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Opening Up Java EE - An Update

By David Delabassee, Oracle Software Evangelist

September 13, 2017

In a previous post, we announced that Oracle was beginning to explore moving Java EE technologies to an open source foundation in order to make the process of evolving these standards more agile, flexible and open. Since mid-August, we’ve had many discussions with other vendors, community members and open source foundations in order to move the process forward. Here’s an update on the progress we have made so far. 

First, we have reached out to IBM and Red Hat, the other largest contributors to the Java EE platform, to solicit their support for this new direction. Oracle, IBM and Red Hat are collaborating on an ongoing basis to refine an approach that we can collectively support.  We've made good progress on this front, and expect to continue to work together to make this transition successful for all parties. Thank you IBM and Red Hat!

Second, we’ve refined our proposal. Subject to the usual caveats about plans being subject to change in the future, our intention is that we would:

  • Relicense Oracle-led Java EE technologies, and related GlassFish technologies, to the foundation. This would include RIs, TCKs, and associated project documentation.
  • Demonstrate the ability to build a compatible implementation, using foundation sources, that passes existing Java EE 8 TCKs.
  • Define a branding strategy for the platform within the foundation, including a new name for Java EE to be determined. We intend to enable use of existing javax package names and component specification names for existing JSRs to provide continuity.
  • Define a process by which existing specifications can evolve, and new specifications can be included in the platform.
  • Recruit and enable developers and other community members, as well as vendors, to sponsor platform technologies, and bring the platform forward within the foundation. This would include potential incorporation of Eclipse MicroProfile technologies into the platform.
  • Begin doing the above as soon as possible after completion of Java EE 8 to facilitate a rapid transition. 

Third, we have met with several foundations to discuss our proposal. We appreciate the time they have invested with us, and the feedback and input they offered. After careful review, we have selected the Eclipse Foundation as the foundation that we will work with going forward to make the above a reality. The Eclipse Foundation has strong experience and involvement with Java EE and related technologies. This will help us transition Java EE rapidly, create community-friendly processes for evolving the platform, and leverage complementary projects such as MicroProfile. We look forward to this collaboration.

Note that in addition to all of the above, Oracle will continue to support existing Java EE licensees, including licensees moving to Java EE 8. Oracle also intends to continue to support its existing WebLogic Server versions, and to support Java EE 8 in a future WebLogic Server version. We believe this plan will enable us to continue to support existing Java EE standards, while enabling the evolution to a more open environment. There's more work to do, but we believe we're on the right track. We hope to have additional updates soon!

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