What is Happening to Java EE?

By Martin Schaeferle | September 14, 2018

New Guy EE4JIf you've been slinging Java code for over ten years then you will likely recall the last Java name-change whirlwind of 2004. This is when developers had to transition from J2EE to Java EE; not to mention transitioning from versions 1.4 to 5.0 (seems like we skipped a few versions, eh?). But since then, everything has been moving along rather smoothly, from Java EE 5 to Java EE 6, etc. Well, that ship has sailed…

Meet Jakarta EE 9. Well that escalated quickly...

So what’s up with the name change this time? To start this journey of discovery, let’s first set the stage. As most everyone knows, Java EE has long been maintained by Oracle since it acquired Sun Microsystems in 2010. Over that stretch, developers have increasing become disenfranchised with Java EE in terms of the speed at which it was advancing and in the transparency in the governance process. This led to Oracle being faced with some tough decisions around giving up control in exchange for a happier community.

Oracle needed support and turned to IBM, Red Hat and the Eclipse Foundation for sponsorship in spinning Java EE off; ultimately becoming controlled by a new committee. That support came and soon there was established an Eclipse Project Management Committee (PMC) for the next generation of Java EE. Soon after, Fujitsu, Payara, Tomitribe, Microsoft, and many others joined the initiative as well.

But what happened to the name? Why Jakarta EE 9 (or EE4J)? As you might be aware, Oracle is rather protective of its trademarks when it comes to Java; so to make matters easier on Oracle's legal department, it was decided that a name change was in order. Does that mean Oracle is cutting all ties with Java EE? Absolutely not. Oracle is still committed to continue playing an active roll in its future and in providing continuous support in its WebLogic server line. Oracle is doing this to make Java EE stronger in the future.

So what happens to Java EE 8 with its future updates? Well since Jakarta EE 9 is still in development (and likely remain in development until mid-2019), Java EE 8 will also roll in under the new committee. And of course, it will take on a new name as well. Hold your breath, yes… Jakarta EE 8. And this is purely a name change, the technology itself isn’t changing course now that it is under new management.

The Jakarta EE 9 platform future goals are primarily around making it simpler, lighter and more flexible so that is ports itself far easier to the cloud. More specifically, to take full advantage of the cloud you must take leverage a microservices architecture. Although you can develop microservices today using Java, the underlying platform is not optimized for it. With future releases, expect a more modular approach and a platform built from the ground up with the cloud and microservices in mind.EE4J Party

Where can I find out more regarding Jakarta EE and its future? Below are some useful links:

Jakarta EE Home Page
Eclipse Foundation
Oracle Announcement
Project Charter
Thought on Jakarta’s Vision
Jakarta EE: The new home for enterprise Java

Here's to a successful future!


Martin Schaeferle

Martin Schaeferle has taught IT professionals nationwide to develop applications using Visual Basic, Microsoft SQL Server, ASP, and XML. He has been a featured speaker at Microsoft Tech-Ed and the Microsoft NCD Channel Summit, and he specializes in developing Visual Basic database applications, COM-based components, and ASP-based Web sites. In addition to writing and presenting technical training content, Martin is also LearnNowOnline's vice president of technology.

This blog entry was originally posted September 14, 2018 by Martin Schaeferle