The Eclipse Foundation announced today a working group that will establish a governance framework for an Eclipse Adoptium project that enables developers to download compatible runtimes based on OpenJDK source code.
Members of the Adoptium working group include Alibaba Cloud, Huawei, IBM, iJUG, Karakun AG, Microsoft, New Relic and Red Hat.
OpenJDK is a free and open-source implementation of the Java Platform, Standard Edition that is provided by Oracle. AdoptOpenJDK was created in 2017 to provide open source, high-quality Java runtimes based on OpenJDK. Since then, AdoptOpenJDK has been downloaded more than 240 million times.
The Eclipse Foundation is now continuing that effort under an Eclipse Adoptium project that aims to become the primary source for OpenJDK-based binaries. The Eclipse Adoptium working group has negotiated with Oracle to create an OpenJDK Community TCK License Agreement (OCTLA) that will enable it to run compatibility tests to ensure conformance to the Java specification.
Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation, said the Adoptium WG will provide the infrastructure, marketing, community building and developer education required to ensure timely releases and adoption of Eclipse Adoptium runtimes.
OpenJDK is a reference implementation used by multiple vendors to create their own binaries, which are only guaranteed to be compatible with the standard until the next update arrives; updates are released approximately every six months. The Eclipse Adoptium project will make it simpler for developer teams to identify which binaries are compatible with specific implementations of OpenJDK. Ultimately, the goal is to encourage developers to build applications using frameworks that make use of new OpenJDK features as they are added to the platform versus continuing to rely on older binaries.
At the same time, however, the Eclipse Foundation is also looking at making it simpler for enterprise IT teams to rely on long term support (LTS) licensing agreements that would be based on Eclipse Adoptium runtimes, Milinkovich noted.
Despite the plethora of programming languages developers use and even after 25 years, Java remains the dominant language for developers working in enterprise IT organizations. Over the last few years, OpenJDK has gained traction as organizations adopted an open source implementation of the specification that enabled providers of frameworks for building applications to reduce licensing costs.
It’s not clear at what rate enterprise IT organizations are replacing proprietary editions of Java with OpenJDK. However, in the wake of the economic downturn brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, reliance on open source software has increased to reduce costs. At the same time, many organizations are looking to build microservices-based applications using Java frameworks that are based on OpenJDK runtimes.
Regardless of the underlying platform employed, as developers are asked to build and deploy applications faster, most of them will rely on the programming language they already know rather than take the time to master another.