The post-Java Enterprise Edition (EE) era has formally begun with the release of a long-awaited Jakarta EE 9 Platform and Web Profile specification from the Eclipse Foundation.
In addition, the Eclipse Foundation has announced that version 6.0.0 of the open source Glassfish application server has now been certified to be compliant with Jakarta EE 9.
Functionally equivalent to the existing Java EE 8 specification, the release of a Jakarta EE 9 Platform and Web Profile specification is intended to enable IT vendors that have built offerings based on Java to shift their naming conventions to Jakarta EE 9.
Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation, said now that the Jakarta EE 9 specification is in place IT organizations should expect to see the members of the Eclipse Foundation that contribute to the project begin working more aggressively on a Jakarta EE 10 specification that adds more features.
Under the auspices of the Eclipse Foundation, Milinkovich added there will be a lot more focus on developing a truly cloud-native implementation of Java EE as work on the next generation of Jakarta EE platform advances.
The rate at which new capabilities were being added to Java under the stewardship of Oracle had become an issue given the rate at which other programming languages are being advanced. Oracle agreed to relinquish control of the Java specification to the Eclipse Foundation, which in theory should lead to a faster rate of innovation as more contributors participate in an open source project.
However, Oracle insisted on retaining the rights to the Java trademark because it has support contracts in place for existing instances of Java that provide a significant stream of revenue. Providers of rival platforms based on Java are hoping enterprise IT organizations will shift quickly to Jakarta as part of a way to reduce their support costs at a time when IT teams are under intense pressure to reduce the total cost of IT.
Despite the rise of a wide range of programming languages in recent years, Java is still widely employed with most enterprise IT organizations, many of whom have been using Java since it was first made available by Sun Microsystems. Reliance on Java is not likely to significantly decline anytime soon; however, most IT organizations are now making greater use of additional programming languages alongside Java. In fact, many of the applications that DevOps teams are building and deploying are made up of modules that were built using different programming languages.
It may still be a while before a Jakarta EE platform is pervasively employed in IT environments. However, it’s clear a new era that should result in advances that make it easier to deploy applications that are compatible with Java faster has arrived. How those capabilities will manifest themselves may still be unclear, but the fact that they are being worked on should be a comfort to IT organizations that have already invested millions of dollars in training developers how to build Java applications optimally.