And so the plot deepens

Oracle aims high with Java EE, prepares it for the cloud

Gabriela Motroc
Java EE
Bottom view of street light image via Shutterstock

MicroProfile and Java EE Guardians have expressed the desire to take matters into their own hands as Oracle kept mum about the future of Java EE. Now, the giant claims that it plans to revamp enterprise Java.

Thomas Kurian, Oracle’s president of product development, told InfoWorld in mid-July that Oracle has not forgot about Java EE. On the contrary, it is planning to modernize it to fit the needs of enterprises that have started to move to the cloud.

Java EE under construction

Oracle has been accused of turning a blind eye to Java EE and stalling the release of Java EE 8. Two initiatives have offered to give Java EE its spark back, but while the Java EE Guardians are trying to convince Oracle that Java EE is still valuable, MicroProfile’s aim is to bring microservices to Java EE. Although each party has its own idea of what the future of Java EE should look like, the common denominator is Oracle, which still holds the reins of enterprise Java.

While Oracle spokesman Mike Moeller told The Register that the company will reveal its plans for Java EE at the JavaOne conference in San francisco in September, Kurian said there is “a clear plan for Java EE 8” —namely to move enterprise Java to the cloud and eventually help Java EE developers take their skill sets to the next level to fit into the changing technological scene. Oracle’s president of product development also hinted at security improvements and a better model for reactive programming.

According to Kurian, Java EE enthusiasts should expect to see a stronger support for HTTP/2 in enterprise Java 8 and a bigger focus on microservices; he revealed that his employer wants to see convergence around one specification for using microservices within Java EE. If this is the case, many people are wondering what will happen with MicroProfile’s work (a community collaboration which aims to make it easier for developers to use familiar Java EE technologies and APIs for building microservice applications).

SEE ALSO: Where is Java EE headed to?

Community reactions to the Java EE storyline (JAXenter coverage)

It was becoming impossible for me to simply stand by and watch what Oracle was doing to itself, the community and the industry.

Java EE Guardians founder Reza Rahman

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.

Mike Croft, Java Middleware consultant at Payara

If Java EE was a truly open standard (like HTML, or SQL to some extent), we wouldn’t be in the situation that we’re in. Oracle would just be one more stakeholder in a large consortium and it would be their own choice whether they withdraw from the consortium or not, without affecting the consortium as a whole.

Java Champion Lukas Eder

On a more global note, Java EE 8 basically continues the story that became sort of obvious with Java EE 7 already: the interest of participating parties seems to decline. In my opinion, that’s due to the fact that all the major players are focussing on their Cloud efforts (Oracle with Oracle Cloud, RedHat with OpenShift, IBM with BlueMix, and yes, Pivotal with CloudFoundry). This becomes especially obvious with the already documented decline in the efforts put into Oracle-led JSRs, for which there has been almost no work done in the past six month.

Oliver Gierke, lead of the Spring Data project at Pivotal

According to a poll launched by in mid-June, the majority of respondents believe that it would be better for Java EE if the community took over.

Should Java EE be developed independently from Oracle?

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Oracle has made it clear that Java EE 8 is still very much alive and that plans for its release will be unveiled at the JavaOne conference.

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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