A new era begins for the Java community today with a commitment to a Jakarta EE specification that the Eclipse Foundation expects will become cloud-native in short order.
Jakarta EE formally marks the end of a Java era. While the term Java will still apply to any technologies developed prior to Oracle transferring stewardship of the venerable programming language to the Eclipse Foundation, all future innovations will be delivered under the Jakarta brand.
A survey of 1,800 Java developers shows that in addition to increasing the overall pace of innovation, the top two priorities of the developer community is to see more emphasis being placed on microservices and integration with the emerging de facto Kubernetes container orchestration platform.
A full 95 percent of the respondents building microservices said they are employing Java as part of those efforts, while nearly one-third of respondents are already working with Kubernetes. Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation, said that although it’s yet to be determined precisely how Java and Kubernetes will be more tightly coupled, it’s clear the Jakarta community wants to be able to deploy cloud-native applications based on Jakarta. Half of survey respondents said they ran only one-fifth of their Java applications today in a cloud. But more than 30 percent said they expect to be running 60 percent of more of their applications in the cloud within the next two years.
Milinkovich said with Jakarta under the auspices of the Eclipse Foundation, many more developers from different vendors will be contributing code to advance it. Previous advances to Java have been slow in coming over the years because all contributions to the code base were controlled by Oracle. One of the first things to change under the stewardship of the Eclipse Foundation, he noted, is that Oracle has committed to open-sourcing the Test Compatibility Kits (TCKs), which vendors previously were required to license at significant expense.
Also expected to witness a faster innovation cycle, Milinkovich said, is Eclipse MicroProfile, a Java framework developed by IBM and Red Hat optimized for microservices, which the Eclipse Foundation expects to be as widely embraced as the Spring framework based on Java that Pivotal Software helped popularize. In fact, there will be a lot more cross-pollination of ideas and concepts across all the major frameworks from writing applications, he added.
Tighter integration between Jakarta and Kubernetes and a general simplification of the effort required to develop microservices is likely to have a significant impact on DevOps for years to come. Many organizations today are contemplating the degree to which they may want to lift-and-shift existing Java application into the cloud versus rewriting them completely in a new language. With the Eclipse Foundation’s commitment to a cloud-native implementation of Jakarta EE, it’s clear that organizations can have greater confidence that existing investments in Java applications likely will remain relevant in the age of the cloud. In fact, the only decision left for many of them to make is the degree to which they might want to turn monolithic applications written in Java into highly portable microservices based on Jakarta EE.