or in relinquishing them to the community. It is important to remember that Java EE isn’t only Oracle, however, and there are a huge number of people and corporations of varying size which have a vested interest in its future. The Guardians group is just one effort of many and all efforts are needed in this, just as in any community-led project.

Java EE isn’t only Oracle, however, and there are a huge number of people and corporations of varying size which have a vested interest in its future.

JAXenter: How could Java EE be brought forward? 

Mike Croft: Java EE already has a way to move forward in the version 8 specifications. My personal view is that Oracle can still stand to grow their business by investing in Java EE. We have not heard any official, public response from Oracle as to their plans, so we can’t be sure that the lack of activity is permanent or only temporary as they put more resource into the “other projects” that has been noted on mailing lists. We, as a community, can’t stand still and wait for confirmation, though.

It’s this lack of knowledge which has driven Red Hat, Payara, Tomitribe, IBM and the LJC, who each have significant interests in Java EE, to announce as a way to bring about open collaboration. This is not an effort designed to exclude Oracle, but to leverage the incredible power of the wider Java community to address the needs of modern Java EE users. The aim is to iterate quickly and to collaborate openly on a standard. Standards are incredibly important in technology to avoid fragmentation and, from here, the future looks bright.

Stay tuned for more reactions. 

Gabriela Motroc
Gabriela Motroc was editor of and JAX Magazine. Before working at Software & Support Media Group, she studied International Communication Management at the Hague University of Applied Sciences.

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